Monday, November 21, 2011

Wholly His

The sermon yesterday was about having our hearts in the right place so that our offerings of thanksgiving would be honoring to the Lord. I was humbled so much in reading Psalm 51 by my self-centered view on the forgiveness of God. Pastor Tim challenged us to meditate on it all throughout this week so that when Thanksgiving comes around, our hearts would be prepared to offer a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord. You know... I have so much to be thankful for, but God wants my heart. My praise and my thanks will come out of that... but ultimately, He wants my heart--all of it.

As I consider the greatness of my sin, I must humbly confess that it is the Lord that I have sinned against. He is right and just to judge my sin. He owes me nothing. The fact is that I am not only sinful now, I was born a sinner. I was never "good". God's desire is for the truth of my heart to be laid open before Him. I realize that the truth is always what God sees, but He desires us to be painfully truthful as we come before Him. Sin is a separator. It stains us to such an extent that only God can wash us white as snow.

You know... it is an incredible blessing that we cannot do something to earn the purification of the Lord... that washing from Him that makes us white as snow. Every other religion is based on some kind of works that must be done in order to be holy before the Lord. The joy comes when we realize that we cannot do anything to be holy before the Lord--Christ has done it all. This is why we do not joyfully sing of our own righteousness... we sing of Christ and His righteousness.

This incredible gift of the righteousness of God in exchange for our sin is not something to take lightly. I was reading in 1 Peter 1 this last week and again reminded of verses 17-21 and my responsibility as a child of God.
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Yes, this is a huge responsibility to fear the Lord in our actions and words, but we must not lose sight of that ending statement... "So that your faith and hope are in God!" All the good works in the world would not honor the Lord if our faith and hope are not in God. It is the realization of having been purchased by the precious blood of Christ that drives us to righteous living. What a joy it is to serve the One who already gave all for me! He has purchased my freedom from sin and death and I can think of nothing more honoring to Him than for me to embrace that freedom and live in it. My sacrifices are meaningless if my heart is not wholly His. God, make me wholly Yours... then I will offer my thanks to You and You will be pleased.

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