Read His Words Before Ours!
“What? It IS clean, Mom! You cannot complain about that, you don’t know what it looked like before I cleaned it!”
This is the reply I’ve heard a thousand times as one of my kids responds to my raised eyebrows and look of, “Seriously? You think this is clean?”. Every single one of my kids have vivid dramatizations playing in their minds of me walking around their “clean space” and picking up countless “somehow unseen” objects. They like to call it “Un-Stuffing” and if it’s really bad, they know I’ll start singing “Little Girls” by Cameron Diaz from Annie, replacing “girls” with “things”.
“Little things, little things
Everywhere I turn I can see them
Little things, little things
Night and day I eat, sleep, and breathe them.”
Toilet paper scraps, pencil shavings, marker lids, I can see it all and will gladly bring their attention to their lack of detailed cleaning. While I am playfully (and sometimes, not so playfully) reminding them that our definitions of clean are not the same, I’m encouraging them to work harder, not be lazy, and definitely not get caught “stuffing little things” as they work to raise their standard of “clean” to my own.
While this may work in our homes when it comes to tidying up, it is absolutely useless when it comes to our hearts. Maybe you’ve seen the quote, “Cleaning house while raising kids is like shoveling in a snowstorm.” When it comes to making our own hearts and lives righteous before God, it’s impossibly futile!
Pastor Paul quoted King David and Isaiah in Romans 3, all of whom were inspired by the Spirit of the Living God to make Himself known to us,
(We are all) under sin, as it is written,
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have
no one does good,
not even one.” (Psalm 14:1-3)
All-inclusive language is something my husband and I work hard to stay away from in our marriage, because it’s “almost never” accurate. J Phrases like, “You never listen to me,” or “You always attack me” are fighting words full of anger and hurt with the intention of wounding. However, these all-inclusives from the Lord God are not intended to hurt us relationally, but to awaken our hearts to reality.
None seek God.
All have turned aside to their own ways.
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive
The venom of asps is under their lips.” (Psalm 140:3)
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” (Psalm 10:7)
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.” (Isaiah 59:7-8)
Much like my kids’ attempt to clean their rooms while neglecting under their beds, we are altogether filthy because of our sin. We love to pretty it up with a glossy Instagram filter or toned-down phrases like, “white lie” or “mistake” or “not my fault” or “I’m a good person”.
Regardless of what we believe, or how we want to feel about ourselves, a holy God holds the final word on sin and righteousness. He is altogether perfect, which requires Him to justly judge who is sinful and who is granted access to be with Him forever.
No one can follow the law of God perfectly.
There is no “close enough” with God.
We can’t work harder to reach His standard, strive for “less lazy”, or determine not to sin anymore. If you’ve lied, stolen anything, lusted in your heart, or even been angry, you are guilty of breaking God’s law.
Breaking the law requires payment, and because God is just, He requires that payment to be made in full.
The payment for sin is death.
Christ came, as God the Son, deity, fully divine, to live under the law perfectly for us, knowing we could never pay the debt on our own and be at peace with God.
Yes, Jesus came in the form of a baby, but He was 100% God,
living in a 100% human body, with a specific mission to save us from our sins.
“As long as I believe God exists, I’ll go to Heaven, right?”
This wasn’t true at the beginning of time with Adam and Eve, for the prophets of old, for the disciples as they walked with Jesus, for passionate Pastor Paul, or for you, me, my children or your friends.
Either we are covered completely by His righteousness, purchased for us at the cross where Jesus gave His perfect life to cover for our impossibly flawed one, or we are on our own.
And on our own….we will always turn aside to our own ways;
we will forever be without righteousness.
Is your trust in Jesus an “I believe He exists” kind of trust,
or an assertion that “I am utterly sinful apart from the righteousness of Jesus”?
Are you “close enough” or “all in”?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!