I should explain a little bit about depression - anyone who has suffered from it will know that one of the manifestations are that basic, every-day events become unusually difficult to cope with and deal with. For me these past few months - for some reason - those basic, every-day events have been the arrival of the post and telephone calls. I know that sounds odd! But it was mainly thanks to the constant stream of letters arriving from Acorns Children's hospice trying to persuade me to come back to work and then launching various "disciplinary" procedures for various reasons. Each letter was recorded delivery so it became rather standard to wake up each morning to the postman ringing insistantly because the letter had to be delivered by 09:00! When I was advised to stop accepting the letters they then started ringing - hence the paranoia.
So with that in mind - I drove to work last night and began listening to Rob's second sermon in the wonderful series; "Established in Righteousness" that he preached on the 11th January 2009. And he said this;
"Having a receptive attitude means living with a confident expectation of good coming into your life. Every day I have got to discipline my mind to stop the negativity, the foreboding, the sense of dread, the sense of this coud happen or that terrible thing could happen - I have GOT to live with a spirit of receptivity, a confident expectation of God that I have come into fulness of grace and from that fulness of grace I AM receiving one blessing after another!".
I just couldn't stop laughing as I felt so loved by God through His Holy Spirit! I have lived in dread for the last few months - fearing the postman or fearing a phone call. Even this week after having two court summons served on me (one is for an error of payment made by my previous employer - who then failed to update my new address - and the other from an overly zealous council who are demanding the rest of the year's council tax!) - the truth of God's word just brought such joy!
Rob quoted Proverbs 10:6;
"Blessings are on the head of the righteous".
I think traditionally (like most of the other verses in the Bible I have wrongly interpreted through my mix of law and grace lense) I always thought that "righteous" meant someone strong in good works who serves God well - that is the person God will bless. And looking at my past few months - a legalist might conclude that I am clearly NOT righteous! Interestingly enough I noted that even famous commentator Matthew Henry wrote of Proverbs 10:6; "Those who are fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, are likely to be rich in faith, and rich in good works". Doesn't sound very full of faith and sure of his interpretation does he?
Rob on the other hand reminded us so clearly that having received the imputed gift of Jesus Christ's righteousness - that promise applies to US! That blessings "crown our heads!". That there is nothing we can EVER do to earn the blessing that the Father is about to pour out on us - should we just accept that He is waiting to pour it out BECAUSE He loves us so passionately! No other reason! Nothing we have done or will do or are doing! Just because! And the reason I was confusing so many commuters by driving along smiling like an idiot on a horrid frosty morning is because I think, I THINK that the penny is starting to drop!
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ and just as by the disobedience of one man - Adam - I was condemned to judgement so by the OBEDIENCE of the one Man - Jesus Christ - I am saved, justified, declared righteous FOREVER, glorified, seated and reigning as a co-heir in heavenly places! Now THAT'S the best news you can get to start the day off!