there are few things more sobering than the reality of working with people in church. all idealistic notions of “brother” and “sister” are shattered in the face of petty spats, unreasonable bosses, uncooperative members, over-bearing leaders – truly this is a broken world we live in, and a broken people inhabit it.
oh the kind of people one can meet in church! the hypocrisy, the pride, the audacity! there are moments when i would rather look to the world for comfort and peace; there are people out there who look more deserving of heaven than those within the church.
who then, deserves heaven?
who among us is worthy of God’s presence?
who here can on their own merit, stand before God in confidence?
who here deserves His abundant love?
O God, how deep is my pride! truly it is only through your abundant love that i will enter Your house, through your steadfast love that i will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
truly my refuge is only in You! in no other thing can i take pleasure, on whom i can rely!
so if this true for me, and true for all who call on His name, then why do i hold others to anything more? to anything else? who can enter heaven, other than those who have taken refuge in Him? not the upstanding, not the outstanding, not the best and brightest.
For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
were we not all enemies of Christ, God’s perfect servant? truly from all our mouths spewed death, because death was our only state, our only certainty. only in Christ are we no longer enemies, but friends.
who then needs the gospel, the good news of Christ? who then deserves the gospel, the good news of Christ?
we all need it, and we are all undeserving.
so thanks be to God! for He is a God of abundant grace and love and steadfast lovingkindness, and by His saving hand we have been restored as His people. how then can we say ‘brother, you are not worthy’ or ‘sister, you are undeserving’? all who are called stand in His presence by His hand and sovereignty – who are you to call into question those He has called to Himself? sooner should we question ourselves; how is it that God called us, sinners, to Himself? regarding what we cannot answer ourselves, we should be slow to answer for others.
humble us with Your Word, and bring us all to Your Son O Lord, we need You continually.