The Proof is in the Lovin’

Jesus raised the bar so high that attaining a right standing with God was impossible. It was never possible to prove our goodness through action. Our best efforts will always appear as dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6). (I hate to go into detail about these “dirty rags”, but it actually speaks of the rags that women would use when they menstruate.)

We can do all the outward actions of being a Christian, but we are still unable to prove our righteousness to God or Jesus. We can do all the right things… reading our Bible, praying, worshipping, going to church, helping the poor, tithing, saying “yes” when the pastor asks us to do something, and so on… BUT it will not make us even a speck more righteous in the eyes of God.

“So don’t do those things?” you say.

Well that’s absurd isn’t it? If our hearts are right, then doing what God wants is not something we use to prove ourselves to Him, but rather something we do because we are compelled by His love. If you are going through the motions and “faking” it on the outside, trying to prove to God AND man that you are righteous, you may have fooled man, but on the day of Judgement, in the words of Ricky Ricardo from the show ‘I Love Lucy’, “you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

Jesus is not fooled by the outward. If he was, he would have never said “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). I love the way that the Message Bible puts it…

Father Playing With His Kids

Mat 7:23 And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

 

Religious folk were trying to “do” everything right, but were doing it for ALL the wrong reasons. Did they love God, YES! But I don’t think God was on the top of the priority list. We can get so focussed on doing what is right that we forget the reason. If we truly focus on loving Jesus we will desire to please Him and do what is right.

When my own children spend time with me they tend to listen to and obey me more. They become happier and more well-behaved without me demanding it like some dictator. If I were to demand that they cheer up (without relationship), it would backfire and they would be burdened down with outward actions and end up despising me in their hearts. This doesn’t mean that I don’t discipline my children, it just means that I spend time with them as the Father God desires to be with His children. When my children misbehave, I realize that they are desiring time with their father.

The more time we enjoy and live in our relationship with Christ…

We become happier, more well-behaved and find ourselves doing what is right without the burden or “right doing”. We actually walk in obedience to God for the right reasons. The closer we walk with the Father the more He is able to speak into our lives knowing that we will listen.

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