So Close

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." (Isaiah 42:8)

It's personal with God. There are times in our life where He comes across as aloof. As uncaring and hard and distant. Reason I say "it's personal" is because when we look at Him from a certain angle, we are seeing Him as we want, not as He is. Yes, He is unchanging, but there are always bigger things that He's getting at. Both, in our lives, and in the world at large. So if you look at God and you sense He may be looking the other way, or straight through you off in the distance, take heart.

"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 13:30-31)

Namesake

"He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalm 23:3, emphasis mine)

How many times is this added, almost as a caveat? (...and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17) A caveat, by the way, is literally a warning. It may not be used in that context by and large. A caveat is usually seen, in my opinion, as something that is added almost as an afterthought. But no, it literally means "let him beware". It's dangerous business trying to take the credit for a situation, for a blessing, for any good thing that we possess or come upon. It's all a gift that God has no qualms about giving. He just wants us to make sure and give credit where credit is due. And gratitude is the order of the day. Personally, I think a gratitude journal is a good idea. Something to keep track of all the ways that God has made it personal between you and He.

"...for whatsoever is not of faith is of sin." (Romans 14:23)

God has staked it all in His Son. I should say, God staked--staked it all. He gave Jesus the keys when He proved He had what it took to steer the universe. From the Father, to the Son. And from the Son, to us. "And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7) In this verse is seen some of that aloofness alluded to earlier. There is nothing that I have that has been "added" (Matthew 16:33) to me that I received through any other means than just the generosity of my Heavenly Father.

Forsake

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Such a loaded statement. Jesus was made sin for us. He took it on. What is sin? I envision some  sticky, black, goopy mess that is impossible to wash off. And maybe that's not too far a cry from something. But sin. Sin is the active opposite of God. God is the bedrock of existence. His presence infuses every plane that He created. His latitude is infinite, as is His longitude. But sin? Where is sin in all this. It's not that sin is that physical substance that is inexorably gross (it is), it's that sin is something that only God sees. Because He sees all, and there's no room in his view for anything else. So Jesus had to jettison it. And us? We were caught in the middle. Yes we sinned, but we were also tricked. All that aside, the redemption that is now ours cost the very life of the Son of God. Something that He bought with His blood and gives freely in exchange for our life and our will. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) And so we get to be that righteousness. The caveat is: it's only in Him. We are the righteousness of God--In Christ.

"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Romans 10:3)

Anyone ignoring this most basic tenet of faith, that it's never going to be our performance, our righteousness that gets us in to right standing with God, will never realize just how close to God they are in spite of not feeling it one bit.

"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;" (Romans 10:8)

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Josh Ingram

I started writing a blog in the Summer of 2011 and I find myself many years later, doing the same thing. Really, I found myself somewhere in the aforementioned process and so now it’s just polish and refinement. I write whenever the Spirit moves me. In other words, uh, hebdomadally. Okay, word. Word.