"How good is good enough?" asked Chris Hornbrook, lead Pastor of Momentum Christian Church (Chula Vista, San Diego).
To re-paraphrase his words: If there's a ladder of goodness, you'll probably put Mother Teresa in the ladder's topmost rung; murderers at the lowest part; and maybe most of us somewhere in the middle because we're probably so-so do-gooders and minor sinners.
When we compare ourselves with others, our tendency is to work harder to win God's approval, he said. So Pastor Hornbrook challenged us: Stop putting yourself on trial. Get off the ladder, and instead see yourself the way God sees you.
That's why the Gospel is GOOD news!
"We are more wicked than we ever dared believe." (Romans 3:23―for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.)
BUT! "We are more LOVED and ACCEPTED in Christ than we ever dared hope." (Romans 3:16― For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)
So quit running the I-am-more-good-than-him-or-her race. We're all in the same boat: Sinners all. Nothing you accomplish can make Him love you more. And even if you fail miserably, God's love-cum- forgiveness is continuously poised to grab you from total disaster.
It is because of His amazing grace through Christ Jesus who died for everyone, (1 Timothy 2:4-5) because God "desires that all men be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…"
How then should we respond to this great love so graciously poured out through Christ? Accept Him as Lord and Savior; and obey Him!
In Luke 19:41-42, Jesus wept for Jerusalem and wished that people would understand the way to peace.
Peace with their Maker and themselves and their fellowmen. This is what everyone needs especially during times of trial, inadequacy, lack or when our long-held values are put to a test.
So if you've heard the gospel and committed your life to Jesus, shouldn't you all the more share Jesus―the only way to peace? He's the only change-maker, not our own effort to be good. Because once He gives our heart a make-over, the Holy Spirit starts molding our thoughts to enable us to obey.
Then we can freely obey Matthew 28:19-20: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Then, they too will stop climbing the goodness ladder; but will instead be led by His Spirit to freely obey, not through their own efforts, but through His grace and His Spirit.