It still stinks! Our freezer died while we were gone for a few days and it is still stinking, even after several days and several attempts to remove the wretched smell of old blood and thawed fish and shrimp. If you have ever had a similar experience, you understand this sentiment...’it just stinks.’ I never want to have to be confronted with that odor again.

But God must be so familiar with that horrible smell, or one even worse. You see, the Bible says that man’s righteousness – his very best efforts at being good – stinks in the nostrils of a Holy God.

In our effort to please God, we may become immersed in church activities, or involved in worthy civic group projects. We may be dedicated to feeding the hungry and clothing the needy. Through the centuries, folks have tried to offer to God their money or their sweetest behavior. I am so sorry to tell you this, but according to the Bible, all their efforts still stink to Him.


Because all human efforts at being good are just that…human efforts. And humans are sinful in thought and deed. I know of no one who can boast that they have never had a sinful thought cross their mind. And one sinful thought or action disqualifies a human from the perfection needed to enter a sinless Heaven.

Seem unreasonable to you? After all, we are giving it our best shot! But we have to understand why every one of these human efforts stink to an absolutely righteous God. As humans, we have no “perfectness” in us. According to Isaiah 64:6, “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.”

The truth is, a person has to realize that they can do NOTHING to make themselves acceptable to God. And that they need the help of Someone whose behavior doesn’t stink to God.

Because He was untouched by sin, Jesus was qualified to pay the penalty for each and every person’s sin when He died for us on the cross that day. The sacrifice of His own life by Jesus Christ, the only perfect person to walk this earth, is the one payment for our filthiness that God will accept.

Scripture says that whoever calls out to Jesus, admitting they are a sinner and asking Him to forgive them and pay their penalty, that person will be forgiven. God will apply Jesus’ sacrifice to their life. He will cleanse the stain of sin from them, and remove the smell of their unrighteousness. And then He will be present within them to help them live the way God wants them to live, a life that is pleasing to Him.