It is a beautiful spring like day up here in the mountains of Virginia! I am so looking forward to Spring. It represents such things as life, new birth. It especially holds a most important time for us to reflect what Chirst has done for us. He DIED for our sin. Sometimes I think we don't take into full account exactly what HE did. The bible states he was marred beyond recognition! WoW!
He bore every sin of the world on his shoulders. He died a horrific death...but it doesn't end there...He ROSE on the third day. We have been made new. It is so sad that people reject him. I read a lot and unfortunately a lot of people are so turned off of loving God, because of religion. They believe you have to follow certain rules and the christian life is boring, or hypocritical. Being a christian is not being religious. It is about having a relationship...excuse me, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIOP with our Father in heaven. It doesn't mean we are to not ever mess up...I mess up every day! I think, do and say things I shouldn't all the time. I am very far from being perfet. I have not arrived...but I do strive to be more like Christ.
This morning after breakfast as a family we had a morning devotional together. Or at least we tried to have a morning devotional. With three kids and a dog it can be crazy at times trying to share devotional time! My son who is 4, doesn't quite understand but I know "seeds" are being planted. My daughters, however do listen and some of the devotionals are at times a little hard but I know if I keep reminding them about the Lord one day it will all click! As for the dog, Cody, he is a distraction...he wants to bark right as we are reading or asking questions. At times I get discoraged and think that it's impossible to do devotions with our family, but I don't give up! I know it is important to talk with our family all the time, and have teachable moments with them about our relationship with the Lord. Anyway, back to this mornings devotional....
It was about self righteousness...Have we ever just done things, good things but our motives for them were wrong? Whoa! That one it hard with me....I am guilty of this! In case you need to understand more about self righteousness here is what the devotional said about it. It comes from a devotional book we have called, Dinner Table devotionals from Nancy Guthrie....Self righteousness is the list inside our heads of what we've done or who we are that makes us acceptable to God, and certainly, we think, better than the average person around us.
Our church attendance, our donations to charity, when we think about how "other" people needed to hear that sermon or fix their own lives, rather than seeing our own need for repentance....Um, I am so guilty! You see sometimes we only apologize to God for the bad things we have done. But do we ever ask for forgiveness for the "good" things we do? Do we do things with the right attitude? Or do we do things so others in the church will see what "good"things we have done. If we do things with the right heart then we don't need special recognition...now don't get me wrong...I think it is appropiate at times to be encouraged, but if all we look forward to is a pat on the back when we do things, then we have done it for the wrong reason. It is my desire to always do things for others and not expect anything in return. Boy, I have been so guilty for doing things with the wrong motive! Even with my family....You see, Isaiah 64:6 says, We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. The opposite of self righteousness is dependance on the righteousness of Jesus...that is given to us to make us acceptable to God.
In my own life I do desire to give and do things for others. I love to help people. My heart prayer though is that I get out of the way and let God's righteousness shine rather than my own!
I will leave you with this last scripture to ponder on...
They don't understand God's way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God's way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.