Can I ask you a question that would require a really honest answer? Have you ever had the thought, even if just once, “I wonder how they tolerate me?” Hopefully, none of us ever think that way about ourselves…but let’s face it, we all know we have our moments where we are not at our best. We usually know when we are bugging the bejeebers out of someone. Can you imagine how we might look to God? He is holy. He is blameless. He is majesty. He is perfect in every way imaginable. No wonder the Bible tells us that even on our very best day, our righteousness looks like filthy rags compared to the Lord. Isaiah 64:6 ~ But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
If this is true, and it is, then how do we stand a chance before the Lord? If we are like an unclean thing, why would He listen to us or hear and answer our prayers? The answer is simple and has everything to do with the incomparable love of God toward us. The Bible says that through our belief and faith in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and as our Savior who died to take the punishment for our sins, He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. It is as though our faith acts like the perfect laundry detergent or the ultimate paint brush that cleanses and washes away every sin and all our filthiness…and instead makes us “white as snow.” And because of that, God’s inspired word, the Bible, doesn’t call us something like filthy rags but instead calls us “saints.” I know that in some religious circles that term is reserved for people like Mother Teresa. But the truth is, God doesn’t reserve it for just a few. He reserves it for His children – those who believe – you and me.
The word “saint” in the Bible comes from a Greek word that means to have been consecrated from an awful thing into something made holy and blameless before God. That is God’s doing, not ours. We should do everything we can to live a godly lifestyle as God reveals what that is to us through His Word. But we all are only too aware that “trying to be holy” is a lifetime effort and process with far too much failure happening. In the meantime, holiness is God’s gift to us through Jesus Christ. It is what makes us more than tolerable. It makes us blameless in His sight, and it’s why He calls us saints. It’s also why He does hear and answer our prayers. We are not intolerable. We are His children and His saints!
Do you know what the revelation of this truth should do for each of us? It should make us thankful beyond words. It should make us ever aware of God’s grace and kindness and love toward us. When we are aware of just how kind God is and thankful for it, it helps strengthen and encourage us in the very behaviors that would simulate holiness. And that is how the transformation of our attitude and heart happens!
And so God confirms this precious truth and gift to encourage us by saying:
1 Corinthians 1:2, 8-9 ~ I am writing to God’s church… to you who have been called by God to be His saints – His own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as He did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours… who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Look in the mirror today and say, “Hi Saint _____.” Do so, not to promote pride or humor. Do so to realize the reality and working of God’s love and to encourage your heart that He is working mightily in you…and also to fill your heart with thanksgiving for His faithfulness and love toward you!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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