My friend, Eulalia, wrote a song that repeats these words over and over again … Dressed In His Righteousness Alone! That song is on my heart today … “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name! On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand! Dressed in His Righteousness Alone! Dressed In His Righteousness Alone!”
God offers us that we will be dressed in His righteousness alone. We, however, feel like we need benchmarks and check lists. We seek a law so that we can keep score; unknowingly separating ourselves from the unmerited favor of the LORD. And further, we have redefined a fall from grace to mean adultery, because this is more in line with our works baed, legalistic, self judging – view of our lives in Christ.
Sin is not the fall from grace! Self reliance is!
A fall from grace is a result of self righteousness!
I’m asking Our Father to help us, His children, be drawn to study His Word daily so that the lies we tell ourselves might be set straight! We are fooling ourselves into a belief that we are righteous, all the while stripping ourselves of the only righteousness that we can ever truly have. Our only confidence is in Christ’s shed blood! Almighty God, – help us to be satisfied with being dressed in Your righteousness alone. Help us to cherish this promise!
Life has its difficulties and doing good can seem fruitless. These are two truths that most of us can attest to. But we have a good end in sight!
I often recall memories of my mom with her grandkids. They always wanted to be at my moms house because it meant all of them would be together, but Grammy always wanted them to go to the store with her and they just wanted to stay in the house and play video games or watch TV. Always at least one of them would go with Grammy and when they came home with ice cream, the others would lament over the fact that they didn’t get any. The doing good part was allowing their Grammy to have the pleasure of their company, the reward ice cream!
We are like that with God sometimes. We are being good people; going to church; giving to missions; sharing our faith; and then God says He wants us to do one more thing! We often say, “I’m already stretched beyond my limits, I can’t add another thing!” (As if we do anything in our own power!) We say to God, “I don’t want to love more, serve more, forgive again, take a risk, etc.” — so we just don’t make the move to do the next good thing. And then, when we see others walking in favor – experiencing God’s peace, experiencing joy, experiencing fulfillment – we realize that we may have missed out on something.
We know about the great eternal hope we have in Christ, but we forget that His due time could be today! (hello somebody!) As for me, I committed to give my whole life to Him, He can have all of me and I am committed to do good (His will for my life) all the way through to the end of myself. It is my joy to experience His favor everyday – EVERYDAY! His mercies meet me each day — brand new mercies for each particular day. I’m reaping now! I won’t lose heart. I will love more, forgive more, serve more and allow Him to pour into my life more than I could ever ask think or imagine.
It breaks my heart as a missionary when I hear ministers of the gospel – whether pastors or missionaries or worship leaders or etc. etc. etc. – complain about the hardships that come with their ministries. It breaks my heart because whatever God has called us to – He ALWAYS is faithful to give us the grace to endure – so rather than complain, we should rejoice that He sees in us something that makes us worthy of His calling. We should remember that He instructed us to count it all joy – because it is temporary. I am a woman who hates dirt, bugs, and disorder – and God sent me to a place with all of the above and I am grateful and satisfied in His place for me. I am satisfied because I feel the Lord’s pleasure over my life and ministry. I have no cause at all to complain.
It breaks my heart when I hear ministers of the gospel compare their work to another’s – whether they feel like their work is more or less important. Rather than comparing – we should be celebrating the victories that our co-laborers experience, and mourning with them over any defeats. When I hear from my friends in Rwanda who are training pastors; or Mozambique who are discipling leaders and providing protein with a egg farm; or in Tanzania who are building schools in villages where there are no schools; or in Senegal who train pastors and help children of the Talibe; or Cote D’Ivoire who provide medical care and Bible translation – I say Hallelujah our team of workers for the Kingdom is doing what He has called us to do. And more than that I pray for them and when I have resources available I support their work financially.
I guess it all boils down to where we find our contentment. Mine is found in Him – and in Him alone! So I choose to rejoice in my trials and rejoice in the victories of other minister’s of the gospel as well. After all — isn’t it all about Him???
Do all things without grumbling and complaining – Philippians 2:14
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. Galatians 6:3,4
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39