Daily we evaluate our lives, reviewing what we’ve thought, said and done. We consider the good things and the bad…and we should! It’s absolutely necessary to reflect upon our thoughts, words and actions so we can repent of those that do not reflect the One who died to give us everything! God calls us to be holy, as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16)). That means set apart from the world and its standards, and living according to God’s truth and His will and ways.
Reflecting on our works and evaluating ourselves is a good thing, but we must be mindful that it is not for the purpose of defining our worth. When we have a good day, God does not love us more. And when we have a bad day, He does not love us less. Our value in His eyes is not based on our performance, or our good or bad “works.” It is based on Jesus’ work for us. Because Jesus took our sins upon Himself and died to pay the penalty for them, man can be forgiven by God. Because He rose again, conquering death, man can live eternally with Him. It is a free gift, given by God to all who repent and trust in Jesus and His atoning death for one’s sins. That is GRACE—God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.
When we take daily stock of our lives, remember that as blood-bought, Holy Spirit in-dwelt Christians, every sin we have committed is already paid for by Jesus. Our purpose and need in confessing daily sins is that we might repent of them. That means we are to turn from them and not continue to commit the sin or a similar one. We are to be growing in Christ:
Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children…But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into [Christ] in all things…
Romans 8:29 tells us that we are being conformed to the image of Jesus. Let us mortify/crucify our daily sins through confession and repentance so we will more fully reflect His light in a dark world.
Take a minute to read an excerpt from Stephen Colbert’s interview of Jamaican reggae musician and singer Jimmy Cliff. While not a Rastafarian (which is the religion of many reggae singers), Cliff self-admittedly claims he has a “universal outlook on life,” and cannot “align [himself] with any one particular movement or religion so as to limit [himself].”
Contrast it with a biblical insight. These are two very different scorecards.
The Hopelessness Of Scorecards
In a 2011 interview with Stephen Colbert, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff was asked if he was currently a member of a religion. He answered, “No, I’ve graduated from them.” Colbert asked, incredulously, “You’ve graduated from religion?” and Cliff said, “Yes.” Colbert then said that God is sitting up in heaven when we graduate from this life with a scorecard, and asked Cliff which scorecard (Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc) he wanted to be graded on. Cliff said he would like to be graded on the scorecard of “truth and facts.” Colbert’s inspired response? “I’ll take faith and grace.”
This interview brings to mind Jesus’ words: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jimmy Cliff has decided to “graduate” from religion and wants to be assessed on truth and facts. Well, what are the facts? What is the truth? When the requirements are things like, “Honor your father and mother” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” the truth seems to be that we’re not doing so well. The facts are that we’re coming up a little short. Or a lot short.
To be judged on the scorecard of truth and facts is a hard yoke and a heavy burden. Jesus must, then, be talking about something else. And thankfully he is. Truth and facts lead to a heavy burden because it involves a righteousness earned. Jesus says his yoke is easy and his burden is light because he’s talking about a righteousness given. He’s talking about faith and grace. Truth and facts mean we’re judged on our own merits, or lack thereof. Faith and grace mean that we’re judged on Jesus’ merits, and judged righteous.
May we always rely on a righteousness that is given and never fear a righteousness that is required. And may we never ever “graduate” from a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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