But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(We go out to the flea market in Beebe every Saturday morning to buy & sell poultry. This past Saturday we were getting some feed from the feed man out of Hickory Plains. I was loading bags of feed and rice hulls, it was around 6:00AM, still dark, there were several people standing there waiting on feed, as I was loading feed onto our trailer I smelled absolute manna from Heaven. I stopped and took and big sniff as I was smelling bacon frying!!!! It was beautiful!! There are several vendors there early cooking breakfast. I kept smelling bacon until it started breakin day.
We had finished loading the feed and were set up in our regular spot with several friends standing there when I said, “man that bacon smells so good”. One of our friends made the remark, “I don’t see how people don’t believe in God, a God that can take something that starts out stinking so bad & on the other end it smells so good”.)
Bottom line? Without God we are nothing!! Without God we are an unclean thing, our righteousness is but as “filthy rags”…..We start out just like the Hog does, nasty & smelly.
(When I was a kid we used to work a lot at my grandfathers place in Davenport, Florida, we raised cattle & citrus. We always raised our own beef & pork. I remember on a Saturday morning we would butcher a big old hog & take it down to the meat market to have cut up. There was nothing you could get on your hands that smelled any worse than that hog. My grandmother would holler & it was dinner (lunch) time. We’d head over to the water spigot to wash our hands & woo my hands still stunk!!! I’d go to the barn & wash them with lava soap…nothing, I’d wash them with Gojo….nothing. The only thing that would work is we would go up to the back door & my grandmother would pour salt on our hands to wash with the soap. You could still smell a faint hog on your hands.)
How can something that starts off so bad wind up smelling so good? We all start off that way & will remain that way until we accept Christ into our hearts!! We all deserved Hell & would have gotten it had it not been for God’s love for us!!
“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, 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”.
A long time ago I was sick, sin sick. I didn’t need a physician because I wasn’t physically sick, I was spiritually sick. I lacked 18 days from being 27 years old, I was strong & in shape but I was lost……I needed Jesus. I look back over the years & it’s hard for me to believe that I was just like an old stinkin nasty hog……
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”
(Out at the flea market there is a sale barn where they sell Horses, Goats, Donkies and Hogs. People line up along this barn to set up to sell, folks come in & out throughout the morning loading up Hogs. It’s not bad until the summer, when its 100 degrees then them Hogs start smelling up the place. It gets really smelly in certain spots & almost unbearable.)
Then, on an early morning you can smell the wonderful aroma of fresh bacon cooking…..Just like God. Man starts out a wretched and miserable sinner, stinkin up the place with his unrighteousness, ungodliness, unholiness…….THEN because of His love, He took that old smell & turned it into something as pleasant as bacon……..
Psalm40:2 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings”.
THIS IS MY TESTIMONY!!! I was in a horrible pit, caught up in the miry clay……living in sin. On September 5, 1983 as a man with righteousness as filthy rags, I cried out to the Lord. He heard my cry. He pulled me from the pit and sin I was in…..
He set my feet on a rock, a SOLID rock and established my goings…..NOT ONLY DID HE SAVE ME—BUT--HE SET ME ON THE RIGHT PATH……….
2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”.
God’s Foundation this morning is sure….HE KNOWS THEM THAT ARE HIS!!!! Are we His this morning? Do you smell like the Hog? Or do you smell like the finished product, the Bacon?
None of us…None of us are good enough on our own!!
Romans 3:9-11 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Without God I am nothing. Without God we are nothing. Without God my righteousness is no more than “Filthy Rags”
( Many years ago a friend of mine in Alabama told me the story, when people see him do something good and they compliment him he will remind them that it wasn't him but God working thruy him....If someone see's him make a mistake, he tells them that it was himself not God....