Friday, May 15, 2009

Like a Palm Tree

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. Psalm 92:12

When we truly understand that we have been made righteous through our faith in Christ, we can withstand anything. Just as a palm tree survives the attack of hurricane winds and rain, we who are rooted in Christ will find the strength to overcome life's trials. The palm tree is flexible and is able to bend without breaking. We too can find inner stamina to bend and get back up.

We must learn to meditate on Bible verses that tell us who we are in Christ. We have been declared righteous through the gift of God – it is not through our own effort. The Scripture says that Jesus took upon Himself our sin and exchanged our sin for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Understanding that we are righteousness before God empowers us to withstand life's storms. We have been declared righteous through the gift of God – it is not through our own achievement (See Ephesians 2:8, Romans 4:3). His gift of righteousness in us must be worked out into our daily walk, but God declares us righteous from the time we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

His view of us as “right before Him” does not fluctuate with our sometimes unsteady performance. The Lord sees us as righteous because of the blood of Christ. When we sin, we experience guilt and separation in our fellowship with God, but when we confess our sins to the Lord, He forgives us and cleanses us (1 John 1:9). Our standing before the Lord, however, never changes; we remain continually righteous in His eyes.

Does this mean that we are not sinners? No, Paul the Apostle called himself the chief of sinners. We are each capable of great sin, but because of the grace of God we can live a life of freedom from sinful habits. How can we be both righteous and be sinful? We are righteous in our spirits – the part of us where the Holy Spirit resides. Our souls (mind, will, and emotions) and our bodies still experience the effects of the sinful nature (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23). We are to work out the righteousness of God into our soul and bodies – this process is called sanctification.

Those of us who have embraced God's free gift of salvation have been declared righteous. Strength comes as we grow in our understanding of this truth. When the difficult times of life come, we can remain standing. This does not mean we will live free from suffering; it does mean that in the midst of our pain the Lord will give us victory. He is able to bless us with peace in the middle of the storm, and He will help us to eventually overcome.

Thank you Lord for making us righteous through Your sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for enabling us to flourish like palm trees in any kind of weather.

If you haven't accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you can receive God's free gift of salvation by praying a prayer like the one below...

Dear Lord,

I realize that I am a sinner. I have failed you in many ways. I thank you for sending Jesus to die for me and to take away my sin. Lord I receive your forgiveness and I receive Your gift of righteousness. I thank you for saving me. I choose to follow you all the days of my life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I believe that one day I will see you in heaven. Amen.

If you just accepted Christ for the first time after reading this, or if you renewed your commitment to Him, please email me. I would like to touch base with you to help you in your walk with the Lord. My email address is Remember that God always loves you.

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