March 24, 2015

Psalm 25:8-9 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.

God doesn’t just go, “You’re bad. ZAP!” Rather, He very graciously lets us know where we are wrong and guides us toward the right. However, we tend very stubbornly to cling to our sins and claim that He is being mean to us for not letting us do whatever we want. How foolish! The key to getting God’s best is humility. The term used here is often translated “poor,” but I think the NIV gets it right this time. If we have the good sense to know that we aren’t right, God is, then He will lead us and teach us with amazing patience and gentleness. It is when we get headstrong and rebellious that we get ourselves into all sorts of messes. God has provided redemption for all mankind through the cross of His Son Jesus, but unless we are humble enough to know that there is no other way we can be saved, it does us no good. We tend to like “self-help religions,” where we can feel good about following certain rules and get “guilty pleasure” out of overlooking others, but that’s not really how the world works. We are so far removed from God’s holiness that it is only when we release ourselves to Him, to be washed in the blood of the Lamb of God and filled with His Spirit, that we are able to walk in the good and right path that He has prepared for us. The thing is, that is exactly what He wants to enable us to do. We get it wrong, again and again and again, but if we are humble enough to repent and turn to Him, then He will clean us up and set us on the right path all over again. (1 John 1:9)

This is certainly the story of my life! An outside observer might not recognize all the ways I’ve blown it, but God is the ultimate insider, and He knows how much He’s had to forgive and clean up. If I think I can look down on anyone, I’ve got a real memory problem! I am to extend to others the patient grace and strong love that have been shown to me, not overlooking sin but calling people to repentance, assuring them that forgiveness is not only possible, it’s available for the asking. However, I will never be effective in that by my own wisdom and strength, but only by God acting through me, so here too I’ve got to maintain grateful humility before Him.

Father, thank You for the privilege of ministering to others in Your Name. I am constantly aware of my own inability, but You use me in spite of myself. Help me be increasingly sensitive and obedient to You, so that Your will may be done in and through me more and more consistently, for Your pleasure and glory and the blessing of many. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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