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Jeremiah 22:15b-16

“Just think about your father.  He was content that he had food and drink.  He did what was just and right.  So things went well with him.  16  He upheld the cause of the poor and needy.  So things went well for Judah.  The LORD said, ‘that is a good example of what it means to know me.’

I typically post Monday-Friday and have off on the weekends, but I posted for Thursday on Friday and now I am posting on Saturday for Friday.  At least I am grateful that I am maintaining the commitment in busy times.  Thank you, LORD!

This verse stood out to me today.  Who did God consider to be a good example of one who knows Him?  A righteous man who was content with God’s provision in His life, one who does what is just and right, who considers and upholds those less fortunate than himself.  God considered Abraham righteous because he believed the LORD.  God was looking for someone who would raise godly children – he saw that in Abraham’s character, yet waited until he was 100 to have him be a father of the promised son.  Abraham was content with God’s plan and trusted Him.  Noah was a righteous man in God’s eyes because he found favor with God and walked faithfully with Him. 

In all cases in Scripture when we see a righteous man or woman, it is solely due to the gracious activity of God in their lives.  It is only the favor and grace of God in all of our lives that enables us to walk faithfully.  We cannot think that merely doing good deeds will win the acceptance of a Holy God.  How amazing that God is able to make us acceptable in His sight.  I see today a lot of Christians by name, but not necessarily reflecting the character traits God lists in the Scripture above.  Not meant to be judgmental, as it is evident in myself, as well, that the tendency of our flesh is to grow comfortable and rest in God’s salvation.  Jesus wants us to have that rest, but not a rest from seeking to know Him more and being obedient to the daily promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Our flesh is always wanting more, so contentment is truly something only God can produce in our lives.  But the sweetness of leaning on God to help us is why it is a relationship, not a religion.  God set a standard that was impossible for us to live up to, not because he wanted to see us struggle, but for us to see our need of Him.  It is the working out of this wonderful faith that shows me where I fall short and simultaneously strengthens me to bear the fruit that God requires.  Suddenly I care about the poor, weep for the hurting, feel convicted if I am not doing what is just and right.  These qualities were absent from me before I met my God.  Any evidence of them prior to salvation was only His grace.

So, if God is the only One Who can achieve what He expects, is man at fault?  How does man meet the requirements?  By admitting that he cannot meet them and surrendering to the One true King Who can.  Letting God reign in our lives means the flesh is no longer our master.  Knowing Him means I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  It means I no longer live according to the world system, but ask God to help me think biblically and defer to His ways.  Therein is the greatest peace had on this earth.  So when people recognize this peace and the ensuing fruit, may we not forget Who is truly responsible for it being in our lives.  We are not special or greater than anyone else when we are godly – that is merely living up to what God expects and not us doing it, after all.

Lord, thank you for Your unmerited favor, for choosing us and enabling us to become more like You, day by day.  Help people to see in me and those reading this post that we live for You.  May we reflect Your glory for the world to see and come to really know you – not religion.



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