“All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” – Isa. 64:6
All our good works, ALL of them, are contaminated. They do not and can not save us.
Only Jesus saves.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t do good works: Good works don’t save people, but saved people do good works.
Martin Luther said God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does.
“LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.” – Psa. 39:4
We are frail, God is not.
We are transient, God is not.
Put your faith in Him.
“There are many who say, ‘Who will show us any good?‘ Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.” – Psa. 4:6-7
True gladness is found in the Lord, more than in His wonderful provisions.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” – Jesus (Matt. 16:24)
The stern, unbending demand of Christ is still true today:
Deny Self; Disown, disdain one’s flesh.
Take up your cross; (Luke adds, “daily.”) We cannot escape suffering, but through Christ, we can endure it.
Follow Jesus; to be in the same way with, accompany Him.
“Let your gentleness be known to all men.” -Phil. 4:5
Believers are to be famous for their gentleness.
Awful to be famous for all the wrong reasons.
“The Lord is near.” – Phil. 4:5
This is true in both time and space.
Jesus is near in time (His return is immanent.)
Jesus is near in space (His presence is close).
Never forget the nearness of the Lord.
“He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?‘ And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, You know.'” – Ezekiel. 37:3
God alone has the power by which such a wonder could occur.
“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” – Psa. 9:9
IN times of trouble, not FROM times of trouble.
“The LORD on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea.” – Psa. 93:4
Waters typically represent angry nations with their waves symbolizing war. God is on high above such noise.
He is mightier than the mightiest, most tumultuous wave.
“They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” – Rev. 22:4-5
This is called, “The Beatific Vision,” when believers pass into glory and behold Jesus face-to-face.