Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Righteousness of God

Isaiah 51:8 “For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.”

“Tsaddiq” is the Hebrew word for right, accurate, fair, just. Used in this context it describes the righteousness of God as a plumb line; the perfect foundation of all that is considered precise, fair and just. It needs nothing to support it; it is altogether true and impervious to any other design or alteration.

But the righteousness of this world is defined and influenced by human perception. It deviates with the whims of emotion and is blown to and fro by circumstance. It is short sighted and two-dimensional. It is often delivered with self-serving deliberation. Try as we may to reach perfect justice and fairness, it remains tainted by our own selfish, human limitations; a gross contrast to God’s.

God’s righteousness triumphs over all. It delivers His people from oppression, upholds justice, hearing and delivering with mighty deeds. His righteousness sets free the repentant and bears down up on the rebellious.  Also, it calls His people to respond in righteousness by keeping his law and living justly as a testimony of the precious gift of righteousness granted to us through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

When we are frustrated and perplexed by the measure of justice and righteousness this world uses to govern society and gauges the righteousness of men without honor; we trust in the true righteousness of God. When it appears unrighteousness prevails in our courts, in business, in relationships, we cry out to our supremely righteous God who hears. We are careful to remember; He alone is worthy to weigh the hearts of men and move when and where His perfect will sees fit, staying our impulse to take matters into our own hands. Most of all, we are to represent His righteousness well, obeying His word by the power of His Holy Spirit, seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness with faithful hearts.

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…


The Shadow of Death

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

Asthma has become an all-too common illness, almost as common as a cold. However, it was not that long ago when knowing an adult with asthma was rare.  People simply died from asthma before reaching adulthood. Afflicted children were confined to the indoors, carefully monitored with limited ability to live active, productive lives. Little was known about symptom triggers and less was known about how to reverse the swelling lung tissue and constricted air ways which resulted in suffocation. Modern medicine changed all that. Now, many people “live” with asthma and many do so with very little change to their lifestyle, enjoying the outdoors, athletics and living extremely productive lives. Seeing someone take a couple of puffs on an inhaler is now common place. But sadly, the familiarity has lulled us into the false idea it is no longer a serious or deadly illness. The reality is; asthma still kills.

I have asthma. Medications keep it so controlled I often forget I have it. But if I forget my medicine or find myself in an exercise induced attack, I will die without immediate medical intervention. Sometimes, I need the aggressive care of the nearest emergency room with specialists who have me breathing again and on my way home in no time. But I’m not cured; the asthma goes home with me, hovering over me like an ominous cloud.

My friend, Monique, lived a beautiful life of hope under the shadow of cystic-fibrosis. After a bilateral lung transplant gave her a new lease on life, she lived fearlessly to the fullest. She took advantage of every opportunity to exercise those lungs in every endeavor she once imagined impossible. Even when the luxury of life began to fade away, she never passed up an opportunity to share the love of Jesus. She lived courageously, one glorious day at a time, all to His glory until she passed that shadow and entered the light of His presence. In the short time I knew Monique; she had a profound effect on my life. She taught me to take every moment in life both seriously and joyfully. While the world takes everyday for granted, she and I were given the unique gift of daily gratitude for the divine knowledge of our finite lives.

The enemy would have us believe living under the shadow of death is gruesome and terrifying. But it is not so. Instead it simply stands as a reminder of our eternity in His magnificent presence where no shadow exists. Until that glorious day, we simply trust our Shepherd. We rest by the still waters He leads us by. We trust Him to restore our soul. Even when the path He leads us on stretches under the shadow of death; we will not be afraid. He is with us. He is our strength and our comforter. Our hope is in Him.

Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

He is Holy

Exodus 3:5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

Holy and pure, not a speck of blemish or error, our God is utterly separate from everything in this world. Even as Jesus Christ – full man, yet fully God – walked the face of this earth; He himself is perfect in all His ways, in every molecule of His being, Holy and righteous. It is a grave mistake to believe we can enter into His presence casually; pretentiously entering into prayer or communion with too familiar an attitude. His holiness is an all consuming purging fire. Nothing impure can stand therein. Yes, He is a God of love, mercy and grace. But we would be remiss to consider His majestic Holiness in direct contrast to our sinful nature carelessly. Our position should be in humble reverence, with homage and submission. While we have been consecrated by the sacrificial blood of Jesus, still we should enter His presence with vigilant recognition of His holiness.

Praise God, our HOLY God, for the perfect work of Jesus. By His sacrifice we are able to enter in to the Holy of Holies. We do not need to tip toe in, but we run in to the very protection of our Holy Father, our righteous King; the Almighty God. Joyfully, with great thanksgiving, we enter in as His children. But let us not be lackadaisical, forgetting His holiness surrounds us. “Be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44) Our liberties are precious freedoms secured by God through Jesus, but let us not forget how much it cost Him to secure it for us.

Today, as we set out to our churches and fellowships, entering into worship and opening the holy scriptures of God, may our hearts and minds regard His holiness humbly, with contrite reverence. May we worship Him and praise Him with thanksgiving for the privilege to enter into His presence by the perfect, complete work of Jesus. May we live our lives as changed people, a peculiar people; walking in holiness as He is holy.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.