Listen to this devotional:
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV)
After a few weeks of repeatedly throwing kitchen peelings, food scraps, waste, and various animal manures on the top of the other rotting vegetation on my compost heap, it is frequently necessary to open up the heap to merge the smelly surface rubbish into the depths of the richly formed nutritious soil lower in the heap. The compost then looks better and smells better, plus its top loamy product is fruitfully useful for increasing the growth of the plants in my garden beds.
Like my compost heap, of myself, of my godless carnal nature, I have mucked up, messed up, and missed too many marks to count. I've run away, been astray, and totally lost my way. I've lived an unrighteous life and been deservedly pig-penned so often that I must have appeared and smelled as unattractive as my garden midden compost.
Yet while I and the rest of the world were still in this sinful condition, our Lord loved us and died for us. This is God's marvellous love and grace in active demonstration, isn't it?
In every one of His multifaceted ways in our individual lives, our wonderful, loving God of grace drew us to repentance and belief in Christ Jesus, His Son, and then bestowed upon us His spotless garments, presenting us to Himself, fresh and new in His righteousness, through faith.
Philippians 3:9 – And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (NKJV)
Romans 10:10 – For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. (AMP)
We became His. He made Himself ours in His loving grace.
No matter how badly we've mucked up, messed up, or missed the mark, whether it be many yesterdays ago, a while back, just yesterday, or today, we can know that because we have received our Jesus by faith, as we stand before Him, He sees us in the very righteousness of God.
Yes, we still need to repent often; we need to ask God's forgiveness; and we need to forgive others so that we are forgiven, according to His Word. However, as we remember, Jesus suffered so greatly, dying on the cross so that through faith in Him, by His ever-marvellous, loving grace, we are permanently, eternally adorned in righteousness.
We can know and live successfully in the "good news" of His eternal Word:
Psalm 92:12 – Righteous people flourish like palm trees and grow tall like the cedars in Lebanon. (GWT)
Psalm 37:29 – The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever. (NKJV)
Psalm 146:8 – The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (NKJV)
Prayer: Thank You, eternal, precious Lord Christ, for all that You make available to believers. We can dwell in, move in, and have our being in You. For Jesus Lord, it is Your very self that You have made available to us through Calvary. We ever thank and worship You, as we remember this. Amen and Amen!