I just need to do better. If I would just discipline myself, I could manage all of my tasks. If I spent my time more wisely instead of frittering it away on Instagram, I could get everything done.
I need to do better.
I need to be more disciplined.
I need to make more sacrifices.
We desperately want to do God’s will. We want to live for Him. But we lose sight of a key part of the gospel message.
We can’t be better. We are dead. We need Jesus. We need a Savior.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~Matthew 9:12b-13
It’s not about being better. Christianity is not a self improvement plan. We can’t pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and be better or more disciplined. Yes outwardly, you might appear to be making changes, but on the inside, where it matters? You’re still just as dead and unchanged as ever apart from the work of Christ within you.
Those who are well have no need of a physician. The Pharisees did all the right things. They followed the rules with great fervor. Yet they didn’t see their need for Jesus. It is the sick, those who can’t heal themselves, who walk in the gospel truth day-in and day-out. Jesus is the Great Physician, the Healer. He is the changer of our hearts.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. ~Romans 7:18
It’s easy to get caught up in serving and doing good works. We want to measure up and be found worthy. So we work harder, pray more, and make more sacrifices.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. ~Romans 8:11
I know you want to bring glory to God in all you do. But can you do me a favor? Can you give yourself grace? Can you stop trying to get yourself straight in your own strength and in your own ways? Will you release control? Will you let it go and seek first the Kingdom of God?
Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers as the spring rains that water the earth. For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. ~Hosea 6:1, 3, 6
He desires mercy and not sacrifice. It’s hard. I know it is. But it’s harder to do it your own way.
Surrender is easier than sacrifice.
Grace is more beautiful than works.