One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:39-41
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Romans 1:18
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The desire and drive to exalt ourselves runs very deep. This is because our own will lies at the center of our personal existence, a place intended for God alone. Apart from God’s mercy we are not able to grasp who God truly is and how far we have fallen away from Him. We are in a state of rebellion having personally usurped God’s rightful place at the center of our existence and we don’t begin to realize how warranted the judgment of God upon us is – that we are truly deserving of eternal separation from God in the everlasting torment of hell. Sounds pretty severe and certainly not a popular way of viewing ourselves. We are so oriented to feeling good about ourselves and seeking to be acceptable to others that it is extremely difficult for us to think of ourselves as totally not good and as totally unacceptable to God.
And yet viewing ourselves this way and recognizing that we are helpless to do anything about it, is absolutely essential. Grasping the good news of redemption in Jesus Christ is predicated on grasping the bad news of our true condition before God. If we are not helplessly lost then we do not need a Savior. That is what our Savior, Jesus Christ, does – he saves us from our lost condition of being totally sinful, separated from God, and deserving of the judgment of an eternity in hell. Becoming convinced of this in our minds is the result of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. The way of the cross begins with the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that opens us up to the glorious good news of redemption in Jesus Christ.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, please remove from within me any vestige of my being deserving that I am still cling to. Deepen my conviction and convince me fully and completely so that I am better aligned with the way of the cross and able to enter into the fullness of my redemption in Christ as completely as possible going forward. Thank you for loving me so much that you keep doing all that it takes to get me to where I need to be. Amen!
Posted on Tue, September 12, 2017
by Ken Hart