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Monday, December 09, 2013

Do You See in You What God Wants You to See?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


We were recently blanketed with a late snow here in Minnesota-land. One upside of this early snowfall is that it is so beautiful to look at and be out in. Everything is covered with pure virgin white snow and almost every where you look, you see this breathtakingly beautiful majestic picture of fresh snow.
Where in some states, the snow quickly melts, that is not the case here. We will have this snow with us until at least March. When it finally warms up in the Spring, the snow melts and the opposite of what I just described comes. The accumulated litter from the entire winter is seen everywhere. It will be there until all the city road crews and volunteers do a massive Spring clean up.

This reminds me how we feel when we lose sight of the fact that God has forgiven our sins through Jesus Christ. When we forget His robe of righteousness that He, by His doing, chose to place upon the ones who would receive Him, we begin to see litter everywhere. That robe of righteousness covers our sins and shortcomings like a fresh blanket of snow covers the litter on the ground. It helps us not to see our own human imperfections and failings. Isa 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…”

When we draw near to the Lord, it's good to reflect on what Jesus did for us. When we receive Him as Lord and Savior, He puts this robe of righteousness upon us so that when He looks at us, He sees someone who was washed and made pure before Him. This is an awesome revelation of the gift of His love. It is our ongoing challenge to become Christ-like. That transformation is a life-long project. As we work to put on Christ and try to shed our old worldly thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, we will still at times, sin and blow it. But that only shows the love and graciousness of the Lord! In His mercy, He has made provision for sincere repentance as we go through the life-long process of cleaning up the filthiness of our flesh as we sin in 1 John 1:9 (NIV)  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

As we sincerely work at this, the Lord does not want us to walk through life sin-conscience but instead righteousness-conscience. When we are sin-conscience always listening to the condemnation of Satan showing us our failures and working to heap us in guilt, then we only see the litter in our life. It is not pretty. It makes us feel filthy and unworthy, and makes us want to quit and run from God. But when we live in a spirit of thankfulness for God’s robe of righteousness, our thankfulness will actually translate into spiritual strength and a greater desire to live more righteously. We see the majestic beauty our lives can represent because of His love and acceptance of us.

2 Cor. 7:1 says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

“Cleansing ourselves from the filthiness of the spirit…” is not just changing your behaviors. It is cleansing our self from unbelief. Instead of thinking that God is mad at you and wants to punish you, you should instead see yourself in this robe given by Him that has made you as white as snow and forgiven of sin. This is His righteousness working in you. When you understand that this is the way God sees you, then you will “…come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” Hebrews 4:16  


Coming boldly to the throne room is coming knowing He has adorned you in His robe of righteousness to cover the “litter” of your life by Jesus' shed blood. This is how you cleanse yourself of “filthiness of spirit" – by coming in faith in what He has done and does for you; not just what you can do in yourself. When you get this truth and live by it, you grow in assurance of His love and have greater faith that the promises of God are yours. Now you can begin to live boldly by faith in them.

God’s covenant of promised blessing to Abraham and his future seed reaches all the way into our lives today through that faith. Galatians 3:14 says,”God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

The promises of blessings to God’s children abound throughout the Bible. Your robe of righteousness allows you to access to them today. Will you believe and thank God for His promises in all areas of your life? Will you learn them? Will you pray boldly in faith believing in the face of contrary circumstance baiting you to unbelief?

God wants to supernaturally bless you. Can you believe that in faith without wavering? Pray like David did and you'll be reminded of what God has done for you! Psalm 138:2 (NLT) “I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.”

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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