“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.”
~ Isaiah 1:18
Holiness is a gift,
Righteousness an inheritance.
There are no steps ours to take,
No list of oughts and ought nots
Which will buy the ticket
To disbar Peter’s gate.
A man is holy not by his hands,
But by His hands from above.
Righteousness is the joy
Of not having to be perfect.
One cannot be righteous in themselves. If that were so, the Christ would not have come for us. I know that. I know that far too well.
It’s a hard thing to grasp, this righteous joy, when one considers themselves so low. It’s a hard thing to do, this life of holiness.
Until you realize it was never your life you earned, but His life given to you. Righteousness is a gift, the beautiful consequence of salvation. Without redemption, there is no holiness. Without Christ, one cannot live freely in goodness.
For there are many who act morally, but none who are righteous. A man can learn not to steal and kill, and perhaps not even in the selfish way of self-preservation. A man can learn to restrain his lustful thoughts and a woman her gossip, and yet those demons will still nag and tear, not caring for your moral intention, until your will bends and breaks and you fall to what you hate, crushed by the Law which condemns and destroys.
Only in Christ may one find the fulfillment of the Law in all its magnificent beauty. Only in Christ may one live out the Law in freedom – not in carefully navigating its confines, but joyfully living out its privileges. By Christ we are restored, aligned to the Law of Heaven, freed from the chains of sin. Temptation comes our way and we falter and fail, but Christ is our redeemer, washing out the stain of sin once and for all.
Some say Christians have no fun. No vice, no lust, charity and compassion and obedience required.
Obedience is a gift. It is a gift to do what is right because God allows us to enjoy it.
Lord, teach me today as I work. Do not let me be alone with myself, thinking only my thoughts, dwelling in my fantasies. God, let me enjoy Your righteousness, and drink of the cup of joyful obedience. Let me relish in Your goodness, oh Lord, my conscience soothed by Your mercy, and my thoughts directed by Your grace. Your thoughts are better than mine, oh Lord, and I would sooner be a stone in your presence than a king on his throne. Do with my passions as You will, Lord, for I know that You are good.