DayBreaks for 03/18/13 – The Good News in the Bad News
Romans 7:18 (NLT) – And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
True story: back in 1893 there were a group of four sisters called “The Cherry Sisters.” They made their stage debut in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a skit they wrote themselves. For three years, they performed to packed houses throughout the Midwest. People came to see them to find out if the Cherry Sisters were really as bad as they had heard. Their unbelievably atrocious acting enraged critics and even provoked audience members to throw vegetables at the would-be actresses. Wisely, the sisters thought it best to travel with an iron screen which they would erect in front of the stage in self-defense.
Amazingly, in 1896 the girls were offered a thousand dollars a week to perform on Broadway — not because they were so good, but because they were so unbelievably bad. Seven years later, after the Cherry Sisters had earned what in that day was a respectable fortune of $200,000, they retired from the stage for the peaceful life back on the farm. Oddly enough, these successful Broadway “stars” remained convinced to the end that they were truly the most talented actresses ever to grace the American stage. They never had a clue as to how bad they truly were!
Most of us think we’re really not that bad, either. We can easily point to people who are far worse than we morally, spiritually and in attitude. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m a good person.” Hello, Cherry Sisters wanna-be’s!
The problem is that Scripture is in violent disagreement with that self-assessment. There is none that does good, not one. As hard as it is to believe, that passage includes the likes of King David, Daniel, Peter, Paul, Mother Theresa and Billy Graham. And it includes you and I as well.
Need we despair? Must we live in fear of being found out? Well, we may be in fear of having our mis-deeds and omissions found out by other humans, but not in fear of God in those matters because God already knows them all…and He still chose to love us and send Jesus to die in our place. That’s the good news in the bad news.
The tragedy is that “good” men and women never realize just how bad we all are. Perhaps the lie of Satan that will deceive most people in terms of their eternal destiny is to cause them to think how good they are!
What is your honest self-assessment?
PRAYER: May we all throw ourselves utterly on your mercy and grace, confessing and believing that we are tenacious and persistent sinners, unworthy of any favor from You! May we find the good news in the bad news! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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