April 6, 2012

thirst for righteousness

Every Friday, I have Literature Class, and for some reason, I have had more trouble this year completing the work on time than ever before. Perhaps it's partly because I'm such a perfectionist, and want every question I answer to be thorough and extensive (it's a writer's curse).
    After weeks of just barely completing the work on time --- almost literally to the last minute --- I decided to stay up as late as I needed to finish it so that after brainwashing sleep and dreams, I wouldn't have to struggle through a wild daze to check off the last ten questions. The result of doing this was relief from starting the day with immense stress, and freed-up time to spend with God.
    I've mentioned before that a dear friend from my church gave me a book called 'Abiding in Christ' by Andrew Murray. I chose to read it this morning because it's been on the shelf for so very long, and I remember loving the first few chapter I had already read. I was just finishing the eight chapter, "He Is Your Righteousness, and this is what transfixed me:

As long as he [the Christian] only thought of the righteousness of the substitute, and our being counted judicially righteous for His sake, the absolute necessity of abiding in Him was not apparent. But as the glory of "the Lord our righteousness" unfolds to the view, he sees that abiding in Him personally is the only way to stand, at all times, complete and accepted before God, because it is the only way to realize how the new and righteous nature can be strengthened from Jesus our Head. To the repentant sinner the chief thought was the righteous the comes through Jesus' dying for sin; to the intelligent and growing believer, Jesus, the Living One, through whom the righteousness comes, is everything, because in having Him, he has His righteousness too.
    Believer, abide in Christ as your righteousness. You still have within you a nature altogether corrupt, which is always trying to rise up and discourage your sense of acceptance and access to unbroken fellowship with the Father. Nothing can enable you dwell and walk in the light of God, without even the shadow of a cloud between, but habitual abiding in Christ as your righteousness. To this you are called. Seek to walk worthy of that calling. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the wonderful grace that permits you to draw near to God, clothed in a divine righteousness. Take time to realize that the King's own robe has been put on you, and in it you need not fear entering His presence. It is the token that you are the man or woman the King delights to honor. Take time to remember that as much as you need this robe of righteousness in the palace, you require it even more when He sends you forth into the world, where you are the King's messenger and representative.
    Live your daily life in full consciousness of being righteous in God's sight, an object of delight and pleasure in Christ. Connect every view you have of Christ in His other graces with this first one: Christ Jesus --- our righteousness from God. This will keep you in perfect peace. You will enter into, and dwell in, the rest of God. And your inmost being will be transformed into being righteous and doing righteousness. In your heart and life it will become obvious where you dwell; abiding in Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, you will share His position, His character, and His blessedness. It is said of Him: "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy" (Hebrews 1:9 NIV). This joy and gladness will be your portion too as you abide in Him.

Was that encouraging? I hope so. I just couldn't refrain from sharing it! It's the kind of thing I want to underline, highlight, surround with little pink hearts, and copy into my journal and all over my bedroom wall.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you."
-1 Corinthians 16:23

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