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Thought for the Day – 28th February

28/02/2013

Good Living People

Recently I called with a family who had been bereaved, to arrange a funeral service for the one they’d lost. They began the conversation by saying, ‘He wasn’t good living… And neither are we!’ ‘Don’t worry’, I assured them, ‘neither am I!’ I have to say they looked at me with some surprise. Perhaps they had expected a completely different answer from a minister. I needed to explain. None of us are good, in the absolute sense, none of us are perfect, we all have faults and failings, and we all fall far short of what God expects from us. Christians are no different from anyone else, we are failures too.

In fact, one day a man came to see Jesus. He said to him, ‘Good master, what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus reply was even more startling than my comment was to that family. He said, ‘Why do you call me good, – do you not know that there is only one who is good, and that is God.’ Jesus was of course making a reference to his own divinity, but St Paul later reinforced the point that Jesus made to the man when he wrote in Romans, “No-one is righteous, no, not one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So, if none of us are ‘good living’. Then what’s being a Christian all about? Well, it’s about realising, admitting that we fall short of God’s standards, and being sorry about that, and asking God for forgiveness for all of our faults and failings.

Listening to the Hugo Duncan Show a few days ago, I heard a Country and Western Song (well, you would, wouldn’t you) and it went like this,

Nobody’s perfect, we’re just flesh and blood – One foot on the high road, one in the mud There’s a mighty fine line between right and wrong Don’t point your finger, don’t matter which side you’re on. The only thing different in sinners and saints – One is forgiven and the other one ain’t.

Now that’s a pretty good assessment of basic Christian truth. So, what about us? Have we been wise enough to realise that just doing good things and being good living is not going to change anything, that we need God’s forgiveness, and that the forgiveness we need is freely offered to us in Christ.

To quote St Paul again, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

From → Evangelism

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