We are incapable of being righteous, without the Power of God dwelling within us.
[Article re-edited 22 JUN 22]
Tim was the host of a low-rated cable television show called "Tool Time". Tim got to be the host of Tool Time because he was the all-time best salesman at 'Binford Tools'. Tim could talk a good game, but he was hilariously inept when it came to actually working on the various projects using the Binford Tools that were promoted on the episodes of Tool Time. In fact it was Tim's ineptness, both at home and on the job, that was the crux of the Home Improvement TV series.
As the Tool Man, Tim was always looking for ways to enhance whatever project he was working on, by finding ways to add more power to whatever he could; power tools, appliances, cars, etcetera. The result of his attempts to add more power, frequently resulted in some hilarious mishaps to both person(s) and property.
I have yet to meet a person who didn't wish they had more power in their life. No matter the situation or the circumstances, each and every one of us has at one time or another needed more power to accomplish the task at hand. And I am not just talking physical strength here, but to have more power to think better, to reason better, to better handle situations which baffle us when seeking a certain result.
But what about our personal life? Have you ever wished you had the strength to bring about a change in your personal life?
In 1st Corinthians 4:20, the Apostle Paul points out that, "For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power." (RSV)
If you are at all like me, it is much easier to talk about making progress, than it is to actually make some progress. For most of us it is, "One step forward and two steps back."
Some of us can talk a good game, but it isn't always easy or wise to bluff our way through life. Especially as we come to realize the consequences of our bad behavior; toward God, toward others, and toward ourselves.
When someone asks us how we are doing, what is our most common reply? "I'm fine."
Knowing the truth, we seek to hide all that we know is not right in our life. We deceive not only other people, but our self as well. Self-deception is a most precarious and dangerous path. When we lie to ourselves and to others we are not living in reality, we are not walking in the light of truth. After a while, we come to realize that our self-deception takes more effort to sustain, than it does to simply admit the truth. It wears us out because we can't find our way back to where it all began and start over.
It is most especially difficult when we profess to have faith in Christ, yet continue to trust in our own will power, instead of completely giving our life over to His care. Our life becomes a charade [a blatant pretense or deception], of going through the motions, trying our best to convince ourselves and others, that we are living life in the light of Christ. But our heart knows better and so does The One we claim to be following.
In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus tells us how we can recognize who is true and who is false by their 'fruits'.
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.
Upon reading that passage, a twinge of guilt and fear stirs inside us, as we recognize the truth that our tree hasn't been producing good fruit.
Immediately following that passage, Jesus tells us what happens to those who falsely claim to be abiding in Him.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’
Do you understand why He calls them "evildoers"? ('workers of iniquity' KJV)
The answer to that question is in the text. (v22)
They were doing it for their own glory, not for the glory of God.
SO... How does it all end? Take a look at Matthew 25:31-46 for the answer. If you feel at all convicted, it is not too late! REPENT! (To repent means to have a change of heart.) Stop trying to live life on your own power. Give your life over to the REDEEMER of ALL MANKIND.
This Is My Story - Sarah Kroger