Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Falling Short

So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” (Ecclesiastes 2:2 NLT)

Shortly before his death at age thirty-three, comedian Chris Farley said in an interview, “I used to think that you could get to a level of success where the laws of the universe didn’t apply. But they do. It’s still life on life’s terms, not on movie-star terms. . . . Once I thought that if I just had enough in the bank, if I had enough fame, that it would be all right.”

But it wasn’t all right, was it? Farley overindulged himself and needlessly threw his life away. He may have been laughing on the outside, but apparently, he was crying on the inside.

Solomon, too, gave pleasure a try. He said, “ ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the “good things” in life.’ But I found that this, too, was meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:1 NLT).

“No fear” is a popular slogan for T-shirts. The problem is that we’re not afraid of what we ought to be afraid of. We ought to fear God.

When the Bible tells us to fear God, it means that we should have reverence for God. We should honor God and respect Him. To fear God means to recognize that He is God Almighty and never take His offer of forgiveness for granted.

Maybe you’ve tried to play by the rules, but you’ve failed. You’ve tried to clean up your life and live by God’s commandments, but you’ve fallen short.

When I became a Christian, I was full of doubt. Even as I was praying to ask Jesus Christ to come into my life, I thought, “I’m the one person this is not going to work for. I’m not a Christian type of person.”

I thought certain kinds of people were predisposed to become Christians, the kind of people who were naturally upbeat and optimistic. I wasn’t one of them. But I qualified because I was a sinner.

That is the kind of person God is looking for. We have all sinned. We have all fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23).

If that is the case, then who will get into Heaven? Without Jesus Christ, no one will. We can’t do it on our own. We can’t be flawless.

God knew that we would fall short. But He loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth. Jesus was more than a good man; He was the God-Man who went to the cross willingly, laid down His life, and shed His blood for us.

He paid the price of sin for us. He came to pay a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.

That is why Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. It sounds radical, but it came from Jesus Himself. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 nlt).

Jesus—and Jesus alone—is uniquely qualified to connect us with the Father in Heaven.

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