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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Gratitude: the glorious gates of righteousness thrown open for me

The stone the builders had rejected has now become head of the corner. It is marvelous in our eyes. That stone is a stumbling block to the religious and foolishness to the materialistic. Narrow is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

How is that for quoting and paraphrasing random Scripture?

Somewhere on this blog there is a record of me lamenting that I could not even pay for one of my sins. No matter how hard I tried, all of my working to be good enough would never pay for the least of the wrongs I had done. It would never balance the scale. Somewhere back then, I lamented in my conversation with God that I could do nothing to help what Jesus had done for me. Jesus had to do it all. The stone was my stumbling block.

Many years ago, I lived a wildly materialistic life. (Though I have always been low maintenance when it comes to stuff. I’m the type to have taken naps on the dirty cement floor of an office in a pig barn with a bag of dewormer for my pillow and a dirty coverall as a blanket to keep the flies from pestering me because I thought cleaning up and walking to the house was too much of a bother.) But we all choose our values, and my materialism was guided by expensive activity and entertainment. Back then I found the need of a Lord to guide my daily life foolishness. I was not so foolish so as to think I didn’t need a Savior, but I had no desire to make Him my Lord.

A few weeks ago, the lyrics from an old rhymed version of Psalm 118 came to me, and I have been randomly singing it to myself ever since.

The glorious gates of righteousness throw open unto me, And I will enter them with praise, oh Lord my God, to Thee!

See it says thee. I told you it was old.

I have been pondering how I interact with God’s righteousness being available to me. David simply decided to praise God. I often get too caught up in the pain and disappointment of life to remember to praise Him. I remember to bring Him my pain, but I don’t always remember to bring Him my praise.

The word picture in this Psalm reminds me of a verse in Romans and a parable of Jesus. The verse in Romans says,

Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

The parable of Jesus is the one where He talks about Himself being the door of the sheepfold. Sometimes when I read this verse in Romans, I think of that sheepfold. I think of how I am a sheep safely in the middle of that fold. I don’t have to worry because I am completely safe. Jesus is the door. By faith I gained access into the grace in which I now stand.

Sometimes I forget I am safely in the sheepfold. I forget the glorious gates of righteousness were opened for me, and I walked through them with praise. When I forget, I cry and beg God over and over again for messing up. I apologize repeatedly for not being good enough. I wonder why everyone around me is so much better than me.

When I forget about grace, I forget that I am everything He ever dreamed I would be: saved by grace, a perfect demonstration of His love and mercy.

Is your life characterized by praise? Do you think of the sacrifice of Jesus as foolishness or a stumbling block? In Christ, do you believe you are everything God ever dreamed you would be?

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