Sometime around now, I will have been a Christian for thirty-five years. I’m not sure of the exact date. At that time, everyone seemed to be reading the New International Version of the Bible. I think it was the newest and clearest translation at the time. After my second copy started to fall to pieces a few years ago, I decided to try a different translation. Off I went to the local Christian bookshop to choose one. My choice was made initially because I liked the cover (probably not the best reason), but then I read a few of the familiar verses and liked the language. It seemed clear and easy to understand, so the ‘New Living Translation’ went home with me. I’m still using it and still like it, although I do go back to my NIV concordance when I want to find something.
Although I’m pretty sure I’ve read it all at some time, I still quite often come across a verse or passage which makes me stop and say “Wow”, because of a clarity that I hadn’t noticed before. Today’s verse is one of those. There we have it, the whole gospel message in one verse, well one sentence really. I find ‘right with God’ easier to understand than ‘righteous’, because ‘righteous’ seemed to be saying I’d been made perfect and good, which clearly isn’t true (yet). But ‘Right with God’ means I’m acceptable and ‘OK’ with God.
It’s a bit like when I went to a recent party. It was quite a smart gathering of people and I would have had no right to be there, but I was taken as the guest of someone who’d been invited to go and take a guest. So, of course, I smartened myself up and put on my best dress. But that didn’t give me the right to go. I was given it because I was with the person who did have the right to go. That’s how it is with us and Jesus. We have no right to be in God’s Kingdom, we lost that right in the garden of Eden (back in Genesis), when we chose to go our own way, and we can’t smarten ourselves up in order to regain that right. But Jesus does have that right, and He’s invited us to join Him. Alleluia!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You’ve paid the price for me to enter the Kingdom of God, and You’ve invited me to join You there. I choose today to walk in that Kingdom with you. Amen.
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