Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Honest Appraisal by Martin Wiles

I’m not what I once was, but neither am I what I’ll one day be.

John Newton is well-known for his soul searching song, “Amazing Grace.” While many suppose he wrote the song immediately after his conversion, such isn’t the case. Newton continued as a slave trader for some ten years after his conversion, and it wasn’t until 25 years later that the lyrics spilled from his pen. In a pamphlet published in 1788, he wrote, “I hope it will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” Later as his memory began to fade, he said, “I remember two things. That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”

Honest appraisals are essential for the present and for eternity. The tax collector mastered the art; the religious leader hadn’t. But the tax collector stood at a distance…saying, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” (Luke 18:13 NLT)

An honest appraisal of myself includes realizing I was a condemned sinner. I had broken God’s law. My sin was an affront to his holy nature. Hell was in my future and misery was in my present.

Now that I’ve met and invited Christ into my life, I’m a forgiven sinner. I’m not perfect nor will I ever be until I reach heaven, but my sins have been paid for by Jesus’ blood. As a forgiven sinner, I’m a saint in God’s eyes because Christ’s righteousness has been applied to my life’s account. God sees me in the present as I can only imagine myself in the future. 

I also believe God is in control of any and all circumstances that enter my life and that this life isn’t all there is. There’s a brighter future where sin will be absent.

What does an honest appraisal of your life reveal?

Prayer: Guide us, merciful Father, to appraise our lives based on Your standards and teachings. 

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