Monday, December 24, 2007


What Jesus said grabs my attention today..."Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20 NRSV)

The Pharisees were what I'd call "obsessively-compulsively religious". They did everything they could to live by the 'letter of the law'.

I fall way short of the religious standard set by the Pharisees. My religious life is sporadic and inconsistent. If I must exceed the Pharisees to make it into heaven, I don't have a chance.

But here's the exciting part...this is the religious standard without Jesus in the mix. In other words, no one--not even the religious perfectionist--can be righteous or make heaven on their own.

Thankfully, I don't have to strive for some high religious standard. My righteousness (right with God) comes from my relationship with Jesus. The Bible tells me "God declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus." (Romans 3:26 NLT)

I know I won't make it without Jesus--I'm glad He's in my life.