The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 1: Job – His Character
How often have I heard the – sometimes unspoken – cry: What is the point of trying to be good and kind when the bad people seem to ‘get away with murder’? Or
There is no justice for the victims and all our graciousness is thrown back in our faces. Why bother any more? Why not just act like everyone else, and become self-centred and selfish?
I’ve even seen it put this way – how can we, His creation, bless God? We who are fundamentally human and with a bias towards doing evil things – how would it be possible for God to benefit in any way by the way we live?
That’s a very subtle question, isn’t it? It assumes that God is totally righteous and therefore incapable of having a relationship with us. It follows down the track that Christianity is like all other religions – man in pursuit of God and trying to attain a standard that is acceptable to Him. Unfortunately or thankfully, that is erroneous.
Christianity is totally unique. It is the evidence of a loving Heavenly Father in pursuit of His children. God longing to have a loving ongoing relationship with the people He created. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect before we can have a friendship with Him. He knows that is impossible. But He comes to us – He seeks us out so we can have a friendship with Him on the basis that He has made a way possible.
Knowing we couldn’t reach Him or His standard of perfection, God sent His Son to die in our place and to raise us up above His standard. When we accept Christ’s death for us, God sees us as perfect already. We don’t have to try and be perfect – we rest in the perfection He gives us.
Just as God did not go to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt and say – Obey these 10 Commandments and I’ll let you out of Egypt – No, He got them out of Egypt and then gave them the 10 promises for a life of blessing if they followed them, so today He doesn’t come to us and say, “Be good and follow these rules and I’ll let you into Heaven.” He comes to us and says, “Here is My Son, put your trust in Him and the promises I gave in the past will become promises for you so you can live life to the full.”
Can a person bless God? Oh yes! As we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us and change us to become more like Jesus – so God looks at us and is thrilled to see one more person like His Son – who is His total delight.
The way may be hard and frustrating but we are not supposed to compare ourselves with this world and its systems, but rather keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the goal and the prize!
Job would say to us today...
Being a person of integrity is worth it. It’s a healthier lifestyle. It’s a simpler lifestyle – truth remains truth – you don’t have to try and remember it. It brings more peace and joy. They are priceless benefits. Lastly, it brings joy to our Father’s heart as He gets another glimpse of Jesus.
Father. Please help me remember that You delight in those whose ways are upright. Help me maintain my integrity even when it would be easier to let it drop. For Your glory I ask it. Amen.
Psalm 41; Philippians 2:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
What are the character traits you would like to be known for?
What are the benefits we get through maintaining our integrity?
How are you bringing joy to God’s heart as you live your life today?