The house was cool when we came down to begin our day. Before breakfast I made a quick trip outside to put something in my car and was hit by a wall of heat--and it was only 7.00 a.m.--the cool was only on the inside. "Thank goodness for air conditioning," I thought.
We sat across the table from each other sipping our coffee and munching on our cereal and Paul said, "That post you wrote a couple of days ago about the wedding--that was good." ( "Speechless"--July 4th)
"Hmmm--thanks," I said, feeling blessed that something God flowed through me had meant something to him.
And that started a conversation about the wedding attire in the story and the fact that none of us has any grounds to stand before God on our own merit.
I'd just been reading in the January In Touch magazine by Charles F. Stanley--January, because it's part of the reading collection in the drawer in our bathroom--an article entitled, A Church full of Failures.
The article, by Jedd Medefind, started with a young couple lamenting with friends, accounts of failure in the church. Medefind then went on to recount the failure riddled Bible "heroes,"--I'm sure we're all familiar with them--there is hardly a hero that didn't have his shadow side--some pretty radical moral failure. That's actually one of the things that points to the accuracy of the Bible for me. If anyone made up "stories of faith," they sure could do a better job of drawing heroic characters. The key was the struggle out of the failure--not the failure itself.
Our cereal gone now, we wound up our conversation quickly, agreeing that because of all of this, we can't understand or agree with, those who slam and judge fellow Christians for some aspect of their ministry that doesn't meet their standard of scrutiny. There are some that seem to feel a calling to alert the rest of Christendom to beware of those we consider brothers in Christ--and we weren't speaking of doctrinal issues. We struggle with this because sometimes the people slamming are people we otherwise respect.
Paul left and I opened my dear old, well worn and taped together Daily Light on the Daily Path.
This was the morning reading for today:
“I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.—We have all become like one who is unclean.—I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.—You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.—Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but . . . the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
“Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him.”—The fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.—I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Zech. 3:4; Ps. 32:1; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 7:18; Gal. 3:27; Col. 3:9, 10; Phil. 3:9; Luke 15:22; Rev. 19:8; Isa. 61:10
Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for your grace by which I can stand in your Presence. If I am wrong about those who feel called to be the watchdogs over the Church, forgive me and show me your perspective. For now, I am grateful for your Word, that does confirm our common state of dependence upon your grace and your love that covers us in your righteousness.