Saturday, April 11, 2009

Amazed ...

And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from faith in God and is by faith. Philippians 3:9 NIV

And become one with Him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's Law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. Philippians 3:9 NLT

And be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ - the righteousness from God based on faith. Philippians 3:9 HCSB

What a great verse for this Saturday before Easter! Just considering the profoundness of His great sacrifice and the amazing grace I do not deserve is overwhelming at all times ~ but more so as we pause to reflect deeply on the reality of what He endured physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and socially. That my righteousness can ONLY come through faith in Christ is one of those truths that I often let slip right by.

I love the NLT on this verse ... "I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's Law, but I trust Christ to save me." Isn't that the crux of our "Sinner's Prayer" .. that most simple declaration of understanding. I am sinful but You, O God, are holy. And I need You. So I trust Your plan for reconciliation even though I don't understand HOW or WHY ... I take you, God of Truth, at Your eternal, unchanging Word. Most simply said by Pastor Rick Warren, "It's not about me." And once we realize that ... oh, the freedom that follows.

Paul understood this. He had tried to be right through the Law, through his lineage, and through legalism. Not one of those met that need deep within ... and then he met the Light of the World. He was transformed and was able to write, "For if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation! The old is gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And so, we find him, late in life, writing to his beloved church in Philippi. Once again sharing that simple truth ... the sufficiency of grace and the necessity of faith. Having shared that all the things he once valued are now trash to him and that the only pursuit of value is knowing Christ, Paul offers to them the simple message of the Gospel ... righteousness, rightness with God, comes not through what we do but entirely through Christ's provision. A gift we are freely offered, a gift accepted through faith in Jesus Christ. Is there a better message for Easter? Is there a better message for any day?

Today, I pray that I grasp the reality of Christ's great love. I am listening to Pandora right now ... "Amazed" is playing. And it so captures my heart right now.

Artist: Lincoln Brewster
Album: All to You... Live
Date: 2005

(verse 1)
You dance over me while I am unaware
You sing all around but I never hear the sound

Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
And how You love me

(verse 2)
You paint the morning sky with miracles in mind
My hope will always stand
For You hold me in Your hand

How deep how wide
How great is Your love for me
May I never cease to be amazed at the vast love of God ... how deep, how wide, how great utterly unbelievable and undeserved. May my declaration be the same as Paul's ~ My righteousness is not of me but only, ever, always, entirely of Christ through my faith in Him to the great glory of God Almighty who loved me and sent His Son for my ransom, to pay my price. To Him and Him alone be all glory, honor and praise for now and forever. Amen.

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