This morning’s sermon reminded me of a phrase I’ve heard a lot lately. A friend’s young son wants to be independent like his older brother, and declares “I can do it myself!” Then there’s his grandfather who recently had a stroke, that reclaims that same phrase as his own when people patronize him, he says, “I can do it myself!” That phrase resonates so strong with me as well. My father taught me to be strong and independent, to work for what you get. “I can do it myself!”
The reality of relying on Jesus and not myself hit me this week. As Eli and I prepare to serve on mission in West Virginia, we were short on our fundraising. I thought to myself, “I’ll never go on another mission trip because this fundraising is too stressful, thinking I needed to do it. I needed to have the money.” What I realized not five minutes later was that’s exactly why I need to go on another mission trip. It’s teaching me to rely on God, not on myself. This is a lesson God keeps trying to pound in my brain. You would think after all He’s shown me through His strength in the last few years that I would “get it”. Guess I’m a slow learner.
So the problem is, there are some things that we cannot do for ourselves. That is what Nate spoke of today. No matter how we look at it, every single one of us has a list of sins that we have committed, and that list continues to grow each day. We can try really hard, but in this lifetime, on this earth, we will not achieve perfection. Right now, we cannot be just like Christ. However the Good News is we will be someday! The day that Christ returns we will achieve perfection. We will be like Christ. That’s all part of Justification. Christ bore our sins and because of that, our slates are wiped clean! We have been made righteous. It’s free, simply for having faith and believing.
Some religions will speak of the works a person must do to enter into heaven. I know that works won’t get me to heaven, only Christ has that power through his dying on the cross for me. Are my works important? Of course, they are. But they are important because it is a demonstration of Christ working in me, and through me, not for me to earn my way into heaven. None of us are capable of that.
I’ve reflected a lot lately on those who from worldly standards appear to have accomplished the “perfect life” on this earth. Those who are proud of their accomplishments and their strength that have gotten them where they are, but are void of God. I feel sadness for what they are missing out on. I pray that someday, before they leave this earth, before Jesus returns, that they can realize that only in our weakness is Jesus strong. He will save us for all eternity, we just need to exercise faith and believe.
Can you join me in praying we’ll find our weaknesses made strong in Jesus?