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Monday, March 5, 2012

Open Shades

I love days like today (Sunday).  The sun is bright with a gentle breeze blowing.  I have the shades up and a window open as I organize Todd’s closet.  You all know when you are organizing a closet that it leads to organizing another and then another.  It is just a never-ending cycle.

The shades being open and the sunlight shining in reveals how dirty my house really is.  A house can look pretty clean with the window shades closed; the darkness covers all the dust on the furniture and the particles on the floor but the light reveals the truth. 

I have black bedroom furniture.  It does not matter how long or how many times I dust, if the sun light is shining, there is always more dust particles revealed.  So do you want to know what I do…I dust and then shut the shades. 

I’m afraid that is what many of us do with the dust (sins) in our own life.  We attempt to clean up our sin with our good works. These good works are in vain just like trying to dust the black furniture with the window shades open.  The dust particles are still on my furniture I just can’t see them

Many times in our sin we attempt to clean ourselves up to righteousness.  We become motivated and decide to stop doing a certain behavior.  We may not say it, but believe if we clean up our act God will love us more.  If we keep all the rules God is now obligated to us.  That is a great big lie!  God is not obligated to us in any way, shape or form.  We are obligated to Him.  He does not love us more if we keep the rules than if we break all of them.  We are desperate sinners, much worse then we even know.  His grace of forgiveness and love is more than we can even comprehend.

We are only able to keep up the façade of righteousness for a short period of time before we realize we are burned out and cannot continue going at the self-righteous pace.  So we close our eyes to our sin.  We may compare ourselves to others and decide compared to others we are not so bad.

I tried for years to look good, smell good, and be good.  I got real busy with teaching preschool Sunday school.  I got real busy with doing visitations.  I made church attendance an important part of my life. I looked okay on the outside but inside I was dying a slow death of stress, anxiety, and lack of peace.  I did not want to acknowledge my sin. The window shades were closed to God’s love, forgiveness, and His righteousness. I wanted the shades closed.  I did not want to acknowledge the sin in my life, the same way I do not want to see the dust on the black furniture.  Most of us don’t want to do the hard work of repentance-to acknowledge and agree with God about our sin. 

Let me say God is not some ogre waiting for you to acknowledge your sin so He can pounce on you with anger or condemnation.  He is a tender Father.  He receives our sin, wipes our tears, and inputs His righteousness into our life by exchanging our life with His very own.  Can’t say I understand all this with my mind but I understand it by faith with my heart.  Would you like freedom from guilt and condemnation?  Come clean with God.

Repentance is hard work, on Jesus that is. Repentance cost Jesus His very life. Repentance is for the Christian as well as for the unbeliever.  Friend all you have to do to be righteous is acknowledge your sin and call upon the name of the Lord.  Believe and trust that His righteousness is being imputed to you.  It is not work that you do.  It is work that Christ has already completed.  We call out and believe.  He does the cleaning and changing.  Here is an example using a fruit tree. An apple tree produces apples because it is an apple tree.  The apples are a result of what the tree is internally. The true may want to be a pear tree but no matter how hard the apple tree tries to produce pears it will be impossible to do.  An apple tree could look like a pear tree for a while if someone stabled pears to the branches.  But eventually these pears will rot and the tree will be known as it truly is. We only produce fruit from our heart.  This fruit is either self-righteousness or Christ righteousness.

For us to change, for us to become righteous, we must have someone come to change our hearts-from the inside out.  His name is JESUS.  He freely took your sin and exchanged it for His righteous.  To receive His free gift, you must repent and call out upon His name. 

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags Is. 64:5

For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes Romans 10:2-4.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks Luke 6:45

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10


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