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They Have a Zeal for God

October 14, 2017

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They Have a Zeal for God

The apostle Paul  really had a heart  for his fellow countrymen,  the Jews.      He wanted  so much  for them  to know that they could be assured  of eternal life,  by having faith  in the resurrection  of Jesus Christ.      Paul knew  that many Jews  were trying their very hardest  to be good  and perfect  according to all the Jewish traditions  and the Old Testament laws,  because they really wanted  to get to heaven.

For as good  as these people  were trying to be,  none of their goodness  would ever grant them  a place  in heaven.     They knew  about God  and believed God’s word  was true.      They realized  they had to be righteous  before they could  enter heaven.

But,  they did not realize  that it was Jesus  who had fulfilled  all the Old Testament prophecies  of their Savior.      For as much  as they read  the Old Testament  and worshiped  at the Temple,  they just did not think Jesus  could possibly be  the promised Savior,  because He died  before He could become  their King.

Their blindness  was sad,  and the blindness  of many church-going people today  is sad.      Even though  they know  about God  and even  about Jesus,  they still think  they have  to work  their way  to heaven.      The idea  of a truly free salvation  in Jesus Christ alone  just boggles the mind.

And so,  Paul laments  in Romans 10:1-4,

Brethren,  my heart’s desire  and my prayer  to God  for them is  for their salvation.      For I bear them witness  that they have  a zeal  for God,  but not  in accordance  with knowledge.

For not knowing  about God’s righteousness,  and seeking  to establish their own,  they did not  subject themselves  to the righteousness  of God.      For Christ  is the end  of the law  for righteousness  to everyone  who believes.

It is God’s love  and righteousness  that caused Him  to want  to be merciful  to us  and send a Savior,  who would actually be  our righteousness — when we simply  believe.

Having a  “zeal for God”  doesn’t do us  any good,  if we don’t trust God  and take Him  at His word.      We can  “know”  that God is perfect.      We can  “know”  that only the righteous  will get  into heaven.      We can  “know”  that it is good  to be good  because that makes life better  for everyone.      We can  “know”  that God is almighty,  all-knowing,  and present everywhere.

But,  if we don’t know  God’s love  “just for me”  —  and that God wants  to give even  ”me”  this gift  of salvation  —  we’re always going  to be working hard  to make ourselves righteous enough  to get  into heaven.

Our so-called righteousness  will never be  good enough.      But,  we’re dumb  and stubborn enough  to keep on trying  to do it  our way  —  thinking  —  hoping  —  we’ll get good enough  some day.

That sort  of stubbornness  is actually pride.      We just want  to be proud  of ourselves  and have everyone say,  “Oh my,  isn’t he/she  a wonderful person.”      Our pride  is snubbing God’s gift  of righteousness  in Christ.      And that is rude.      We cannot afford  to be rude  to the LORD God Almighty.

So,  we do need  to humble ourselves  and admit  that our righteousness  is nothing  but filthy rags,  as Isaiah 64:6 says,

For all  of us  have become  like one  who is unclean,  and all our righteous deeds  are like a filthy garment;  and all  of us wither  like a leaf,  and our iniquities,  like the wind,  take us away.

As we humble ourselves — like a child — and see  that only the blood  of Jesus  can make us clean  and righteous  in God’s sight,  we will be relieved  of the burden  of our sins,  and say, “Hallelujah!      The Lord  truly is  our  righteousness.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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