#2. God Helps Those that Help Themselves
This adage was suggested by “Peter” yesterday in the comment section of the first part of this series. Help me build the list by suggesting similar adages for the series.
I have often heard people say, “God helps those that help themselves”, but scripture teaches the opposite. Jesus said, “…they that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Jesus came for the ones that could not help themselves and it is the same today.
My family and I live in Orlando; a city famous for Disney World and Mickey Mouse. My son, who was four years old at the time, desperately wanted to go to Disney and was begging me to take him. I explained that it cost money and he told me with great confidence, “I have money dad.” Of course his entire fortune probably didn’t equal a single dollar and anything beyond that was completely beyond his ability to understand. I tried to explain to him that tickets for our family would cost hundreds of dollars, but he could not see the problem. To him money is money and he has some money…therefore he can buy tickets to Disney World.
Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world and after giving billions of dollars to charity he said, “There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way.” Giving to charity is certainly a wonderful thing to do and I applaud Mr. Buffett for his generosity. His contribution will certainly earn him a place in the Gunnies Book of World Records but unfortunately; it will do nothing to earn him a place in Heaven.
“All our righteousness” the prophet tells us, “is as filthy rags”. Even the best we have to offer; our entire life’s fortune of good deeds and charitable contributions is as insignificant as my sons few pennies against the huge cost of admission to Disney World.
Several months ago I hailed a taxicab in Los Angeles and while en route to the airport I began to talk to the driver. He was a religious gentleman who was more than willing to discuss faith and eternity. He explained to me that when he dies and stands before Allah he is confident that his good deeds will be sufficient for him to earn a place in Heaven. I was amazed at his self-assurance. It sounded a lot like my 4-year-old son saying, “I have money dad”. Unfortunately, when this man stands before God rubbing together the two cents of his entire life’s fortune of righteousness and realizes that he does not have enough to pay the price of admission to Heaven it will be too late for him.
This year at Christmas I decided to do something really special for my son (who is a little older now). I not only bought him a ticket to Disney…I bought him an annual pass. Now he can go anytime he wants. He is not just a one-time guest there…now he is like a little citizen.
This is the good news of the Gospel; we were totally unable to help ourselves. We would have had no chance of getting to Heaven. But through the blood of Jesus God, our Father, has purchased eternal life on our behalf and offers it as a gift. And it gets even better! Through Christ we are not only offered admission like a guest at a theme park, we have been offered permanent citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. We have been offered adoption into the Divine family to become sons and daughters of God. We have been offered direct access to God through the blood of Jesus and so much more.
All of this has been offered as a free Gift to we who are helpless on our own. What a wonderful God. He helps those who CANNOT help themselves.