Friday, December 15, 2017

Unworthy

November 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

“I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth,

which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant.”

-Genesis 32:10

Let me know if I’m off the mark here, but it seems like many Christians today have become increasingly consumed with self-confidence. Maybe it’s because the world would have us believe we’re all worthless, but many who disagree with this have taken things to the opposite extreme by suggesting God couldn’t live without us and wants nothing more than for us to “ask Him into our heart” so we can fill a man-shaped hole in His. If you don’t know what I mean, simply tune in to your local Christian music station or visit the inspirational section of any bookstore. It probably won’t be long before you find yourself squarely confronted with the idea that God actually needs us as much as we need Him. “We were worth dying for,” is the message.

What I have a hard time with, however, is beholding the bruised and bleeding Son of God and thinking for any length of time that I was worth that. Certainly we must hold some value in God’s eyes if He sacrificed His very life to gain us, but His love for us is not the result of our own goodness. Did adulterous Gomer deserve for Hosea to take her back? No, and we didn’t deserve for Jesus Christ to be crucified at the hands of those He created. Since when are we the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45-46)?

In “Dug Down Deep”, Joshua Harris puts it this way: “I had always heard [the cross] explained in terms of my great worth. I am so valuable that God would send Jesus to die. The question [John] Piper closed his message with deeply challenged me. ‘Do you love the cross because it makes much of you’ he asked. ‘Or do you love it because it enables you to enjoy an eternity of making much of God?’”[1] Turning the cross into a monument to humanity’s worth is to rob our Redeemer of the glory for the greatest thing He ever accomplished, and yet is a mistake often made by Christians in our culture.


“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

               -Titus 3:5


The most beautiful thing about our salvation is that we don’t deserve it. In fact, we are all quite powerless to ever repay Christ for His sacrifice! Grace is not only what made salvation possible on a cross nearly 2,000 years ago, but the very thing we need to sustain us spiritually from day to day. “Are ye so foolish?” Paul writes in Galatians 3:3, “having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” The truth of this Scripture is that we are not only reliant upon grace at our moment of conversion, but that “even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall” when not walking hand-in-hand with their Savior (Isa. 40:30). To think we’re worthy of the Lord is to, in essence, “frustrate the grace of God” by believing its dispensation is unnecessary in our life (Gal. 2:21).

What exactly is grace? According to Jerry Bridges, grace can be described as “God’s kindness shown to the ill-deserving.”[2] I know this isn’t the traditional definition we’ve become so used to hearing, but it seems to put grace into a more accurate perspective since the “unmerited favor of God” may or may not accompany action. Christ actually demonstrated His love toward us through His life, death and subsequent resurrection (Rom. 5:8), and yet this compelling act of selflessness often goes unnoticed or even overlooked. Only by fixing our eyes steadfastly upon Jesus and His cross can we live our lives “in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Heb. 12:2; Titus 1:2)

Again, I believe it’s important to combat the lie that humanity is worthless. Each of us have been created in the Divine image of our Creator (Gen. 1:26), but to think we were worth even a drop of Christ’s innocent blood turns His sacrifice into a mere transaction that benefited Him as much as us. When we recognize just how unworthy we truly are we can finally begin to experience the joy of being God’s child and “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” (Eph. 3:18, 19)

 


[1] Joshua Harris, in “Dug Down Deep” published by Multnomah Books.

[2] Jerry Bridges, from a sermon on Ephesians 4:7-13 titled “Gifts of Grace to Build the Church” given at Covenant Life, Gaithersburg, MD on November 23, 2008. www.covlife.org/resources.

3 Photo Credit: http://wallpaper4god.com/en/background_bible-verse-ephesian-28-grass-stalks-background/

 

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  Dakota has been writing since 2009 when he started sharing frequent devotionals on the now-popular blog, “A Look at Life from a Deerstand.” As a lover of both God and the great outdoors, his goal is to share Christ with his readers in a way that is easy to understand while encouraging the saint and seeker alike to explore the truths of Scripture on their own. He is currently authoring an e-book, “In the Cool of the Day”, which is scheduled to release in 2012 and resides with his family in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Unworthy”
  1. Yes, AMEN! Without Him, we are nothing. I am humbled to be reminded of His amazing and sovereign grace today. You put this together in such a wise and balanced way and quoted three of my favorite author/Bible teachers! Thank you, Dakota!

  2. I’m with you 100%, Brother! Excellent post.

  3. I’m thinking it’s wonderful to see such a talened, devoted young man write for God. I hope to see his work continue to glorify God. Blessings, B. J. Robinson

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