Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“About four years ago, I put a piece of notebook paper in my Bible on which to write down things said during the meetings that really stood out to me.”
“The best you’ve ever done in your life without God is no good.”
~ from Uncle Bob’s testimony
When we receive understanding from God, we realize that all human thoughts are worthless in helping us come to know God, and all human ways of serving God amount to nothing. He is so completely not one of us that, as He said through Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways. As far above earth as heaven is, so are my thoughts above your thoughts, and my ways above your ways.”
Isaiah caught a glimpse of this truth and cried out, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).
The pride of man’s flesh resists the revelation that all human religious spectacles are useless exercises in vanity and that God accepts none of them. Those who know God confess this truth, both in word and by example. Since the days of the late Roman Empire, any saint of God who humbly dared not to participate in or endorse man’s vain ceremonies and creeds has been criticized as misanthropic and “a setter forth of strange gods”. But to refuse man’s godless ways of serving God is but to confess the surpassing glory of God; it is not to hate mankind; nor is it to be arrogant and contentious. It is only to be good in the sight of God.
All that God really asks of His children is to love Him with all our hearts and to treat one another right. Many are familiar with the Scriptures that reveal this simple will of God to us, but whenever anyone dares to actually live according to those two simple, holy rules, it provokes hypocrites to great wrath and bitterness, for it exposes them for who they really are.
Jesus warned us not to be like the many who mouth the words of God but whose hearts are far from Him. If you are determined to listen to the Lord and serve God sincerely in the light of His Spirit, be prepared to be condemned as heretics and fools by those who do not. If you have the faith to abandon your own righteousness, steel your heart to be misunderstood, and either pitied or be hated by those who have no such faith. To them, the righteousness of God is an embarrassment. But to the wise, it is salvation itself.