This week ‘Weekend Inspiration’ comes from a very good friend of the ministry and one of OFJ, closest friend and prayer partner John H. Be blessed and inspired as you read and perhaps see from a new angle the great love God has for each one of us.
Isaiah 64:6: Brings us to a place where we can see there is a standard in our lives that falls well short of God’s standards. ‘Our own righteousness is as filthy rags’ in the Lord’s sight.
Just consider the sheer awesomeness of God. We can pray,’ I’m in awe of the perfection of Your holiness, Lord, the infinity of Your holiness, Your purity, Your integrity, truth, goodness. I’m in awe of Your character, majesty, righteousness. I’m in awe of Your justice, which was satisfied in full by the death of Jesus on that cross. And O, Lord, I’m in awe of Your grace, mercy, and loving kindness, Your favor, and Your patience and long suffering .
Keep Your hand upon me, Lord, lest I die. I’m in awe of Your eternity. You have no beginning and no end. I don’t understand it. I’m in awe of Your infinite intelligence, Your omniscience, Your omnipresence, Your omnipotence. I’m in awe of the mystery of Your Tri-unity, and I honor, worship, adore, and reverence You. And I love You Lord. I love You because You loved me first – (1 John 4:19). And I love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and I love my neighbor as myself –( Mark 12:30, 31.) That’s impossible for me to do in my own strength, Lord. I need Your enabling grace for me to do that. But when You enable me to do that, I can have some kind of perception, however imperfect, of how much You love them.’ How can we not rely on our wonderful Lord to act through us?
We are more likely to obey when we are in love with Him. It is a joy when we serve Him out of love, out of sheer gratitude for all that He has done for us. Even then we are guided and enabled by Him to do His will. Grace is not a performance drudgery like works. His grace, the sense of His awesomeness, enables us to hate sin – it makes the unrighteous righteous. If we sin, which will happen, we can confess it to Him, ’And the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.’ In this regard, see 1 John 1: 7 – 9. The grace of God will also use this event to turn it into a victory – Romans 8: 28, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called to His purpose.’
You see, the reality is, God does all the work for us and in us, therefore God should get all the glory. Looked at in this light, we can never fail in Jesus, because of the finished work of the cross. Even our ability to repent is a gift from God. Again, Hebrews 10: 14 says, ‘For by one offering, He (Jesus), has already perfected (past tense), those who are being (present and future tense), sanctified. When we received salvation, our spirits were indwelt by the Holy Spirit (past tense). Our sanctification is the ongoing renewal of our minds and emotions (present and future tense), in our ongoing day by day walk. That’s the wonderful covenant of grace our precious Lord has made with us.
Doing things in our own strength inevitably brings failure, which, sooner or later, does bring condemnation. Condemnation can actually bring on the fear of losing one’s salvation, which then puts people under a performance bondage, trying to earn the approval of the Lord – a works bondage, which none of us can obey. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus explained the pristine purity of the ten commandments, clearly showing the utter impossibility of any one obeying them by relying on their own strength.
However, Jesus died on that cross for us. The wages of sin is death, but our sins have now be taken off us and put on Jesus. Why? because He already died for them. All we have to do to accept that love gift is to turn to Him in repentance and surrender. All this happens when we receive salvation, and that’s the very core of the covenant of grace as preached by Paul – the eternal new covenant in the blood of Jesus .
At times our walk in the Lord, and even the preaching of the preachers, can be a mixture, jumping in and out of the two covenants, the covenant of Law and the covenant of Grace. Acting in the former covenant will result in discouragement, condemnation, and failure, e.g. – come on, kick the door of opportunity open and walk in, or here are nine things you must do to be successful. Operating in the latter covenant results in the Lord being glorified as He acts in us and through us, and everyone is blessed. It’s all about God’s love for us, not about our love for God
Be Blessed Today And Everyday,
From Your Friends At mylordmyfriend.com