Today's Scriptures (01-20-11)

Romans 5:1-2

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
  • Do you see the past tenses? Here are some things we have, right now, whether we feel like it or not: Peace with God. Access to Grace. Justification. These are big, big, big things. 
  • God does not want us to live as if we don't have these things. A true recognition and honoring of God is having confidence that these aren't just words on a page or "feel good" concepts, but weighty truths that can be reflected in our lives. 
We have peace with God!
We are justified, made righteous! Declared righteous by the only one who matters!  It's not our works, productivity, or ability that make us righteous. It's Christ alone, through faith. This is such a powerful, illogical, mysterious, game-changing truth ... I wonder if even the most profound Christian has even scratched the surface of understanding it.

Lord, let our lives reflect this and not insecurities, angst, and unbelief.

Let me be clear: there's nothing noble in faithlessness. There's nothing noble in criticizing ourselves and living as if Christ were not enough. There's nothing noble in your penance. Christ changed the game. He changed the WHOLE GAME. He changed the very definition of righteousness. He swapped out Webster's definition of righteousness and substituted his own name there. He replaced your definition, "I am a good person if ..." Righteous people are those who believe in trust in, and rely on Jesus Christ the son of God and savior of mankind, who died in our place, as sin itself, and imputed his righteousness to us. There is no other definition. Believe in Him and stop looking at yourself -- you are as ugly as I am and it will never change by all your worrying, disappointment, self-flogging, or outrage. God is pleased by faith, and displeased by lack of it, not by how awesome or non-awesome we are. Believe his promises and live. Claim his identity and grow. Look into his glorious face and be transformed. See Him and shine!

Expect God to finish the work He began in you. Fight the good fight of faith and believe! Fight your doubts, fight your conclusions based on what you can see, feel, and touch. Fight to believe Him, even if everything you see screams that you are a fool to be focusing on Him when there's so much to fix on your own!

What's our work, Lord Jesus?

John 6:28
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Believe. Just believe. You can add to that later (2 Peter 1:5), but first, first of all, BELIEVE!

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