There’s An Emptiness Within Us All That Only God Can Fill
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
If we seek to know the Lord and His way in our journey through this life, we must seek Him with our whole heart. And if we do choose to pursue the Lord, we will find that there are only two ways to approach Him for both salvation and for relationship – through faith or works. To address the later first, the works (or good things) that we do in our life to gain favor with the Lord are the hope of many or most. We are told from our earliest years that we must work hard in this life to be successful. This, of course, is true. If we do our very best to succeed we will be rewarded for it. So, why can’t we do the same in our approach to the Lord? Doesn’t He want us to live a good life and do good works? Works that will make this a better place to live – works that will honor Him. Isn’t this what the Lord wants and what the Bible says our lives should be like?
Yes, we are to live good lives before the Lord and do our best to help others. But the question is: Do these things count toward finding favor with the Lord for our salvation? The answer is no! Our works are not acceptable to the Lord for our salvation. We are sinners unable to live a life pleasing to the Lord. We are helpless in ourselves. We stand guilty before God unable to pay the debt owed. The Lord is holy and just and for this reason, must require payment for sin. The Bible says that “the wages (payment) of sin is death.” Fortunately, the Lord, in His mercy has provided a way. This way is by unmerited favor or grace. The Lord Jesus came and paid the debt owed to God for our sins through His sacrifice at the cross. God accepted His death as full payment for the sins of all those that will repent of their sins and place their faith in the Lord’s great work at Calvary. We come to the Lord in repentance and accept the gift of salvation He has provided. Our works then come forth out of a grateful heart. As it has been said, good works will not produce proper faith, but proper faith will produce proper good works.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If God provided for our salvation at Calvary, why aren’t more people coming to the Lord in faith to accept His loving gift? The answer is pride. It is hard for us to admit that we are sinners unable to help or save ourselves. We want the Lord to accept the good in our lives as worthy of salvation. We see ourselves in Heaven someday because we have lived good lives. However, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we know that we are flawed with a fallen nature and in need of a savior. Many are in Hell today as a result of believing that to live good lives alone will be acceptable to the Lord when they stand before Him.
What place does living a good life and doing the best we can to help others hold in our lives? These are fine goals for us and the Lord wants us to live good lives before men, but are faith must not be in these things for salvation or sanctification (our daily living). If we could live a life acceptable to the Lord in our own strength then Jesus need not have died on the cross. Our focus must be on faith in His great sacrifice and not on ourselves. God loves us and has provided a way for us to be with Him in eternity. It is a narrow way, but not a difficult way. We must not let our pride keep us from the Lord who loves us and has exhibited proof of His love before the whole world at Calvary.
“But that no man is justified by the Law (by what we do) in the sight of God, it is evident (obvious, for man cannot perfectly obey God) for, the just shall live by faith (the only way from first to last)” (Galatians 2:11).
On our journey on this path called life, we will encounter many things, great joy, sorrow, and at times hardship may be our companion, but through all the events and circumstances we encounter along the way, hopefully, it will lead us to an encounter with the Lord. He is found by the few who earnestly seek Him with their whole heart. His way is a straight and narrow way that leads us to Calvary.
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13).
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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2020