“Holiness is more about the devotion of my life than perfection in my life. Jesus directs us to the object of our devotion in Matthew 6:33, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ As we seek Jesus we begin to bear a resemblance to our family heritage of holiness.” –Wendy Pope, First 5 app
This is what I read in my devotion this morning. And I needed that reminder! I am far from perfect, I will never be perfect…on my own. Romans 8 starts off with, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit…” My flesh is weak. I have already sinned many times, even unknowingly (especially as a child in moments of disobedience), and perfection on my own, redemption on my own, is impossible. There is nothing I can do to make up for the mistakes of my past.
Yet through those mistakes, those trips down various rabbit holes, God has never left me. Even before I knew He was there, He was (and is) by my side, having sent His Son before me, to rescue me, to cover me with his cloak of righteousness. I did nothing to earn that (in fact, I continue to fall further from that unattainable perfection). Yet He wrapped me in His loving arms.
Why? So many times in my life, I have asked Him, “How could you love me? Why do you love me?” Be honest, we’ve all asked at least one person that “Why do you love me” question in some form or another! So, God, why?
“Because I love you. I made you. You are my creation, and I knit you together in your mother’s womb.”
In these words that God whispers through my soul, scripture comes alive.
On the sixth day of creation, Genesis 1:26-27, 31 reports God’s words as, “ Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
Psalm 139:13-14 continue the whispers within me: “For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
1 John 3 continues in this confirmation for me: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” I encourage you to read the rest of 1 John 3 as well.
How thankful I am for the Voice of Truth! How thankful I am to be covered by Jesus’ righteousness, that my sins, my mistakes, my shortcomings, have been covered, erased, removed as far as the east is from the west! (Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”)