I have a set of scales under
the bed, out of sight! It tells me what I don't want to
know--I need to make the numbers smaller than they read when I
step on it. I am better motivated to keep the scales in view
when I try on clothes that fit properly not so long ago but
now don't button or zip.
Actually, the scales are not
the only measurement of my general overall health. I have to
be diligent in my diet and keep it balanced to achieve good
numbers when my doctor wants to run some blood work and keep
my blood pressure leveled at a healthy number.
What has that got to do with my
spiritual health? Nothing, except a similarity of
measurements. A familiar saying is that "we are what we
eat." That is especially true in our Christian life. What we
feed our spirit controls what we place as top priority in our
lives. The Psalmist wrote, "O taste and see the LORD is
good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
When we "taste" we develop a "taste for." We develop a
"How sweet are they words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than
honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103).
That spiritual diet will create
healthy attitudes and actions. But that doesn't make us
have good numbers on the spiritual scales. When we try
to judge ourselves by ourselves, our attitudes, good deeds and actions, we will
either come up short or become self-righteous. We may examine
how we treat others, how charitable we are and how others see
us and decide we are pretty righteous.
"For we dare not make
ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that
commend themselves, but they measuring themselves by
themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, ARE NOT
WISE [emphasis mine]" 2 Corinthians 10:12.
We can carry our set of scales
around which show good numbers and feel good about what they
display. We can see our "goodness" and begin to think that
God must be pleased with all our good works. Good works ARE
important to the Christian, but they are not measurement of a
right relationship with God.
The only thing that makes us
"good" in God's eyes is when He sees Jesus in our lives. The
only way God can see Jesus in us is by Grace--the undeserved
favor that He dispenses to us. There is no other source of
Grace. We can get on our moral scales and see good numbers
and declare we are "healthy." We can check our spiritual diet
that we set for ourselves and measure our waistline and feel
confident that we are looking better in the mirror, but that
would be deceptive if we don't see Jesus when we look at
ourselves, if we don't see Grace instead of all our efforts to
achieve God's favor.
The amazing thing is that God
loves our flabby selves that we abhor; He loves us when we
feel disgust at the mirror image of ourselves. That Love
brings Grace to our lives and puts us in a position of
right-standing based on what Jesus did for us in spite
of our myriad attempts to fix things. The scales may look
good to us, the diet might soothe our consciences and give us
false security; but they will never measure up in God's eyes.
That’s not to say God doesn’t
want us to be good stewards of our health, but what God looks
for when He "measures" us is His Grace. Grace that operates
only through the Cross of Jesus, no other route. The
unconditional Love God shows us is operational VIA what Jesus
did at Calvary only! We can never do enough to rise above
the Cross. Our efforts will fail when measured by the actions
of Jesus Christ.
** And that’s what Easter is
all about! **
As much as we love bunnies that
lay eggs and other holiday trivia, the celebration is to
remind us that Jesus died on that cruel cross for our sins—not
His—and arose from the dead to guarantee that we too shall
live, with Him, for eternity!
Rev. Gary Wilkerson wrote in
his "Pulpit Series" message Grace Rules, "...the new
life you have isn't the result of attaining but of
receiving..." That's it! We "receive" Grace; we do
not—cannot—earn (attain) it. We are the recipients of Grace because of
God's Love in spite of the fact that we don't—can't—measure
up. It is the measure of Christ that makes us worthy that God
sees, not our self-righteousness.
Works, our efforts, follow
Grace; they don't produce it; they don't move God to declare us
worthy; they don't even count toward our righteousness! We
will certainly be rewarded for any efforts we make for the
Kingdom of God, but that will not bring salvation nor precede
it. As the song says, "Nothing but the blood" will make us
acceptable to God.
Love = Grace = Salvation
So may we have good numbers on
the scales, look fabulous in the mirror because of Grace, not
what we have done! It's not admirable nor healthy to look
down on ourselves. We were sinners, God's Grace saved us and
keeps us. We can hold our heads high; we are kids of the King
of King / Lord of Lords. We got there by way of the Cross of
Jesus, and we give Him glory for any good numbers or images we
have. The day will come when He will acknowledge everything
we did FOR HIM. That will be our legacy!
Look toward the “empty” cross
they held our Savior but couldn’t keep Him. He’s alive
forevermore and made the way for our eternal life—with Him!
Let us measure up! Let us look
up! Soon we will go up!
The Cross and the Tomb are Empty !
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@ There's Good
News April 2015