Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“Worthy!" (Or, "Better Than I Deserve!")

(Thanks to Jay for inspiration on this one)

    The only human being who ever deserved to go to Heaven did.

    "When He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:11).

   The Lord Jesus Christ lived a lifetime in which He was tempted more than any other (Hebrews 4:15).  He overcame every devilish, worldly, and fleshly challenge, trusting and obeying His Father by the power the Holy Spirit in all things.  This included His being "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" for our sake (Philippians 2:8).  Thus, God raised His Son from the dead, gave to Him "a name which is above every name," and decreed that "every knee should bow... and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).  "Worthy is the Lamb!" cry more than one hundred million angels gathered around His Heavenly throne, echoing the Father's pleasure in and affirmation of His Son (Revelation 5:11-12).  The Lord Jesus is "the heir of all things", and He deserves all of them (Hebrews 1:2).

    Other human beings go to Heaven also, of course.  "We have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens" (II Corinthians 5:1).  A great difference, however, characterizes those whose spirits ascend to the glory of Heaven after their earthly sojourn.  They forever live in complete awareness that "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).  The people of Heaven, excepting One,  all know that they are not worthy to be there.  As a dear friend often says when asked how he is doing, "Better than I deserve!"  A perfect earthly response thus echoes the grateful Heavenly peals of those who know beyond every shadow of doubt that they are not worthy to be where they are.  Conversely, they know that the Lord Jesus completely deserves His exalted place and position.  In such awed and joyous awareness, they join the vast throng around the Throne, adding human voices to the angelic - "Worthy is the Lamb!"

    Only one human being ever deserved to go to Heaven.  All others are there because God graciously imputes the merits of the Lord Jesus to those who receive His free gift of salvation by faith (Romans 4:22-24).  Believers still upon the earth know this glorious truth now - "Better than I deserve!".  We will know it infinitely better when, in the direct presence of our blessed Savior, we gaze upon the wounds of His hands and feet that bear witness to the most amazing grace imaginable.  Indeed, on the cross of Calvary, God gave to His Son everything we deserve so that in the eternal Heavenlies He might give to us everything Christ deserves.  Wonder must surely be our first response.  "Worthy!" is the next, "Worthy is the Lamb!"  

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
(Ephesians 2:4-7)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
(Psalm 46:1)

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