His Righteousness

His Righteousness, Not Our Own

*I first posted this almost five years ago. I have updated it by changing the title to His Righteousness, and making it more concise. I also included a quote from Jim Stier’s book The Way of Faith and provided a link to that book.¬†

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Years ago, I finally understood something that has changed how I think about what it looks like to glorify God. I saw how much effort I spent striving to do everything right, truly believing that a good witness for Christ could not have glacier-sized weaknesses. I was so tired. My failures brought weariness to my soul, burying me in self-loathing and condemnation. I relied only on what I could see in front of me. My faults were haunting me and keeping me absorbed with myself. This kind of living was fruitless.

One time a friend gently implied to me that I cared too much about image management. Of course I didn’t want to hear it, but it struck my heart in that -the truth hurts, but I needed to hear it- kind of way.

His RighteousnessGood works are part of walking out our faith (So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17 NLT), but the good that flows from our lives is a work of the Spirit of God in us.¬†Jesus is our righteousness. We are made righteous by His death on the cross where He paid the penalty for all our sin. There is no other way to be clean and free. No amount or quality of our good works can save us.

If we continuously try to earn His love and favor then we are not really trusting in the cross of Christ, and it sends the incorrect message to the lost. He gave His life for me and I owe my life to Him. Our goal in doing good should be to glorify Him, to love Him with obedience, all the while knowing that He alone has saved us. I love Him because He loved me first. The score will never be even between what we have to offer and the righteousness that Jesus freely provided when He laid down His life for us.

His Righteousness

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Being justified freely by His grace
Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood,
Through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness,
Because in His forbearance
God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness,
That He might be just and the justifier of the one
Who has faith in Jesus.
Where is boasting then?
It is excluded.
By what law? Of works?
No, but by the law of faith.

Romans 3:23-27

His Righteousness

It is common for those who haven’t yet made a decision to follow Jesus to possess the notion that they need to get their lives together before they can receive Christ. Maybe some think that we are saved because of the good in ourselves, not understanding that any good in us – His light and life in us – is all Him. That is the miracle of a rescued soul, a changed life and healed heart. That our eyes have been opened and we have turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18), now walking in truth. Would that this be our message – never shying away from the truth that we are completely dependent on Him at all times. We need Him every minute of every day, and He carries us.

The Bible teaches us that no one can ever be good enough to earn their way to God. I pray that we who love Him and want to witness to the world about Him will send a message that we are being held together only by the loving grace and mercy of God. What if the world saw our vulnerabilities and weaknesses and we took pride only in what Jesus has done for us? What if the cross of Christ was what we wanted to show and nothing of our own doing Р  proclaiming His love and forgiveness and restoration and healing and salvation?

His Righteousness

In his book The Way of Faith РThriving in Your Walk with God (link below РI highly recommend it), Jim Stier writes this:

“On this journey, He’s not counting how many times we fail but watching whether we’re continuing our journey of faith with honesty. Faith gives us the strength and security necessary to be done with pretending. It dispenses with the need to protect ourselves through masks of hypocrisy. When He who is absolute glory and greatness has adopted and filled you, it is no longer important to impress anyone. He is your security and identity.”¬†

https://www.ywampublishing.com/p-2040-the-way-of-faithbrthriving-in-your-walk-with-god.aspx

His Righteousness

I am a  sinner who has been redeemed, rescued, and changed by the grace and love and forgiveness of the One True God through Jesus’ death and resurrection, saved for all eternity – may that be my witness.

He Never Leaves (updated post with song attached)

I wrote the verses to this song (video at the end of this post) some time ago. I found Psalm 13 in the midst of constructing this song and that is where the chorus and bridge/ending came about. I have written honestly about feeling alone and wondering where God is in times of darkness. At the same time I deeply desire that God be glorified.

Read the words of this Psalm and see how David runs to God for his foundation when all seems lost. Whatever path we walk, may we choose as David did to trust in God’s mercy and rejoice in His salvation. He will never leave or forsake us.

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him;” lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

He is All-Powerful God. He could bring us up and out of our difficulties in an instant. It is not easy to reconcile when He allows us to walk through the dark valleys, but here He lovingly displays His mercy in rescuing us from dependence on anything that we may value or lean on above Him. Our brokenness forces us to walk in His strength. We need not despair when we come to the end of our own resources, we need only to know that wheat remains is eternal. He hears our cries and draws us nearer to Him. God knows that our only hope of peace is our total dependence on Him. He in His wisdom allows for us to come to that conclusion – leading us to the abundant life He came to give.

You Still Speak

IMG_E2806Here is my newest song. I wrote it from my own experience, from my heart. But as I have listened to it I have imagined those souls who are far from God, who need to be reminded that He is speaking and calling them back to Him. I am praying that those who have walked away from their faith will return to the Lord.

 

All My Life

Sometimes I am at a loss as to what song to sing on the spot when I want to sing to God. I have hundreds of songs in my memory bank from childhood until now. ¬†This was kind of a remake of one of those choruses we sang in church while I was growing up that went something like this – “I lift my hands up unto Thy name, my lips shall praise You, thus will I bless You, I will lift up my hands unto Thy name”. ¬†I took Psalm 63 as my inspiration and made the words more personal as I would say them.

Still On the Throne (Song)

I previously wrote about the inspiration behind this song in one of my former blog posts. It has the same title, in case you would like to go back and read it.  I have grown to love singing this song as one of my favorites.  It puts me right in front of the God of my life and He hears me as I sing to Him of His awesome worthiness.

Somebody’s Daughter (Song)

I wrote a story with this same title a while back. ¬†It’s in the archives of the previous blog posts if you want to go back and read it. ¬†The song was inspired by a real person who was a friend of my parents. ¬†I was compelled to write it when I had mistakenly felt sorry for her after she had passed away. ¬†The reason for that feeling was that it appeared that she died all alone and without a family. ¬†I quickly caught a different, more accurate perspective and the lyrics to this song came from the beautiful truth of that perspective.

Broken (Without You)

I wrote this song when I was face to face with the insecurity in my heart, allowing me to see clearly how potentially damaging that could be to healthy relationships with my dear loved ones. Even my good deeds can have self-centered motives if I leave my insecurities unchecked.  Pride, jealousy, fear, discontent can all hinder our ability to love others with selfless love.  If there is any true selfless love that flows out of me, it must flow from God, Himself.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:7

Ready

 

I remember writing this song being so sure I was ready to surrender. ¬†Lately, I have my heart being tugged at persistently to do just that. ¬†The words of this song are so strong and I want to mean them with all of my heart. ¬†A dear and godly woman who I attended church with throughout my childhood would always say, “Lord, make me willing to be willing.”

 

Freedom

This song was born after a period of darkness in my thoughts toward myself.  I just could not seem to break free from the lies the enemy was holding me with.  God rescued me from that place and this song poured out of me in a matter of minutes.

 

 

 

 

Faith He Can See

 

This song is for my youngest son. ¬†I wrote it when he was nine years old. ¬†He was suffering with tormenting thoughts and wondered why this was happening to him. We prayed and prayed and the relief just would not come quickly. ¬†I told him that sometimes God allows such times of pain in our lives that carry unanswered questions to grow our faith muscles. ¬†This song was a great source of encouragement for him. ¬†It’s not about having perfect belief and understanding everything, it’s about Who you run to.

 

 

 

Let the Lost Be Found (Dad’s Song)

 

I wrote this song about three years ago at the request of my Dad who pastors a small church in Northern California.  He wanted a song that would speak to the mission of their church Рserving others and reaching the lost.