Why Righteousness Is Reasonable and Sin Is Not

Daily Devotion | Day 282

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18, KJV).

Sin is the most irrational choice a human being can make. Sin is unnatural. But righteousness is natural. Sin is abnormal. But righteousness is normal. Sin is unreasonable. But righteousness is reasonable. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that sinning is a normal part of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, sin is not part of life. It is part of death (Romans 5:12-14; 6:23). Sin is not normal, at all.

God’s plan from the beginning hasn’t changed. Righteous living is the norm; sin is the exception. Unfortunately, centuries of inaccurate teaching have led many to believe that sin is the expected norm and righteousness is the exception. The truth is, a righteous life is what agrees with your God-given nature. Anything else is an abnormal life.

Let’s listen to what God is saying in today’s opening passage. “Come now,” He says, “and let us reason together.” God is the essence of Reason. He created us in His image and likeness. This means we are intelligent beings capable of making reasonable choices. This is also why it is possible for us to reason with God. Reasoning with God enables you to understand clearly the choices before you.

God reminds His people that they are stained with sin. But if they would reason with Him, that condition would change. Instead of the stain of sin, they would be white as snow or wool. It is a choice between clean and unclean, pure and impure. The rational choice here is to prefer clean over unclean, and pure over impure. When you sin, you’re not using reason. Sinning is foolishness. It is like preferring to wear dirty clothes when you have the option of wearing clean clothes.

In the New Testament, Paul made a similar appeal to Christians: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). The only reasonable (logical, intelligent) service you can render as a Christian is a service of holiness and righteousness. That’s it. Anything to the contrary is unreasonable. And if it is unreasonable, then it is unacceptable.

Be reasonable. Choose purity.

BlessingMay your light shine brightly today. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

For further studyRomans 6:1-23 and Ezekiel 18:1-32

The Call and the Walk

Daily Devotional: Day 194

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1, NKJV).

As a Christian, your primary and fundamental calling is not to be a Pastor, an Elder, a Deacon, Music Director, a Prophet, an Apostle, etc. Your most fundamental calling is to live a holy life. The call to holiness, therefore, is the foundation on which all other callings in the Church stand. If you are living a holy life, then you are fulfilling your call. Everyone is called to be holy and righteous, but not everyone is called to be an Apostle or Pastor or Deacon.

No matter the church titles you have, if you are not walking in holiness, your title can’t help you when you stand before the Son of God. Remember, Judas had a title, too. He was an Apostle, one of the 12; yet he was lost because he failed in holiness and did not repent. He was an Apostle, but he was also a deceiver, a thief and a traitor (cf. Luke 22:1-6John 12:6). His ministry of Apostleship did not save him. So the point is, it’s not your ministry position that matters, but your walk in holiness.

In today’s passage, Paul is writing to the Christians in Ephesus. He urges them to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. This is important because our walk must match our calling. The “calling” he is referring to is the call to live a holy life, i.e. to live as saints. At the beginning of his letter, Paul points out the purpose for which God chose us. God, he says, “chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

As Christians, God has washed us in the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5) and made us holy (i.e. sanctified us). But it doesn’t end there. The way we live and the choices we make must match who we are as God’s holy people. That is what Paul means when he says we must walk in a manner worthy of our calling. The only life worthy of our calling is a holy life. A sinful life is beneath who we are and who are called to be. Without holiness, the Christian life has no credibility. Therefore, in chapter 4 of Ephesians, Paul breaks down the practical (moral) specifics of living a holy life. He continues in chapter 5 and finishes around chapter 6:9.

In sum, no matter your position in church, family or society, you need the name “holy” as an adjective in front of your name or position. If you are a parent, be a holy parent; if you are a husband, be a holy husband; if you are a wife, be a holy wife; if you are a child, be a holy child; if you are unmarried, be a holy unmarried person; if you are a pastor, be a holy pastor; if you are a Sunday school teacher, be a holy Sunday school teacher; if you are a politician, be a holy politician; if you are a cop, be a holy cop; if you are an accountant, be a holy accountant; if you are a doctor, be a holy doctor, etc. Whatever your status is in life, be holy.

May the Holy Father bless you and your family today, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Ephesians 4:17-32

How Jesus’ Wife Makes Herself Ready

Daily Devotional: Day 164

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-8, KJV).

