The Scale Of Justice

Justice.  The moral principle determining just conduct.  The quality of being just; righteousness or moral rightness.  This is how the dictionary defines justice.  There are many other definitions as well, but they are all similar.  But only a judgement can determine if someone is just, morally right or righteous. 

In one predominate view of God we see Him as the great judge of the universe.  We will all have to stand in His Righteous Judgement.  But maybe there is more to the story.

In John chapter 3 and verse 17 it reads:  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 

Verse 18 helps us understand even more:  He who believes in Him is not judged;  he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Mankind has been placed on the scale of righteousness and been found lacking.  We have failed the test.  We have been found guilty.  We cannot measure up.

The Gospel is…we have failed…He has not!  He gives us His right-ness,  his sinlessness,  making us succeed in being right!  Our part is to believe!  It is a gift!

The scale is tipped in our favor! 

Do you realize that in Christ you have been made to measure up and succeed in pleasing God?

It's Not Over When You Think It's Over!

Years ago I was in the middle of horrible frustration, pain, guilt, shame and agony with the place that I had come to in my life. My behavior and decisions had led me to this place.  I felt that there was no way I could be rid of the past and actually have a future. 

I was learning that God loved me, and was beginning to accept that fact.  I could not see, however, that there could be any kind of future for me because of all the damage that had been done as a result of my idiotic and insane episodes of self indulgent chaos.

Friends were gone, family gone, reputation gone!  Even my low self esteem and lack of self worth were shattered.  I felt I had no worth at all left!

But still, somewhere deep inside me, was a whisper of God’s love for me.  For me!  How could that be?  In the face of utter destruction and despair there was a small voice, quiet but clear.  “I love you, and it’s not over…it is only beginning!”

Very hard to grasp.  Very hard to believe.  Everything I had been taught and learned was about doing the right thing to earn your reward.  God will bless you if you do right!  If you do wrong…well isn’t that evident!  I was reaping my rewards.  Punishment.

But I heard the voice. 

Swelling inside me slowly was the notion that maybe I didn’t know what I thought I knew about God and who he is and how he works and what he does.  Could he at least give me a hope for a future?  Could things ever change?

Just thinking that God had not thrown me away was such a new thought.  Imagine grace and mercy being part of his love and who he is instead of something you can earn!

As I struggled with changing perspectives about God, and then of course about my crummy old controlling self, I saw something else that would change my ideas again.

In Genesis chapter 1 verse 5 in the second half of the verse it says “and there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.” 

Evening and morning…what?  But then it dawned on me.  God’s perspective is different, and he is the creator.  I guess he should know.

Our days go from morning till night! God’s day begins in the evening and continues through the morning. The Jewish day begins at 6:00 in the evening..   

Our endings are God’s beginnings!  When I think it is over, it has just begun! 

 

Just Receive!

I am reminded so often these days in my own life, that I did not deserve, and could not earn what God has given me.  What I really deserve for all the mess in my life could fill a book or two!  What He has given me instead would overload the information highway, and shut down the internet.  How in the world could I get from Him what I didn’t deserve.

 That my friend…is Grace, and Mercy, and Love!  God in the essence of Who He is!

 Did you get that?  Who He is, not what He does.  My response to this kind of love, grace, and  mercy, is to receive the gift of forgiveness, and receive the gift of love. It is to receive Him!

 I can choose not to believe it, I can say it isn’t that easy, I can work to earn it myself, I can just plain ole give up.  But, it doesn’t change the fact that He offers us His life.  Not just to get us into Heaven, but His life to live in us and through us now.

 His power to produce new life in old situations.  His  strength to transform weakened emotions.  Life for death!  Joy for sorrow!  Peace for turmoil!

It has to be too good to be true!

Not on your life!  It was on His life!    Our response…receive!

Do you tend to receive from God or, do you tend to try to do everything on your own?

Grace That Reveals Life!

I see it more now than I ever have!  Religion and legalism has so infiltrated the truth of the Gospel that we tend to apologize, and make excuses for teaching a message of liberating Grace.  We absolutely don’t have a clue what this kind of Grace will do, for us, and in us, in our daily lives.  Because of that, we are continually pulling back to add to the Gospel.

  We do that by saying with our mouths that it is only by Grace, and then we produce a list and add it on top of Grace hoping that this effort will produce in us what only he can produce.  If we do not see the result that we want, we will change the list that we have compiled in great expectations that this time, somehow, it will work.  If only we can find the right combination… that must be the key, Grace, plus, something required of us!

  No, a thousand times no!  My behavior, my love, my attitude, my thoughts, my emotions, and everything else, are all, did you get that, all  aresponse to the unconditional love of our Father!!  We are called to receive!  Just receive!

 How can it be…It’s Grace!

We are oblivious to the fact that love is a response, and cannot be produced in us just by willing to love.  In the case of our Father, we love him because he first loved us, not because I am trying to love him more.  But, the more I have his love revealed to me, the more I will love him.  The more I know and experience his love, the more all my actions and behaviors will change.  As I come to realize that his life is really in me, I will begin to express his characteristics in and through my life.

Works Or Spirit?

We would all say that, of course it is not by works, but it is by faith that righteousness is given to us.  I agree, and I would also agree that if faith is alive, works will be present also.  But, here is a good question for us all.  As a believer, it tells us in the Word that there are only two ways to live, or walk.  One is after the flesh (trying to meet our own needs), orin the Spirit.  So, here is the question.  If you as a believer walked in the Spirit,  would that resolve your conflicts?  In other words, if you needed to learn how to raise your kids, or be a better boss or husband, or stop addictive behaviors, or anything else, would walking in the Spirit be the answer?  We have more books and seminars and t.v. shows about how to do all these things, yet we are failing miserably.  What if we had training on how to walk in the Spirit.  We could call it making disciples! (I hope you see the sarcasm)

Power From On High

Is there really a power from on high given to us to enable us to live as sons of God?  I’m not sure we really grasp this.  It seems that we think walking in the Spirit is just another facet to the Christian life rather that the whole life.  Maybe we just need to define what walking in the Spirit is.  It is recognizing our union with God as vital and real and not a separate part of us.  It is seeing our total dependence on him.  It is complete abandonment of our lives into his hands.  It is coming to the end of our resources to try to live the Christian life in our own power.   It is learning to see God in a completely new way.  It is finding out that he is more interested in us than we have ever imagined.  It is asking him to do in us what we have never been able to do, and that is live the Christian life like he would want us to, even in our desires that nobody else knows about.  You see it is not about performing for him so he will be pleased with us and love us,  but it is all about the fact that he is pleased with us and loves us, and we live in Union with him as the source of living water that flows through us…resulting in life!  Real life!  His life!

 

Are you in the flow?  Do you sense living water in and around you?