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Count Them but Rubbish

July 10, 2019

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Count Them but Rubbish

We try so hard  to be seen as perfect  by others  in this world.    We are the model  of uprightness,  success,  and human perfection.    We have a reputation to uphold,  because we know that others are looking to us  as their model  for right living.     Surely, we don’t want  to let them down.     It would be horrifying  if they ever found out   that we sin regularly.     We don’t want to sin.    Really,  we’re trying awfully hard  to not sin.     But,  it just happens  and we can’t seem to stop it.

We’ve come from a really fine background — grew up  in the church,  sang in the choir,  learned all of our Bible lessons well,  helped with various church projects…….     Everybody in the neighborhood has idealized us,  wishing they could be like us.

It was this way  for the apostle Paul, too.     And then  he realized  that it was all a waste — a horrible waste.     His reputation meant nothing to God.     All his good works were as filthy rags.     All the time he spent working  for the church was worthless — garbage.     Paul’s coming from a fine family background  meant nothing  to the Lord.     None of that would let him set foot  in heaven.     None of that was good enough.

Then Paul had found  the one and only way  to heaven.     Before he had been only spinning his wheels  in the mud — and it appalled him  to realize how very far he was from pleasing God.     But,  when he came to a living faith  in Jesus,  he had this to say  in Philippians 3:7-9,

But whatever things were gain  to me,  those things I have counted  as loss  for the sake of Christ.

More than that,  I count all things  to be loss  in view of the surpassing value  of knowing Christ Jesus  my Lord,  for whom I have suffered the loss  of all things, and  count them but rubbish  in order that  I may gain Christ,  and may be found in Him,  not having a righteousness  of my own  derived from the Law,  but that which is  through faith  in Christ,  the righteousness  which comes from God  on the basis of faith.

Paul discovered that  “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”  was of far greater value  than all his good works  and uprightness  in this world.     How is that?     “Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”  is another way of saying  “having faith in Christ Jesus only”.     When we put our faith in Jesus,  then,  and only then,  can God look at us  and declare us  to be truly righteous  and holy — the saints of God.

When we put our faith  in Jesus,  as the Bible tells us,  we are no longer trying  to work our way  into heaven.     If we want  to imagine that we really can learn  to be good enough  to work our way into heaven — then,  we are calling God Almighty a liar.     Well,  how can we get into heaven  by calling God a liar?     That is an unthinkable evil.

But,  how can we be sure  that just believing in Jesus  will save us?     We don’t want to be arrogantly dismissing our sins.     We can be sure because  Jesus Himself  says so.

In John 6:29, Jesus says,

This is the work of God,  that you believe  in Him  whom He has sent.

Then,  in John 8:24,  Jesus told the self-righteous Jews,

Unless you believe  that I am He,  you shall die  in your sins.

In John 11:25-26,  Jesus told Martha,

I am the resurrection  and the life;  he who believes in Me  shall live  even if he dies,  and everyone who lives  and believes in Me  shall never die.

The one good  “work”  we can do for God  is to believe in Jesus,  our Savior,  whom God sent to save us.     If we want  to be righteous,  Jesus tells us we need  to believe  in Him and His saving power.     If we refuse  to believe in Jesus,  we will die in our sins,  which is going to hell forever.

Let us do the good work  of faith,  so that God can call us righteous — His own dear children.

Then,  loving God  by how we live,  we say,  “Hallelujah!    Lord,  You are holy and righteous  in sending Jesus  to pay for all our sins,  and making us truly righteous through faith.     Thank You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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