The miserable dregs of self!

(J. C. Philpot, "Meditations on Ephesians")

"Accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:6

We are ever looking for something in SELF to make
ourselves acceptable to God. We are often sadly cast
down and discouraged when we cannot find in ourselves . . .
  that holiness,
  that obedience,
  that calm submission to the will of God,
  that serenity of soul,
  that spirituality,
  that heavenly-mindedness,
which we believe to be acceptable in His sight!

Our crooked tempers,
our fretful, peevish minds,
our rebellious thoughts,
our coldness and barrenness,
our alienation from good,
our headlong proneness to evil,
with the daily feeling that we get no better,
but rather worse
--make us think that God
views us just as we view ourselves!

And this brings on great darkness of mind and bondage
of spirit, until we seem to lose sight of our acceptance
in Christ
, and get into the miserable dregs of self--almost
ready to quarrel with God because we are so vile, and only
get worse as we get older!

Now the more we get into these dregs of self, and the more
we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of wreck and ruin
which our heart presents to daily view--the farther do we
get from the grace of the gospel--and the more do we lose
sight of the only ground of our acceptance with God. It is
"in the Beloved" that we are accepted--and not for any . . .
  good words,
  good works,
  good thoughts,
  good hearts, or
  good intentions of our own!

If our acceptance with God depended on anything
in ourselves, we would have to believe we might
be children of God today and children of the devil

What, then, is to keep us from sinking altogether
into despair, without hope or help? Why, a knowledge
of our acceptance "in the Beloved," independent of
everything in us--good or bad!

"And you are complete in Him!" Colossians 2:10