023204 Finding God in the mysteries of every day
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21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus,
It seems easy for many Christians to either gloss over this passage or to use it to point out the failings of their friends, and family members as well as the rest of humanity considered to be outside the grace of God which they presume themselves to be under. But, consider for a moment some other words of the apostle. 1 Timothy 1:15(KJV)15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Far too often we see in our minds the picture of Paul in the Mamertine prison in Rome or imprisoned in Ephesus, and admire his strength of commitment, his humility and his conviction that he is on the right path. Paul, while he is at those junctures on the right path and is comforted by the indwelling holiness of God realizes that he has not yet reached that place of innocence that most of the world so grossly misunderstands.
Composer and performer Billy Joel intones famously in his insightful and amazing song “I am an innocent man, oh yes I am an innocent man”. The unfortunate thing is that the lyric is shallow in one major perspective reflecting only on the singers need and desire for true companionship and carnal love. That is not innocence in God’s eye.
How do I tell you that the complete surrender to God’s will is the essential necessity of even beginning to approach innocence. At this point most people seem to check out and reject the very idea of what it will cost them to embark on such an arduous journey as is implied by the complete surrender of their will. Consider Jesus as “the gate of the sheep” (John 10 7-14) Will you enter in to approach innocence by beginning to believe?
Published by larry7253
Larry M Lawrence is an author, composer, Musician, retired pastor, and lives in Missouri with his wife Jane.
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