We sing “Jesus Loves Me,” but do we really believe it deep down in our hearts? Do you ever feel as though you don’t quite measure up?
Yesterday I shared from thoughts I heard from one of the men who spoke at the church where we visited on Sunday morning. Today I want to share a few thoughts from the excellent sermon. The main idea was this:
We can’t trust in our obedience.
We simply cannot obey enough. God wants us to obey and we are better off if we do obey, but we simply do not obey enough. So, how did Jesus handle this reality?
Ultimately, Jesus died to take care of that reality, but He also dealt with that reality again and again in the lives of people He encountered.
When Jesus met the woman at the well, a woman who had been married five times and then had a man who was not her husband, He pointed out her sin, and then He taught her who He was.
When Jesus met the chief tax collector Zacchaeus, people “began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner” (Luke 19:7). This is how Jesus responded that time:
Today salvation has come to this house,
because he, too, is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come
to seek and to save that which was lost.
When scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in the very act of adultery, they asked Jesus about stoning her. Jesus said to them:
He who is without sin among you,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
Her accusers went away one by one, beginning with the older ones. Jesus was left alone with the woman in the center of the temple court.
Straightening up, Jesus said to her,
“Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said,
“I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
John, the apostle whom Jesus loved, said this in his first letter:
If we say that we have no sin,
we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8
Let’s go back to those beginning thoughts.
We can’t trust in our obedience.
We simply cannot obey enough.
God wants us to obey, and we are better off if we do obey; but we simply do not obey enough.
While Jesus traveled around Israel preaching in the first century, the Pharisees were shocked at who the heroes were in Jesus’ parables and who the heroes were in Jesus’ encounters with people. The heroes were those who both felt and behaved like the tax collector praying at the temple in the following parable:
And He also told this parable to some people
who trusted in themselves that they were righteous,
and viewed others with contempt:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself:
‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people:
swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
But the tax collector, standing some distance away,
was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven,
but was beating his breast, saying,
‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Sometimes it is easy for homeschoolers to trust in ourselves. We are tempted to believe that we are righteous because we homeschool, and we are tempted to view with contempt those who don’t. In the list of goals for homeschooling that we keep in our heads and hearts, let’s be sure to include humility.
Do you ever feel as though you don’t quite measure up? Good! It’s true. You don’t and I don’t either.
It’s true! Jesus does love me (and you). This I know for the Bible tells me so.
Many years ago someone taught me how we can be thankful when we sin. We can be thankful that we recognize our sin, that we care, and that we are sorry.
And it happened that He was reclining at the table in [Matthew’s] house,
and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples;
for there were many of them, and they were following Him.
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors,
they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”
And hearing this, Jesus said to them,
“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician,
but those who are sick;
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
One Soldier’s Story: A Tennessean in World War II
Tonight in Columbia, Tennessee
Tomorrow in Gainesboro and Cookeville, Tennessee
The 75th anniversary of D-Day is tomorrow! For those of you who live near Columbia, Gainesboro, or Cookeville, Tennessee, we hope you can join us at one of the One Soldier’s Story presentations listed below. Admission is free to all performances. And for those of you who live too far away, here’s that link again to view it online.
Today, Wednesday, June 5
American Legion Post 19
812 Nashville Highway
Columbia, Tennessee (Wes’ hometown!)
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 6 — 75th Anniversary Performance
Gainesboro Church of Christ
313 S. Murray Street
Thursday, June 6 — 75th Anniversary Performance
Peachtree Learning Center
402 North Walnut Avenue