Faith Shines in the World
Mighty God, You don’t hold my past before me to accuse me; You hold Your story before me to pardon me. Hallelujah.
Read Romans 4:1-12
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psa. 37:5,6).
Paul continues his argument concerning righteousness by referring to Abraham, who left Ur in faith and persisted in trusting God in spite of overwhelming odds. God’s threefold promise of descendants, land and universal blessing of the nations (Gen. 12:2; 17:2-8) was not completely fulfilled in his lifetime. Whatever the reason for his long wait, the outstanding quality of his faith shines through and is recognized by three great world religions! Not that the Scriptures ever paint Abraham as perfect (Gen. 12:10-20; 16:1-6; 20:1-18). His righteousness was not dependent on law, even though the rabbis believed “Abraham … performed the whole law before it was given” (L. Morris, Romans, p.195). He was not justified by anything he did. He had nothing to boast about. God credited Abraham as being righteous, in response to his faith, before his circumcision and 430 years before the Law was given. That same grace-filled gift, apart from the Law, was evidenced in David’s forgiveness when he cast himself on God’s mercy and received the credit of righteousness, also (Psa. 32:1,2).
Abraham is the father of all who believe (as Jesus had previously taught). Righteousness is not dependent on circumcision, which was instituted as an outward sign of trust in God. Uncircumcised believers receive God’s righteousness apart from any physical act. Faith alone brings right standing with God. We can never earn the grace-filled gift of righteousness God has for us. We receive it by faith. That faith is not a once-only attitude, although the gift need only be received once. It is an ongoing, all-of-life trust and dependency on God to the end. Faith like that shines like the stars (Phil. 2:15).
What concerns may be hindering your trusting relationship with God? Has your shining to the world dimmed? What do you need to do, to continue faithful?
Faithful God, I thank You for the gift of believing faith You’ve given me. I trust You for my salvation and for Your care over me in my daily life.