September 24

Job 42:5-6 (NIV) 5My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Job had been questioning God, but now it is God's turn to question Job. The substance of God's questions ask Job that if he lives in a world full of things beyond his understanding, why should he be able to figure out what God is presently doing in his life? Such a wonderful Creator should be trusted by His creation to do what is in their best interest.

Job entered into a new relationship with God. Up until that time he had heard of God through others lives and stories. Now he saw God with his own eyes. He has the same reaction that everyone does. He saw the holiness of God and by contrast, his wretched condition. But didn't God say Job was righteous? No, God said there was no one on earth like him (1:8). Compared to other men he is blameless and upright. Compared to God he is a sin sick man with a sin-infested nature. Job learned genuine humility from this encounter. The manifest presence of God blows away any deceptions of our own goodness. We need God's manifest presence in the church today to see our real condition.

God restored everything that Job had lost, and then doubled it. There is one notable exception. He had as many children as he originally had. Why is that? Why weren't they doubled? Besides being hard on his wife, they really were doubled. He never lost the first set of children. They merely moved to heaven before Job did. He now has 20 children, even though ten are in heaven. Things are not always as they appear. The book of Job is an exhortation to trust God no matter what you are going through.

Consider: You may never know the reasons for certain trials and struggles, but you can be sure your Creator's character is impeccable. God will see you through, if you will continue to trust in Him.

September 24

Galatians 6:14-15 (NIV) 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

The letter to the church of Galatia was meant to help them see that obeying the laws of Moses could never help their relationship with God. The men who were insisting that obedience was necessary were missing the main point. Jesus paid it all! They wanted to convert these non-Jewish Christians to Judaism. Then they could boast about them conforming to their customs and laws.

Paul was teaching them that the only thing worth boasting about was the one thing that made them right with God. That is the cross of Calvary. The cross, not laws, is what makes us dead to the world. The laws could never change the heart of man that desires sin. The law just made you guilty. It looked forward to the final solution, the cross. The autopilot of the heart keeps guiding us into sin unless it is changed. The law couldn't change it. The cross does.

It doesn't matter to God whether you have performed Jewish rituals that are symbolic of spiritual things or if you haven't. What matters is if your heart has been changed. Is your autopilot now set upon the Spirit? If it is still set on the sinful nature, all the good laws in the world won't do anything about it.

Perhaps you have been trying to keep a list of good things that Christians should do, but you still constantly yield to sin. Those good things are wonderful, but they can't change your heart any more than laws can. To be a new creation in Christ you must first crucify the old one. You must take it to the cross in repentance and crucify it with Jesus. The sins of the world were placed on Him. Have you put your sinful nature there to be dealt with by the justice of God? If you have, you should be as Paul was, crucified to the world. Your autopilot is then set on pleasing the heart of God by cooperating with the Spirit that lives within you.

Consider: Where is your autopilot taking you?