Monday, July 23, 2012
I can shout for joy!
"The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad." -- Psalm 118:24
Today I do rejoice and am glad I believe in a God who saves and strengthens me.
A few verses before this one, it says, "Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous. The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!" The word "righteous" has always bothered me...it sounds almost negative. I know some "self-righteous" people who claim to be better than they are and better than every one else. It seems with righteousness, there is always judgement, judgement that none but God can really give. The dictionary defines it as: "acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable; arising from an outraged sense of morality or justice. So...can only those who are free from guilt or sin shout praises to God? If that is the case, the world will be quiet, because there is not one without sin.
I know that even though I try, I will never be truly righteous, not by the dictionary definition and not in God's eyes. But, I feel free to shout praises to my God because what he has done on this very day is save me from my self and my daily sin! I believe that through Jesus, I am made righteous!
What I also know is that God does this very thing for everyone who accepts that gift. Every person I see on this day has the opportunity to be righteous, even if they are not righteous in their actions. For this reason, I have no right to judge anyone for their actions. Only God has that right. All I am to do for others is to love them and treat them lovingly. I don't have to like what they do...I don't even have to like them...I am just to treat them with love. Even if they do not accept the gift God gives them, I am not to judge, but to love. This is what Jesus taught. He taught us how God wants us to live...to live as we are righteous...not SELF-righeous, but GOD-righeous!
Why am I writing about this today? I have a friend who reads my blog who will tell me that this is a very serious and "religious" message today. Well, that may be so, but it is what is on my heart. I am glad I don't have to live up to the divine moral law to be saved, because I have proved to myself over and over that I cannot live up to it, no matter how I try.
Today, I am asking that God rests his hand on everything I do...that he guides my path today...that he helps me make wise choices...that he helps me choose the right words before I speak...that I treat others with love...That I do not judge others...that he helps me think before I act...that he helps me pray without ceasing...not so I can claim to be righteous, but so that I feel his power today. There is too much pain, suffering and unhappiness in the world...I just want to FEEL God's power and KNOW that he is in control, even when it seems there is no control in this crazy world.
Today I DO rejoice and I AM glad! I believe in a God who strengthens and saves!