But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.Isaiah 64:6
“There is none good, no not one” (Romans 3:12). If you asked every single human being on planet earth to deposit in a cup all of his or her goodness, there would not be enough goodness in that cup to save even one person!
If all our righteousness is “as filthy rags,” the cross of Jesus Christ is our only hope. Jesus took our sin upon the cross. Jesus took our shame upon the cross. Jesus took our suffering upon the cross. And by His death, He paid the sin debt. All of it. And now we have His righteousness.
In 1906, Jessie Brown Pounds wrote these words: “I must go home by the way of the cross, there’s no other way but this; I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light, if the way of the cross I miss.”
Get this clear with yourself: Whose righteousness are you depending on? Your own? Your accumulated lifetime of “good works”? Or the righteousness of the sinless Lamb of God, Who became your substitute on the Cross and paid your sin debt in full?
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
In you, O Lord, I have put my trust; let me never be confused; deliver me in your righteousness.
Psalm 31: 1
As today’s verse indicates, David had great confidence in God in the midst of his affliction. He also said “For you are my rock and my castle; by your name you will guide me and guide me. Take me out of the net that they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge” (Ps. 31: 3-4). His confidence lay in the holy character of God. A proper knowledge of God is essential for spiritual stability. And the only way to know God is through what He wanted to reveal to us about himself in the Scriptures.
“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine… and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Matthew 18:12
I f you are parents of small children, you know exactly how the shepherds mentioned in the Bible felt as they watched over their flocks. Even for a mother with “eyes in the back of her head,” keeping one active child from wandering off can seem as big a challenge as corralling a hundred sheep!
Jesus is called a shepherd, too, but His flock is all of humanity and He watches over us day and night. That’s why He called Himself the Good Shepherd. He came to earth to die so that not one soul would have to be lost. During His earthly ministry, He was always on the lookout for lost souls. He stayed up late to talk to Nicodemus (John 3:2). He wouldn’t let Zacchaeus hide unnoticed in a tree (Luke 19:5). And when the Pharisees were about to stone a despised adulteress, Jesus intervened with a message of forgiveness and direction—“Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
Every day, we have divine appointments to lead others into God’s flock—not just our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, but also people we’ve never met before and may never see again. God’s wisdom and power are at our disposal. We just have to keep our eyes open.
JUST BETWEEN US…
Do you see Jesus as your Good Shepherd? Why or why not?
As a couple, are we watching for “lost sheep”?
How can we be more watchful for opportunities to reach unbelievers? Is there anyone “lost” with whom we can talk this week?
Lord Jesus, show us how to demonstrate Your great love and compassion to those around us. We, too, want to be shepherds of lost souls. Amen.
Animals that are active at night rather than during the day are called nocturnal. For example, nightingales are birds that sing at night. That’s how they got their name. People aren’t like that: we’re awake and working while the sun shines, and we go to bed and sleep during the night.
Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night because you are worried about something? David, the man who wrote the psalm above, sometimes couldn’t sleep. While he was awake at night, he used the time to pray, sing, and think about God. In another place David says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). Instead of worrying about his problems, David took the time to think about God’s promises.
The next time you are lying awake, try singing a song from church. Or ask Mom or Dad to pray with you. Perhaps it would help just to remember that God said he would never leave you alone.
Dear Lord, Your promises are just as good in the night as they are in the daytime. Thank you for your love. Amen.