Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SELF-HELP? (Psalm 49)

Really! There's no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn't guarantee
Life forever, or insurance against the Black Hole.
(Psalm 49:7-9, MSG)

The psalmist strips of an entire industry of its identity with a simple statement: Self-rescue? Never happens. Pull on your bootstraps and all you get is ruined footwear.

Lest in all our discussions of faith and obedience and full-hearted commitment to God, we're ever tempted to think "I can do it," the Psalmist reminds us that we can't. It's beyond our means.

That's not talking about money, folks. If I travel to Europe, I can exchange my American dollars for euros at the current exchange rate.

An aide in the nursing home buys me toiletry items. I give her an occasional book. Trade in services.

But when it comes to eternal life, we have nothing to offer. As Isaiah said so famously, all our righteousness are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Anything we offer puts us even further in the hole.

We can do nothing to earn life forever. No plan of action that comes with a money back guarantee.

We can receive the guarantee of eternal life: [God] set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:22, NIV)

Nor can we buy insurance against the "Black Hole," nothingness. Remember those kings who did well for a long time, but left God at a crucial juncture? Even if we are "blameless," in terms of outward acts, we are not "righteous" on the inside, except for the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

In words I memorized from all those Billy Graham crusades, in the words of Charlotte Elliott:

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thy bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Today's favorite verse: Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises. (Psalm 50:14-15, MSG)


  1. We cant earn it but you give it My Lord
    God bless u