by Pastor Tim Burt
I got up early this morning as I do most days, to spend time in the Word of God and to take time just to worship Him. I opened my Bible to the book of Acts and began reading in Chapter 17. I was reading about the Apostle Paul in his journeys of taking the gospel to those that had never heard it.
He was in Athens preaching in a public area surrounded by many pagan statues; one of them called the ’unknown god.’ He was preaching to those around him about the ‘unknown god’. Part of what He said to them is revealed in Acts 17:24-28. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.”
When I got to the words, “…For in him we live and move and have our being,” I just paused. I felt impressed to just take those Words in worship the Lord as I meditated upon them. As I was thinking about the awesomeness of God—His Holiness, His power, His majesty, His great mercy and grace, I could begin to see all of my human failings and weaknesses. I so desire to be like Him and I work hard to be pure and represent the Lord in a right manner as a Christian. But, when I get in presence of God, I quickly see how ‘unclean’ and ‘unworthy’ I am in myself. Now it isn’t the Lord making me feel this way. Nor, am I one to beat myself up.
It’s just that when I am in the presence of God, the reality of Isaiah 64:6 comes to rings true. It says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
But, in that quiet and special place in the Lord, that profound truth of my personal righteousness being like filthy rags is stopped short by my Heavenly Father. At times like this, the Lord did what He always does when I am in this place. He reminds me that He, through Jesus Christ, has made me His offspring through faith. Then the Lord reminds me of a verse that is an anchor of my soul—2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) “For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
God made me righteous through Jesus Christ. His righteousness is accredited to me despite myself. The Bible paints the picture of God putting a white robe upon me that covers all my faults. He did this when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. So, I don’t stand in my own righteousness or ability to be like the Lord. I do the best I can, but by His mercy and grace, I stand righteous before Him by His doing through Jesus.
This truth is what allows me to stay in His presence. He has made me righteous. He wants us to remember that “In Him we live and move and have our being….We are his offspring.”
I’m awed that He has chosen to not only make us His children, but that He has chosen to live in us. His power, His heart and mind, the leading of His Spirit—they are within us so that we can be transformed and glorify Him. You and I are His offspring through faith in Jesus. And in Him you and I live and move and have our being! Let’s ask and trust God to use us today!
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)”I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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