Friday, August 4, 2017

When Being Good Is Not Good Enough

He took the twelve aside… —Luke 18:31

{CHAMBERS} “Do you say, “But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing good in me and I have no value”? That is exactly why He chose you. As long as you think that you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. […] We tend to say that because a person has natural ability, he will make a good Christian. It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a matter of natural virtues, of strength of character, of knowledge, or of experience— all of that is of no avail in this concern. The only thing of value is being taken into the compelling purpose of God and being made His friends (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God’s friendship is with people who know their poverty. He can accomplish nothing with the person who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not here for our own purpose at all— we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. […] The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.”

{ELGIN} (Zechariah 4:6) “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  What we do for God, we do by the power of God.  It is spiritual not natural.  Someone can be a wonderful teacher in the classroom, but may not be able to convey spiritual truth.  The point of teaching spiritual things is not to make it interesting for the class.  It is to convey truth to God’s people.  Filling Christians’ heads with knowledge has no value if they are not taught to apply that knowledge to how they walk out this life as God’s children.  (1 Corinthians 8:1) “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (builds up).” Knowing what is right and doing what is right are two wholly different things. In Romans 7, Paul talked about not doing the things he knew were right, but doing the very things he knew were wrong.  Can you identify with Paul? 

Listen, this life we live, we live by faith (Galatians 2:20).  It is spiritual.  We must stop trying to live as Christians in the power of our flesh.  We will never bring glory to God through that kind of living.  We may be nice people, but there are a lot of lost people who are nice people.  Our purpose is not to merely be nice people.  Our purpose is to live by the Spirit and be salt and light in a dark, sin-filled world.  Don’t be satisfied with a comfortable life.  Comfort is addictive and will draw you away from the Savior.  Don’t rest on the financial nest egg that you have built up for yourself.  Your dependence should be on Jehovah God, not on your 401K.  It’s not a sin to have money or a nice house or possessions, but it is a sin to make them your god and your source of hope and security.

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