A Double Blessing today!

November 2, 2022

Psalm 7:17 “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.’

What a wonderful verse of praise from Psalms. This verse tells us God is due our praise and worship because of His righteousness. Without His righteousness, we would be lost. Scripture is filled with references to the righteousness we receive through faith in Jesus. Romans 3:22 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 4:23-24 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. ” Philippians 1:10-11 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Without the righteousness given to us through faith in Jesus, we would be hopelessly lost. We would be dead in our sins. What a wonderful position we are in as loved ones, as believers in Jesus! We are loved and cared for by Almighty God. Let your praises be heard today. Tell God how grateful you are and tell someone else about your wonderful Savior!

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am sanctified. Because of what Christ did on the cross, because of His imputed righteousness to me, I am sanctified. According to the dictionary to be sanctified is to be made holy, consecrated. Left to myself, I am buried in my sin as there is nothing I can do to make myself clean enough before God. However, Jesus has made me clean by faith and washed me by the forgiveness of sin through His blood. Because I still live in a sinful world, this sanctification or transformation takes a lifetime. Here are some verses to encourage you: Hebrews 2:11 “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Philippians 2:12b-13 “—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” and Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

What a double blessing today as we consider our righteousness imparted to us through faith in Jesus and His work within us to conform us to what He knows we can be in Him! Take Paul’s prayer from 1 Thessalonians to heart claiming it over your life today.

Linda

A Word, A Thought… What are you Doing and Thinking?

My friend Wendy’s favorite verses go to the heart of Christian living. She has chosen these two verses to guide her. Knowing Wendy and the opposition she has faced from unbelievers, they are perfect and have given her courage and direction as she seeks to live each day for Christ.

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”. This verse hits to the heart of good relationships with others. If we are to reflect Christ in all we say and do, Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”, then we need to be concerned about what we are saying. James talks about the power of the tongue, see James 3:1-12. He talks about the need to tame the tongue and not letting it lead one astray. Paul is warning us here that our talk can harm others, (we know this to be true), and that what we should be desiring is to engage in conversations that reflect Christ’s grace. Grace is God’s undeserved favor. Having conversations that are kind and not judgmental, gossipy or hurtful. With the goal of glorifying Christ with our words, we need to seek to uplift and encourage.

Wendy’s second verse is Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. Her first verse zeroed in on what we say, this one focuses on our mind’s attitude and expression. That which happens in our minds help to drive our actions and words. Our character is important to Christ and He desires that we be sanctified in Him. Paul explains this wonderous transformation he calls sanctification in Romans 6:21-23 “But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are to glorify God with our heart, mind and soul becoming more and more like Jesus with each day. Let the truth of the character God desires sink into your heart and guide you as you ponder and meditate on Philippians 4:8.

With both of these verses before us, Ephesians 4:29 and Philippians 4:8, we must recognize that without the indwelling power of Christ’s Holy Spirit within us, we will not be able to live as He desires. It is God alone who empowers us and equips us to do His work and act worthy of His calling. The author of Hebrews prays a prayer we can claim over us too, in Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Thanks Wendy for reminding us of Christ’s goals for our speech and conduct. May we strive to keep these verses before us as we interact with others in the name of Christ.

Linda