It has been a while since I have posted and I will explain later, but the most important thing is that by His Grace…I am back and I am better.
Is writing one of the gifts God has given me? Either way, in faith I cannot forsake writing about Him no matter what I am going through and in faith, I pray it will give glory to His Name.
This Saturday, I want to share about how we can sometimes get caught up in the belief that good behaviour and doing good things is what makes us right with God. And I do really mean ‘caught up’ as many of us have been taught and have read in the Bible that ‘our good deeds are like filthy rags to God’ or other similar scriptures, yet, we still find ourselves ‘unconsciously’ or ‘habitually’ associating good works with what makes God say ‘Yes, that is my son in whom I am well pleased’ or ‘Fantastic, look at my daughter, she has made me happy today’.
Well if you are like me in such thinking – you are not motivated to think like this because you are a bad person or ‘flawed’ Christian, but it is because you desperately want to please God.
You desperately do not want to revert to the ways of your old sinful nature as for many of us, even though we are new creations in Christ Jesus, we still put on the old habits that don’t reflect this transformation. And even when you purposely do things to please your sinful desires or give into your flesh, there still exists that child-like desire to be ‘perfect’ in God’s eyes.
There are many times that I have prayed for God to take my free will so that He can control every move, thought and action that I take as I know then I will not make a mistake and please Him all day long.
The last time I prayed that was this week.
Abraham who is described as “the friend of God’s” (James 2:23 NLT)
In Genesis 17, God told Abraham to circumcise his family and himself.
10 This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised.
11 You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you.
Genesis 17: 10 – 11 NLT
At 99 years old, Abraham took a razor and did the business…joking not sure what he did but he did it.
But our interest today is not in the act of circumcision that Abraham undertook in obedience to God’s instructions but that this act or any of his other acts is not what made God seek Abraham and rain blessings on him.
The circumcision was the very physical sign of the covenant but it was Abraham’s faith in God’s Promises that made him righteous in the Eyes of God.
Cutting of his foreskin at 99 years old could be seen as a good deed that made God happy and say ‘this is Abraham, my Son in whom I am well pleased”.
Today, our good deeds even the painful ones – giving away money when our bank account screams ‘noooo’; giving away clothes and food when our cupboards could do with a blessing; sacrificing our time …all these and more can be seen as what would make us ‘right’ with God.
4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned
5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.
Romans 4:4-5 NLT
Like Abraham, we are ONLY right with God through faith.
For those of us living today, we can never earn our way to being right with God even in the times we have fallen and desperately want to be so we take up ‘good works’ to do so. We are only right through faith in Jesus Christ, our personal Lord and Saviour and Everything.
We don’t work for righteousness – it was freely given to us by Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2nd Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham ALREADY had FAITH and that God had ALREADY ACCEPTED him and declared him to be righteous – even before he was circumcised.
So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith.
Romans 4: 11 NLT
So even people back then and now that are not circumcised, are counted as righteous because of their faith. The difference for those from the Old Testament and us who were born after Jesus became Man and walked on this earth, is that we have the Holy Spirit in us. Also, we have the promise and actuality of Christ, the Hope of Glory living in us.
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing His glory.
Colossians 1:27 NLT
Abraham may have walked with God as His friend but he did not have God living in him, everywhere he went even whilst doing his weekly food shopping.