I know this is all sounds negative, ugly, and depressing. BUT, if we do not open our eyes to see truth even when it reveals ugliness, then we will continue to be blind and apathetic. We will be living in darkness because we do not even know what real light is. It is like cleaning a closet; it gets worse before it gets better. We have considered the ugliness of unrighteousness personally and in our Western culture. None of us are going to be able to be righteous by God’s standards! (Romans 3:23) True!
That is exactly why we need Jesus. Jesus is the positive and good news in all this! He is our hero! He has made us righteous by paying the price of sin and death for us! He has made a way for us to be righteous that we might be the children of the Heavenly Father. Yet, that is not the end of this good news!
When a child is born in the image of his/her father and mother, the child has not yet developed the character of the father or mother. Right? It takes lots of love, forgiveness, training, discipline, and growing up to get the “SELFishness” out and the right (righteous) character in their heart, mind, and soul. The good parent never condemns or disowns the child, but with patience and endurance continues the teaching and training and growing process. The child is being taught and trained in the right way to think, to be (character), and to do (behavior), so that as an adult he/she may have a good and satisfying life! The parents’ motivation is love.
It is the same with our Heavenly Father. Jesus made the way that we could be forgiven and righteous in Him (even while yet in our sin) so that we could come into the presence of the holy Father and become His adopted children! (Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:1, Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1: 4-6)
But, the good news doesn’t stop there. He sent a Trainer/Helper/Teacher to assist us in growing in righteousness.
John 14:26. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
John 16:8, “And when He has come, He will convict the world or sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”
As long as we stay in the family by love (relationship) and try our best (motivation of our heart to love Him) to think, be, and act like the Father, then we are not condemned or disowned. His patience, forgiveness, love, and mercy endures forever. He looks on the heart of the person. He sees repentance and change towards righteousness. He rewards and brings satisfaction to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
But, it is also possible to walk away from our Heavenly Father. I am reminded of the parable of the prodigal son who left the father’s house. He misused all that his father had given him. He went the world’s way of unrighteousness. It was selfish pleasure for a season, but he ended up very unsatisfied in the pig pen. That is the unrighteous worldly analogy of the story. There is also the unrighteous legalistic analogy of the other son who stayed home and did everything he thought he was supposed to do, but not from the heart. His selfish motives and lack of relationship with the father are exposed when his brother comes home. He proudly announces his good works and asks why a feast was not celebrated for him! This is like the righteousness of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Neither son was pursuing (hungering and thirsting) after righteousness/right standing with the father and His character.
The Bible says that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. But, the good news is the Father’s love never fails, never quits, never gives up, never forsakes those who are His children and love Him. We just need to stay in close love relationship with Him, repent when needed, and learn His Word and His Way.
We need to come to our senses (wake up), repent (hate the sin and pursue the change to right), get our hearts right (focus our love on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and come home to the Heavenly Father’s open arms through Jesus! The changes will not all come automatically right after becoming His child. Sanctification is a process that takes time. But if we persevere and endure and remain faithful, then by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we shall overcome and be like Him. He promises that if we hunger and thirst after Him and His righteousness, we will be satisfied. What good news!!!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6