God’s Good Opinion

There is a good reason for possessing the ways of the Lord. There is a good reason to believe the Lord is able to provide us His will. There is a good reason to assert that possessing His ways is the only way to demonstrate our relationship with Him. There is an absolute reason to say that without His ways none can belong to Him. The Word of God is tried and tested and is full of His ways. In it is found the means to the Lord’s glory and the joy which fills us. There is an absolute reason for us to not walk aimlessly. The Scripture says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Sin made all men aimless and deprived them of God’s glory. As long as they allow it to rule them, it will deprive them of His glory. The only way to overcome it is by His ways. They are of faith and their foremost fruit is righteousness. He, who is with righteousness, as the Lord says, is without sin. That one is not short of God’s glory. In other words, God’s opinion of him is good. He takes him into His fold; he sees and hears the things God leads him to. It is indeed sad when Christians often use Paul’s words to substantiate their life for God. We see many do it rather convincingly. It is because they do not know God’s reason for saving men. When we are saved by grace, we are no longer short of His glory (opinion). He unconditionally redeemed us through His Son. He changed His opinion of us; He made us His sons. He made the following determinations to sustain us with His glory. First, to never let the enemy snatch us out of His hands; second, to make us into a people that possess His ways. This He did in His foreknowledge.

When Paul said all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, he was speaking in relation to the righteousness that alone comes by faith in Jesus. Unless a person believes in Jesus, he or she is not made righteous by God. What does this mean? That before we knew Jesus we were short of God’s good opinion, but once we were made righteous through Him we perpetually received His glory; we are no longer short of it. For this reason, there is a good reason for possessing the Lord’s ways. We are called for it. It is to complement the opinion God has toward us through Christ. He who does not desire to have His ways or accept the need to possess them is still short of God’s glory. A true Christian is one who has his or her course ordained by the Lord. For the Lord always makes potent everyone He calls to Him; He leaves none. They continually emit His righteousness. It means the holiness of the Lord God will be manifested in them. No lie, jealousy, hatred, wickedness, unloving heart, carelessness or foolishness will be propounded by them. The world learns to revere them; enemies display feigned respect toward them. The Lord makes them His power.

Now, the reason we have all been sinners at one time is that we walked by the ways of the world. The sin present in us convinced us to walk in them. But when God took hold of us through Christ, we were able to find a better way to live. Furthermore, we found out that because of that way our life does not end in death, but continues into eternity. That way is the way of righteousness and it is obtained through belief in Christ. It gives us only the ways of God (His will); for He is holy. And because our spirit is led by His Spirit, we do not desire to seek other ways. This means huge benefit to God, a benefit of such kind which we hear was present in the early Christians. “So that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia” (1 Thess. 1:7).

There are many who believe in the Lord these days, but without the complete reason for God to save them. So, they convincingly substantiate their life for God with words. And we have been gifted with God’s glory to be an example to them. The only way to accomplish it is by our work of faith, i.e. righteousness. The more we strive for faith, the greater the righteousness we deliver through the ways of the Lord. Christians in Macedonia and Achaia were believers in the Lord. Yet, Christians in Thessalonica became an example to them, because they understood the Lord better. The benefit of becoming an example to others is two-fold. One, it makes us strive to live up to the example we set, thereby making us fervent in the Spirit. Two, those who become our imitators grow in the Lord and influence many more into becoming like them. Though we may not be aware, our influence for God will have exceeded our imagination. We will awake many believers, who are living a lame life, to righteousness.

Where does sin fit in all this? As it is being defeated by our work of faith, it finds no place in us. We are with the glory of God. Then, great is the advantage. We constantly serve the law of God with our mind. And though we may serve the law of sin with our flesh, because of our existence in the flesh, we overcome it with our mind, because of the glory of God upon us. It is on this mind He writes His laws through Christ. They are righteous and remove the fear of death, a fruit of sin, in us. So, Peter, who took his stand with the eleven, said, “but God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).

That God raised Jesus from the dead was His work of faith to the promise He made to all who believe in Him. The promise is His glory. And He who called us in Christ expects us to demonstrate our righteousness to those who need to understand His work. For this reason, there is a good reason to believe the Lord will provide us His will. When we have it, we are set to glorifying God in the midst of those who must glorify Him. If you still seek confidence to do His will, take it from the fact that it was impossible for Jesus to be held in the power of death. There will be nothing, but victory in all He asks you to do. It will take time and ups and downs, but only to end up with joy in the Spirit. The maximum power of sin is in death, but when Jesus overcame death it meant there can be no defeat to the ways He provides us. So, let us prepare to do good deeds to Him being encouraged with His word. “But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me” (Mark 14:6).

While all those present around her were ridiculing her for her work of faith, the Lord regarded her work as good. Many do not understand what it means to do good deeds for the Lord. They simply go on performing as many works as they can in His name. Good deeds to the Lord come from a pure faith. Faith leads our minds to them, because God speaks to us through it. By what that woman saw and obtained from Him she was inspired to anoint His head with a very costly alabaster vial. No one having such costly perfume would pour it on anyone’s head, unless God speaks to them through faith. Many these days do not comprehend the true nature of faith. It is our belief in God as well as His good reason to speak to us. Through it He gives us His ways, since He credited it to us as righteousness. He is tremendously pleased with us. This then means we are not short of His glory. So, it was said, “AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL” (Matt. 2:6).

We have all believed that Christ came to save us from sin and death. Let us also believe that He intended to do it by shepherding us. It is common knowledge that the work of a shepherd is to tend his sheep. He leads them and where he leads, they quietly follow. In other words, they neither know nor care for another way. Jesus Christ is that Shepherd to us with the power of God. If indeed He is our Shepherd, we have no other ways, but His. He defines, delivers and helps us to execute His will that His God is eternally glorified. To do what He says is our work of faith. Whoever you may be, whether a preacher, teacher, parent or believer, He has reserved His ways for you. Take them and fulfill them that the life He gave you might be known to all and that many find their way to Him. For “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (John 1:4).

Yes, the righteousness or the work of faith in you is the sign to the life He gave you. It is to bring you success. For this reason, there is a good reason to assert that possessing His ways is the only way to demonstrate our relationship with Him. You will be the person who understood the reason God saved you and gave you His glory. You will be a proponent of God’s wisdom. “…the thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Rom. 9:20).

Posted in 2012, Archives.