'Believe in yourself'... 'Be proud of yourself'... 'You can be all you want to be'... And so went on the motivational speaker at the prize-giving ceremony. Yes this is just what we've come to expect at such events isn't it?. So many ignore God or totally reject Him nowadays. Though I guess Easter will always be safe... so long as there's a chocolate industry!
Of course hard work and well-earned success ought to be applauded. But if we ignore or reject the great truths of Easter in favour of this popular present day philosophy we'll one day pay a dreadful price... and by which time it'll be too late to do anything about it!
HEARING THE TRUTH
We're told today that our destiny is firmly in our own hands. And even if there is an afterlife (which there always is when a celeb dies) well surely God will be sufficiently impressed by our personal achievements as to award us a place in heaven. Well, it might be nice to think so, but the message of Easter tells us that this way of thinking is totally wrong. Even doing our very best to live a decent life will never put us right with Him. In His eyes...
'There is no-one righteous, not even one...'
'..all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...'
And, like it or not, we all face consequences that are surely unthinkable...
'...people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...'
FACING THE FACTS
Think about it. If it were possible for us to gain acceptance with God the Father through our own efforts, Easter would never have been necessary. But, He had mercy on us... '
...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...'
1 Timothy 1:15
Taking on our humanity Christ Jesus was truly God in the form of man. And no matter how highly may think of ourselves, He was the only One ever to have lived a perfect life in this world. In doing so He was, as the old hymn puts it, 'good enough to pay the price of sin'. And crucified that first Good Friday, He took the punishment that we deserve...
'God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.'
Yet despite the wishful thinking of public opinion, we don't benefit from any of this automatically. In a day when we're told to shun anything which might undermine our self esteem, facing the truth about ourselves is a humbling experience because...
'If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.'
1 John 1:8
Yet the Good News is that Christ Jesus rose to life again that first Easter Sunday. And today, with His help, He calls us to turn away from all in our lives which we know to be wrong. And by asking Him to become our Saviour and Lord we're given a brand new start in life, with the power and motivation to live a new lifestyle... pleasing to Him.
So, as another Easter comes around, what are we going to do about this most serious 'inconvenient truth'? That despite how much we believe in ourselves it's only as we come to believe in the risen Christ Jesus, and receive Him into our lives by His Spirit, as Lord and Saviour, can we come to know the best He has for us both in this life, and the next!