At the beginning of Revelation 19, John saw a vision of the end. In the vision, the host of heaven rejoiced over the fact that God had judged Babylon, the whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication and shed the blood of God’s servants. Then follows a call to rejoice and give honor to God. Why? Because the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready. The Lamb here is referring to Jesus, the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world (cf. John 1:29). This tells us that Jesus has chosen a bride for Himself and heaven is getting ready for the great celebration of the marriage of the Lamb. Jesus’ bride is the Church which He purchased with His precious blood.

Notice that according to what John saw, Jesus’ wife had made herself ready. The wife of Jesus is not a single individual. ‘She’ refers to the worldwide group of believers who make up the Body of Christ. These people are together known as the saints. How will Jesus’ wife make herself ready for the marriage? The Bible tells us: Jesus’s wife will be clothed in fine linen, clean and white. Then, the Bible explains what the fine linen means. The fine linen is the righteousness of saints. This is an important detail.

The righteousness of saints referring to the righteous deeds of all who are born again, including those who have died in the Lord. Collectively, our righteous acts will be like a fine line, clean and spotless, with which we shall be clothed (see Revelation 3:1-6). Living a righteous and pure life is how we (Jesus’ wife) make ourselves ready for the marriage of the Lamb. Let no one think that he is righteous even if he sins and produces unrighteous fruit. The Lord sanctified us and made us righteous through the new creation (cf. Ephesians 4:22-24). Producing fruit of righteousness shows that we are indeed from a righteous tree. Only righteous people shall be in heaven at the marriage of the Lamb. As you live a righteous life in Christ, that is the fine linen you’ll be wearing in heaven. In heaven, there will be no magical white robe to cover our unrighteousness. 

Jesus is pure and spotless. He is the Lamb without blemish (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-19). He, therefore, will marry only a spotless bride, clean and pure. This explains why Ephesians 5:25-27, says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious churchnot having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (emphasis added). Jesus went through all this trouble to make us pure because we are the Bride He loves. Consequently, He wants us to walk in purity and holiness. 

Jesus is coming back for a spotless Church. Anyone living in sin will not be at the marriage of the Lamb. Let no one deceive you that it is impossible to be holy and spotless. If it weren’t possible to be holy, Jesus wouldn’t entertain that expectation upon His return. We have all the divine grace we need to keep ourselves pure. Walking in purity and holiness is our only valid option. The good news is, we can do all things through Christ Jesus our Lord. Let’s together make ourselves ready for Him who loved us and has set us apart as His Bride.

May the Lord bless you and preserve you from all harm. Amen.

For further study: 1 John 3:1-9

Stay Motivated. Expect Jesus.

Daily Devotional: Day 39

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3, KJV).

Expectation triggers motivation. And motivation leads to preparation. If you’re not expecting anything or anyone, you prepare differently or you don’t prepare at all. Whatever you’re hoping for (expecting) in life motivates you to prepare accordingly. This can be applied to many aspects of life including marriage, career, vocation, academia, etc. We must not underestimate the power of expectation. When you’re looking forward to something of value, it keeps you motivated. This creates the incentive to put in all the work necessary for welcoming that reality. If, however, you’re not looking forward to anything worthwhile, you feel like there’s nothing to live for; this can trigger lethargy and unhappiness. In short, you stay motivated when you have a worthy goal in view. The same is true of our relationship with Jesus. This brings us to today’s Bible passage, in which John urges the children of God to stay motivated through constant expectation of Jesus.

Expectation of Jesus’ coming is a great motivation for living a holy life, i.e. keeping yourself pure from the contamination of sin and the lusts of the flesh. Today, not many professed Christians value a life of holiness. No wonder, because few professed Christians today can be said to be actively looking forward to the coming of Jesus. The point is, the degree to which you’re expecting Jesus greatly influences the degree of your preparation to meet Jesus. John says anyone who is expecting to meet Jesus keeps himself pure as he [Jesus] is pure. The context here is about moral purity. The Bible’s logic is simple: Jesus is pure. When he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. If we truly have this hope, naturally, we’ll feel motivated to keep ourselves pure. Let’s stay motivated. Let’s prepare to welcome Jesus. 

Pray:

Daddy, thank you the privilege to be called your child. I know that I’m yours now. And when Jesus is revealed, I shall be like him for I shall see him as he is. By your Spirit in me, enable me to prepare for Christ’s coming by keeping myself pure. With you, all things are possible. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Romans 8:16-39