Right Thinking, Right Living

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Les Miserables, Victor Hugo’s novel, is the story of a man who is sentenced to 19 years of hard labor for stealing bread. Jean Valjean turned into a tough convict. On his release, he was offered shelter by a kindly priest.  During the night, he steals the silver and runs off.  The next morning the police drag him back to the priest’s home, expecting a tirade of anger. But, on seeing him the priest exclaims, “So here you are!  I’m so delighted to see you.  Did you forget that in addition to the silver I had given you the candlesticks?  They are silver and of considerable worth.   Here, take them.”  The police have no choice but to release the convict who stands trembling before the priest. He presses the candlesticks into Valjean’s hands saying, “Do not forget; do not ever forget… I have bought you, now make a new life for yourself as a new man.” It’s a great story of grace and redemption!

God has set you free through Christ Jesus, bought you, not with silver, but at the cost of His life.   Is the evidence of that salvation growing in you?

Paul, in the 6th chapter of his letter to the Romans, points out the change in our status with God that comes to us through Jesus and presses for transformed behavior. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7, NIV)  That’s declared fact!  “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:12-13, NIV)  That’s our part of applying the truth, living in grace.

A life that is pleasing to God, filled with the beauty of devotion, that reflects the character of Jesus does not just ‘fall out of the sky’ on our head. We work out the implications of our salvation. We live in ‘truth.’ We confess, we repent, we worship, we live as He desires. The paradox of this amazing way of life is that we are not called to more Law, to tighten the rules for ourselves or others as we attempt to be the holy people of the Lord. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14, NKJV)  We lean into the undeserved favor that is the gift of God, and in the increasing discovery of the oceans depths of His love, we are led into righteousness.  Oh the wonder, the joy!

  • Have you failed, sinned? Do not run from your Father, hiding behind excuses. Run TO Him to find grace for renewal.
  • Do you feel the pull of temptation?  Tell Him and ask for the clarity of the Truth to replace the confusion of the Lie.

Our word from the Word today comes from the last lines of that same chapter. The Holy Spirit inspired words call us higher.  Meditate on these words and let the Truth set you free to live the glorious life of a child of God.

“As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God,
you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living,
or right anything for that matter.
But do you call that a free life?
What did you get out of it?
Nothing you’re proud of now.
Where did it get you?
A dead end.
 

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do,
and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you,
what a surprise!
A whole, healed, put-together life right now,
with more and more of life on the way!

Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death.
But God’s gift is real life, eternal life,
delivered by Jesus, our Master.”

(Romans 6:20-23, The Message)
___________

Reckless Love

(worship with this song about His love)

Before I spoke a word
You were singing over me
You have been so so good to me
Before I took a breath
You breathed Your life in me
You have been so so kind to me

O the overwhelming never-ending reckless
Love of God
O it chases me down fights ’til I’m found
Leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it I don’t deserve
Still You give Yourself away
O the overwhelming never-ending reckless
Love of God

When I was Your foe still Your love fought for me
You have been so so good to me
When I felt no worth You paid it all for me
You have been so so kind to me
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Caleb Culver | Cory Asbury | Ran Jackson © Watershed Publishing Group (Admin. by Watershed Music Group) Bethel Music Publishing Richmond Park Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

 

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