If someone offered you riches beyond your wildest imagination in exchange for your rags, would it give you cause to heckle and spout off? Certainly, there have been many rags to riches stories bringing the pauper and unknown fame and fortune. And whom among us would not want a dream come true life filled with the abundance of earthly things.
When I was younger, I often wished for the inheritance of a wealthy unknown relative to come to pass. But, this wishful thinking was not my reality, in fact, my life at one point was filled with despair because of my sinful heart.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NIV)
Before I invited Christ into my heart, I felt dirty, ashamed, and in need of forgiveness. The moment I asked Jesus to forgive all my sin, I was cleansed of self-reproach associated with wrongful acts I committed and filled with his peace, joy and the promise of Eternal Life.
The good deeds done before coming to Christ would never be able to make-up for the wrong. My self-righteous acts were filthy rags before God who is Holy and all-powerful. The meaning of “filthy rags” written by Isaiah in the Bible are likened to a woman’s monthly sanitary protection. Yes, it is repulsive to think of such a word picture, but that is what our self-righteousness is before God Almighty. Only Jesus is righteous, but we can be clothed in his righteousness once we’re saved.
Yet, even though we were born into sin, our Loving Heavenly Father knew we needed a spotless lamb as our Savior to become sin for us and take our place on the cross. Jesus died on Calvary to cleanse and forgive our sins. John 3:16 says it best, “For god so loved the world he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have Everlasting Life.”
It’s wonderful that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords wants to share what he has with us. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:19 NIV)
It doesn’t mean we will get rich because we belong to Christ, if he so chooses to do that in our life he can. What I’m referring to is spiritual and eternal riches.
I find the abundant life in Christ and His Word to be wealth enough. That is my rags to riches story. I hope it is yours also. If it isn’t, I strongly urge you to decide that you want to know Jesus and experience the love he has for you. Then, the personal relationship with Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit will help you follow him the rest of your days.
Proverbs 8:10, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” v18, “With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.” v20, “I walk in the way of righteousness. along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”
The wise choice is evident. Do you agree?