Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Jesus tells us that in the Final Day some dear people will stand "before the judgment seat of Christ" expecting Him to praise them for their lives of hard missionary work in serving Him, only to hear Him say sadly, "I never knew you," that is, this is a case of mistaken identity (2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 7:21-23).
Their whole lives have been a failure while they thought they were riding high on success. Didn't people praise them highly and "all men speak well of" them (Luke 6:26)? But the Father was not the one answering their prayers, and He was not the one "well pleased" with them all this while. Their motivation was self; and human pride; and works.
What a blessing it could be if before they stand before Jesus in final judgment they could pause long enough to pray Psalm 141. David is concerned lest he presume upon the mercy of the Lord: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips," that is, I fear for myself! (vs. 3). I (that is, self) am my own worst enemy!
David wants someone who truly knows the Lord to rebuke and correct him. That's never fun, is it? "Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it" (vs. 5; the KJV has the idea that his reproof "shall not break my head," that is, injure me).
Knowing the truth about ourselves is "excellent" Christian experience--and the sooner the better. The first work of the true Holy Spirit is to "convict [us] of sin" (John 16:8). Let's welcome Him! Then the truest joy can come.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 19, 2005.
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