When someone says, "I've been a good person, so I know that I will get into heaven," I wonder what it is they base their righteousness on - being good? We all want to think that we are "good enough" to be granted permission to enter eternity with God, but let's take a look at how Paul describes it. He was a man of works prior to his salvation experience. Not only did he live the letter of the law, but he was circumcised on the 8th day; he was of the nation of Israel; he was of the tribe of Benjamin. He was born a Hebrew, and he kept the law, even to the point of persecuting the church because he thought it a distortion of the law that he so strongly tried to follow. He, before any of us, would probably be close to being able to gain entrance to heaven based solely on his works, yet listen to how he describes it: "But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ - the righteousness from God based on faith." Philippians 3:7-9 Does that mean that the only way to be right with God through Christ is to totally get rid of all earthly things? No, unless those earthly things become more your focus than Christ does. God does indeed bless, sometimes with wealth and possessions and positions, yet they are not to become what identifies us. Rather, we should be identified through the faith that is ours in Christ, regardless of where that faith takes us. Christ should be first. Is He first in your life? Is He more important than the things we strive so hard to collect? He is more important than the positions we seek to attain? Would we consider a loss of all things to be gain for knowing Christ Jesus as Lord? To show what should be important to you, the commercial says, "What's in your wallet?" God says, "What's in your heart?"
Lord, thank You for such a great salvation. I would ask for hearts turned toward You, unconditionally, and pray to You to change us to think like You, and to speak like You, and to act like You. I pray for Your love to be evident in our hearts, to enable us to reveal a righteousness that is truly Yours and not our own, manufactured by our own thinking. I pray for those who struggle again today: Danni, Ada, Rheba, Terri for strength; Linda B., Caitlyn, Loren, James, Montella, Carolyn, Barbara, Jackie Ann, Cynthia, Speros, Mike S., ( Lord please touch him today). I pray for our children and grandchildren, to seek Your face; for our churches to follow Your ways, for our nation to proclaim Your name, and our world to turn from its ways. I pray for our missionaries, our military, our emergency responders, I pray for us to see what is most important to us, and that is You, as we live in Your grace, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.