I'm In Serious Trouble


I've recently been reading the book The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges and have found my heart stirred with fresh love for God. Listen to this quote:

Have you ever thought about what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? I don't think any of us can fully plumb the depths of that commandment, but here are some obvious aspects:

_Your love for God transcends all other desires (see Exodus 20:3)

_Like David, you long to gaze upon His beauty and seek fellowship with Him (see Psalm 27:4)

_You rejoice in meditating on His Word, and like Jesus, you rise early to pray (see Psalm 119:97, Mark 1:35)

_You always delight to do His will, regardless of how difficult it may be (see Psalm 40:8)

_A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do - your eating and drinking, your working and playing, your buying and selling, your reading and speaking, and, dare I mention it, even your driving (see 1 Corinthians 10:31)

_You are never discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you are confident God is working all things together for your good (see Romans 8:28)

_You recognize His sovereignty in every event of your life and consequently receive both success and failure from His hand (see 1 Samuel 2:7, Psalm 75:6-7)

_You are always content because you know He will never leave you or forsake you (see Hebrews 13:5)

_The first petition in the Lord's prayer, "hallowed be your name," is the most important prayer you pray (see Matthew 6:9)

After reading this I was freshly made aware of one very serious fact: There's no way I could ever get to God based on my obedience. Have I ever obeyed the first and greatest command of God for even thirty seconds? Have I ever loved God with every ounce of energy and passion in my soul? I don't think so. Even my best spiritual moments are distracted and half-hearted at best. I've incurred a spiritual debt to God that I'll never be able to pay. I owe God perfect obedience, yet I've never even payed Him one cent of what I owe. I'm in desperate need of a savior.

How grateful I am for Jesus Christ, who paid every last bit of my spiritual debt! Today I'm free from this debt because Jesus did love God with all his heart, soul, and mind. He's my only hope, my only salvation. Which brings to mind the words:

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM  


Sometimes it's easy to think that you are somehow "pulling it off", that is, obeying God's commandments. I love stuff like this because it reminds me how far I fall short of God's demands and how much Christ has done for me. It drives me to the cross in despair and exposes my wretched and divided heart. Thank you for the post- I think I'll pick up this book.

the pilgrim said...
January 7, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

That's a great quote - Thank you!! This morning I was struggling with this very thing in prayer,,That being said,, Can I please ask a really stupid question ?

How then do we rest?? When we are confronted with the utter truth of how far off the mark we are to where God calls us to be - How do we rest ourselves in His finished work. When faced with the glaring condition of our own sin-sick hearts - How do we rest? I'm sorry if my question is Christianity 101 - But today the answer to that question eludes me.... as does my peace.

Anonymous said...
January 7, 2008 at 11:13 AM  

the pilgrim,

You're right, when we see how truly sinful we are, we must run to the cross.

And I would highly recommend this book.

January 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

Not a stupid question at all. In fact a very important question that we must answer. I'm going to give two answers. First, I would highly recommend that you listen to a message given by CJ Mahaney called "Enjoying Grace and Detecting Legalism". You can download it at: http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/

Second, the only way to rest is to continually place all hope and trust in what Christ has accomplished for us on the cross. When we see our sinfulness, we must run to the cross where Christ died for wicked sinners like us. We must take ten looks at Christ for every one look at ourselves. Only then will we find our peace.

I hope this helps!

January 7, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

I concur with Stephen, Grace is how we have rest. I have make this point that i do come from a different circle of theological thought than most of the people who comment on Stephen and Mark's sight, and i must say you are all teaching me humbleness and humility that i have never put on myself to the extend you guys obviously display in the way you talk and (blog). I appreciate it and i learn form you all.
As much i as i am great full for the Cross, i can't say that i look at it and have a sense of shame over my sine, i can only rejoice and praise him for the 3rd day when victory was won and all that sin and shame had left me, all that guilt became a stranger to my life. I love grace and i enjoy it to the max, and i would never tell someone that i am a sinner, i would say; i am saved!!!
Praise the LORD

Youngblood said...
January 7, 2008 at 4:51 PM  

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