Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Promise of a Full Soul

Today's reading in Proverbs was reassuring!

"The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish."
~Proverbs 10:3 (NKJV)

That immediately called to mind another encouraging verse, this one in the New Testament.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled."
~Matthew 5:6

Both the Old and New Testaments assure those who strive after righteousness that their souls will be filled. 

But wait--someone may ask--what constitutes righteousness? 

Is it all the nice things that we do hoping to curry favor? 
Is it the good works we do for personal recognition? 
Does righteousness follow grand and glorious accomplishments?

Righteousness has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Christ. "We are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

Since the beginning of human history, mankind has gone about trying to prove his own righteousness--his own worth.
  • After the Fall, Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves but God made tunics of skin and clothed them, for "Without shedding of blood, there is no remission [of sin]" (Hebrews 9:22).
  • Cain sacrificed the fruit of his own efforts to God rather than offering the firstborn sheep of his flock (a picture of the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed for our sins). "And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering" (Genesis 4:4-5).
And haven't we done the same? Before God opened our eyes to truth, didn't we feel that if we did enough good things to balance off the bad things we'd done, we would somehow have earned the right to go to heaven? Many people still feel that way. And their constant fear is that, maybe, they'll fall short.

Well good! It's good they fear that because:
  1. It's the first step toward gaining a proper relationship with God--recognizing that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
  2. The second step is realizing that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
  3. Step three is learning that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
It's as easy as 1-2-3. To become righteous, I must recognize that I'm a sinner and fall short of God's glory. There's no way He can fellowship with me the way I am. I'm doomed. BUT, I can gain eternal life in Christ Jesus (if I accept His substitutionary death on the cross as payment for my sins).

Why? Because, in God's mercy, He loved mankind and paid for our sins--at His own terrible expense.

 "He [God] made Him [Jesus} 
who knew no sin 
to be sin for us, 
that we might become 
the righteousness of God 
in Him."
~2 Corinthians 5:21

That's how we become righteous--through Jesus Christ. And those who hunger and thirst for Jesus will be filled. God will not allow our souls to famish!

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