Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5

“Faith is the law of spiritual righteousness, and righteousness is to be attained in no other way.  No amount of works, however religious, can bring about true holiness....the essential difference between the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of works.  The last is a righteousness put on from the outside; the first springs up from within.  The one is works; the other is fruit.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 7/5

Righteousness is all it takes for us to be saved and Christ imputes it to us.  So what’s our problem, then, with works?  Why do we persist in works?  I really don’t think Christians try to work for their salvation like those who are not saved.  There are groups who do not believe in the assurance of salvation and therefore rely on their works to finish getting them into heaven.  I’m not talking about them.  I’m talking about the Christians who feel they have to look like a Christian by what they do.  These are the very people who often are the least loving because they’re so busy working.  They have no time to notice the lonely elderly widow or the neglected child because they are busy “working for the Lord”.  Or they may be putting in long hours on the job, to the neglect of their family, so their offerings are large every Sunday for “the Lord’s work”.  Hannah has reminded us that the works we do should be the fruit of our faith.  It is our faith that is counted as righteousness.  First, it is our faith in Christ’s work on the Cross, but then it is our faith that God is at work in our lives--making us righteous.  Our gratefulness for all that God is doing in our lives should be producing the fruit that shows we belong to Him.

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;” Galatians 5:22, 23a

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