December 21

We Need Jesus’s Righteousness to Love God’s Justice

“Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.” (Proverbs 28:4-5)

Today has been a good day in rehab, with lots of visitors, especially compared to last night when I was aching and tired, at the end of a pain-filled day and a half. I decided to wait until now to write and post today’s devotion, rather than press myself to write when I was so weary and unfocused. I felt justified because of my physical and mental weakness, which means that I had a right and logical reason for waiting. The burden of obeying a rule I made up for myself (post a devotion every day the evening before) does not threaten me. I also know that I am no longer being judged by God’s Law, having been freed from the law by Jesus Christ, who redeemed me. However, my love for Jesus Christ, his wisdom, and grace motivates me to write, when I am able—he gives me the desire to write when I am ready because I miss the time I spend with him while doing so. I am sure that one of the reasons I want to spend this time with Jesus is because of the time I’ve already spent with his people today. We have talked of God’s sweet grace, his providence, sovereignty, and his timing in our lives. 

“Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more.” (1) The more time we spend with those who reject the Lord and his wisdom, who do not understand God’s justice, the less we will appreciate how his justice works with his mercy and grace. We say that we don’t want God’s justice because it is what we deserve—condemnation for our sins. However, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, he has cleared us of our guilty status and declared us to be just in his eyes. When we consider the purity and holiness of God’s laws and commands, the perfection of his righteousness, and the consistency of his integrity, why would we not want God’s justice? Mercy is not the absence of justice, but conformity to it, by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, giving us his irresistible desire and love for God’s.  

When we think of Jesus Christ over the next four days, let’s remember his perfect righteousness and the justice of God that drove him to the cross for us.

*Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 28:4-5.

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