Wednesday, December 19, 2012

STANDING BEFORE A HOLY GOD

"Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (Micah 6:6-7).

The Israelites in this passage were asking a good question: "How can any human approach a holy God? How can we ever please Him and be accepted by Him? What kind of sacrifice does He want from us? Our blood, our bodies, our children?"

God's answer appears throughout the Scriptures: "I do not want your sacrifices, your good works, your promises, your moral deeds. Not one of these fleshly things is acceptable in My sight. Nothing can please or delight Me except My Son and all who are gathered in Him."

Think of the most moral, upright person you know. Even he or she is not accepted in God's presence outside of Christ. All of that person's good works, kind nature and generosity are filthy rags in God's sight.

So, how are we accepted by God? Paul writes, "He hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Our good works come as a result of being in Him.

If you have given your heart fully to Jesus, you have probably voiced the same questions Israel asked: "Oh, God, how can I please You? How can I be a delight to You? I've made promises and tried my best, but every time I think I'm making progress, I take two steps back. Should I read more of the Bible? Should I spend more time in prayer? Should I do more witnessing? Lord, what do You want from me?"

God answers us as He did Israel: "I don't want any of your sacrifices or good works. I recognize only the work of My Son, who delights and pleases Me. I chose you from before the foundation of the world to be wed to My Son. I wooed you, convicted you and through my Spirit I brought you into Him. I cannot hate My own flesh!"