Sitting with the Shepherd
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. (Psalms 51:5-6 NKJV)
How often do we hear someone referred to as "not a Christian but a good person?" According to God's Word that is not true. In fact Jesus Himself said, "No one is good but One, that is God." We were born flawed, imperfect, and unable to please God. So our fleshly efforts to gain acceptance by our works will always be futile.
And yet like any loving father, God desires truth in us as His children. Charles H. Spurgeon in his Treasury of David describes this truth as reality, sincerity, true holiness and heart fidelity. So the truth is that we are morally incapable of being what God desires us to be. We must understand that about our fallen flesh before we truly understand our need for Jesus Christ. God doesn't want us to become overwhelmed or discouraged by the depravity of our flesh, He just wants us to be cognizant of it so that we will accept His solution. That solution is the person of Jesus Christ Who wants to come and make His home in us, exchanging His life for ours. As we become receptive to allow this by having the Person of the Holy Spirit indwell us we will know wisdom, not the wisdom of the world that is faulty and would ultimately lead to our demise, but divine wisdom that leads to life, peace and joy.
This is what Thomas A. Kempis says in the Imitation of Christ subtitled the Voice of Christ; "MY CHILD, walk before Me in truth, and seek Me always in the simplicity of your heart. He who walks before Me in truth shall be defended from the attacks of evil, and the truth shall free him from seducers and from the slanders of wicked men. For if the truth has made you free, then you shall be free indeed, and you shall not care for the vain words of men."
So let us vow to do just that, to walk before Him in truth and simplicity of heart, assured that we are in Him and fully accepted in the Beloved.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV).
Questions for Meditation or Discussion
1. Why is it impossible for someone to be a good person but not a Christian?
2. What is it that makes it necessary for me to occasionally see the depravity of my flesh?
3. How is the wisdom of the world different from the wisdom of God?
Heavenly Father blessed be Your Holy Name. Thank You for the turmoil and tribulation in my life that has taught me the truth about my own insufficiency and my desperate need for You. I confess that apart from Christ nothing good dwells in me, but as I abide in Him and Him in me Your fullness becomes evident. Amen
Thomas à Kempis. (1996). The Imitation of Christ (p. 101). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems