A minister saw a line of people filing in and out of a toolshed and went over to investigate. Inside lay the body of a man who that morning had been found at the foot of a steep hill nearby. The people were trying to identify him. As the minister looked at the lifeless form, he saw that one hand was grasping a long stalk of straw. Apparently the man had grabbed it, desperately hoping it would keep him from falling over the edge.
Many people believe that the straws of religious ceremony and good works will save them from eternal condemnation. The apostle Paul saw the awful tragedy of this. He considered his strict religious heritage of no value compared with the security in Christ. Had he lived today, Philippians 3:4-6 might have read like this: “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so. From a Christian family, baptized early, a member of a Bible-believing church, concerning zeal – unexcelled, concerning good works and helping others – blameless! But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”
Our own efforts are flimsy straws. We all need to acknowledge our lost condition and trust Him who died for our sins. We must pray, “Lord, Jesus, I am a sinner and deserve hell. Right now I trust You. Save me!” “Oh,” you say, “I’m not that bad.” Listen! You are still clutching that last straw of self-righteousness. Let go and rest your eternal destiny on Christ Jesus. – Dennis J. De Haan
I know I’m a sinner and Christ is my need;
His death is my ransom, no merit I plead,
His work is sufficient on Him I believe;
I have life eternal when Him I receive. – Anon.
We are saved by God’s mercy, not by our merit – by Christ dying, not by our doing.
- June 20, 1986, Our Daily Bread