When the Lord revealed himself and his purpose for my life through visions and dreams, I was astonished! I wondered, “how” and “why” would he choose me? I felt little, insignificant and not worthy of his name. I had no hope of measurIng up to God’s standard of holiness. I found it hard to believe that I could be forgiven and loved by a Holy God, when the world and many of the people around me had represented themselves as holier and better than me for most of my life.
But God himself touched my heart and called me to follow him. In response I submitted to God’s will. I vowed to say, “Here I am, Lord” no matter how difficult the task might be.
The more clearly I see God’s sovereignty, the more I’m aware of my own powerlessness and inadequacy to do anything of lasting value without God.
It’s important for us to see God’s holiness as the prophet Isaiah saw in [Isaiah 6].
Isaiah’s life may have been as brilliant as a diamond, as he was a righteous man of God. But when you lay a diamond against a perfectly black background, and shine the right light upon it, you can see every flaw and imperfection – even flaws that were invisible before. When Isaiah’s righteous life lay against the background of God’s perfection, it looked different.
When Isaiah had a vision of the holy God [Isaiah 6: 5] he said, “Woe to me!” He cried, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” For Isaiah, it was most disturbing to see the holiness of God. Why? Because he saw his utter lack of holiness, when compared with the glory of God.
Then in the vision a burning coal was applied to his lips. Indeed, this was a spiritual transaction for Isaiah, and if we are willing, this could be our transformation too, to be forgiven and loved. The same principle works on our behalf in regard to Jesus’ death on the cross. Our sin was placed upon Him, and He was burned with the fire of God’s judgment. Yet because He was holy and righteous Himself, the fire of God’s judgment did not harm Him, he rose on the third day; it only burned away the sin—our sin.
Our entrance into heaven does not depend on how well we live our lives based on whatever our beliefs are. If that were true, there wouldn’t be any hope for me or you. We can’t live a Christian (or any other religious) life perfectly—nobody can. But when we reach out Christ in faith and repentance, he accepts us unconditionally. We need never be concerned whether or not we are capable of living a good enough life to enter heaven. The good news is: that our salvation does not depend on our work for Christ, but Christ’s work for us. Our work is never done. But his work was completely done for us on the cross. We can rest our life, death, and eternity on him with complete confidence.
Let’s not forget the penitent thief who did everything wrong all his life. At his life’s end, he was hanging on the cross next to Christ. He entered paradise just as Abraham, David, Elijah, Mary and the rest of God’s family did before him. Why should a thief go to heaven? Because he reached out to Christ when he had the opportunity.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
As Jesus prayed for his enemy, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” and he also promised Paradise to the thief. That was the beginning for the thief; he was about to discover more…
Happy Easter My Friends!