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Monday, December 22, 2014

The 23rd Psalm Is 100 Percent Yours

What the Bible says seems such fantastic good news that it's almost impossible to believe: "The gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes" (Rom 1:16; that "salvation" is for now as well as for eternity). This means that the 23rd Psalm was written especially for you as if you were the only person on earth.
It also means that the promises God made to Abraham (Gen. 12:2, 3) are made to you, for you are his descendant "in Christ." What did the promises include? Not just the land of Canaan (Israelis and Palestinians fight over that), but "the promise [is] that he should be the heir of the world" (Rom. 4:13). Further, it's to be "an everlasting possession" (Gen. 17:8). And no one can inherit the earth forever unless it is made "new" (2 Peter 3:13); and, still further, only "righteousness dwells" there. That is, all who inherit it are made "righteous." Starting today.
Therefore as surely as day follows night, the 23rd Psalm and the promises to Abraham are the Good News because they include salvation from sin now. Not only forgiveness for sins, but also the gift of a new heart. That includes the original promise made to Adam and Eve in Eden--God Himself will put into your heart an "enmity" against sin (Gen. 3:15), and of course a love for righteousness. All this is included in the New Covenant promises to Abraham.
"But," you say, "I am not worthy of any of this; why should the Lord make any promise of any kind to me, for I am 'less than the least of all saints' (Eph. 3:8)"? The answer is: the promises weren't actually made to you, they were made to Christ, for He alone is "the Seed." The Lord "does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ" (Gal. 3:16). But that's exactly where you come in: the Father "so loved the world that He gave" Christ to you as a Gift. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).
The moment you stop resisting, stop fighting against the Holy Spirit of God, and you let Him "lead" you, you "receive the Spirit of adoption." Your lonely heart begins to cry, "Father ..." "The Spirit Himself bears witness with your spirit" that you are a child of God "in Christ," and that means you are an "heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ" (see vss. 13-17).
I don't know how you'd feel if you won a jackpot of millions of dollars; but it couldn't begin to compare with the joy you now realize: you are a "joint-heir of God" with Christ. You can recite the 23rd Psalm as 100 percent yours. You will "dwell in the house of the Lord forever"--because you are "in Christ," by adoption in Him and also by your day-by-day choice.
--Robert J. Wieland

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