“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
If only we could all grasp this concept. The concept that it is by JESUS that we are called righteous. FREELY and GRACIOUSLY declared righteous. Just let that sink in… It’s not by how holy you act, how many bibles you read, how much you pray, how much you tithe, how sin-free you live, etc… NO! It’s by Jesus and Jesus alone that we are DECLARED righteous. NOTHING can take away that declaration.
Last night a friend of mine who pastors a local young adult ministry called “Upper Room” declared a very beautiful truth. During the song, “We are Hungry” by Jesus Culture, there is a line that says, “We life our holy hands up.” During this moment Pastor Joseph noticed there were a lot of people that seemed to struggle with holding up their hands because they may not feel like they are “holy” enough. He reminded everyone that we are declared holy and righteous because of Jesus.
Have you ever taken a moment to sit back and wonder how many encounters you have missed because you were to ashamed? Because you are so consumed with your past mistakes and the idea that you aren’t lovable. Think about it. How many times have you felt Holy Spirit urging you into something deeper but YOU disqualify yourself?! I know I have. Many many many times and for many years.
Last night, mixed with the series from Sunday morning about encouraging one another has been an immense turning point for my heart. We NEED people in our lives that will uplift and encourage us. We NEED people who will point us back to the scriptures, back to the gospel and remind us of who we are. Time and time again last night I was reminded of WHO I am BECAUSE of Christ. Time and time again last night I was comforted by God through His people, His Church.
Friends… Family… You are declared righteous. Freely and graciously. Just as you are. Jesus knows the mess you are in. Jesus knows the mistakes you have made. Jesus knows the mistakes you will make. Jesus isn’t surprised. Jesus isn’t caught off guard with your struggle. Jesus isn’t turned away by your sin. Let Him embrace you. Let Him bring you out of the darkness and into the light. Let Him turn your sorrow into dancing…
He loves you. He wants you. He died for you. He declares you righteous.