One day it dawned on me.  I had become the very thing I hate–  a hypocrite.

A pretender.  Two-faced. I’d written sermons about people like me. Christians who care more about their appearance than integrity.

I knew what I needed to do.  I’d written sermons about that too!  1 John 1:8-9 says,

“If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins because we can trust God to do what is right.

I needed to confess. What is confession?  Well confession is not complaining.  If I merely recite my problems and rehash my woes, I’m whining. Confession is a radical reliance upon grace.

Maybe you need to do what I’ve done in the last few days.  You just need to confess.  God will hear your confession.  And in your confession you will find a wonder of God’s grace.  You see grace creates an honest confession.  And then his great grace, receives it.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”  Mark 2:16-17

Yesterday, I buried my dad. I always knew if I lived long enough, this day would come.

Yet I could never prepare for the moment I watched him being lowered into the ground. My heart sank, knowing I would never see him again in this life.

His last year on earth was very hard to endure, but I saw him keep his faith to the end. I have great comfort in the middle of great sorrow. I love you, Dad.

My father was a good man who led and took care of his family. Yet, in the middle of his life, he realized his hope for heaven must be based on another man’s righteousness. Dad knew Jesus didn’t come for the righteous, because there are none. No one will be declared righteous by law-keeping. So, we must faithfully yield to Christ and receive the righteousness that comes from God (Philippians 3:8-11).

What about you? Are you trusting in your own ability to please God?

Is your hope for heaven based on your goodness outweighing your badness? Do you believe God will let you into heaven since you tried your best to do what’s right?

Remember that God requires perfection. That is why he made Jesus

who had no sin to become sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Soon someone we love will be saying goodbye to us. On that day, may we be found in another man’s righteousness.

Thank you, Lord, for having compassion for us by taking our sins upon the cross that day. Our hope for heaven is impossible without your substitutionary work. Amen.