A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

A Life that Is Compensated

The Lord is fair and He is just. He does all things right and well. He is also love. He also says that He recompenses a man according to his work.

Psalm 62:11,12 Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.

Apart from the Lord our hearts are proud and everything we do is tainted with that pride. If we are good it may be because we want the praise of others or we want to feel good about ourselves. When we do wrong we will still think that we are not that bad because we can always find someone who has done things worse than us, at least in our own eyes. All of this is apart from the new heart that the Lord gives to us when we give our old heart to Him. He can not reform our old heart and so He gives us a new one.

Psalm 31:23 O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.

When we receive a new heart then we become godly in His eyes because now we have God in us. He came to save us and to make us into the image of Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 36:26,27 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

The evidence of a new heart is that you will want to walk in His ways and you will want to obey His Word. You will also be compensated but your compensation will come from walking in His ways and obeying Him. When you walk with Him then He leads you into good works that He has already prepared for you to do. You just have to obey Him and when you do, then you will enter into His joy and will know that you have done what He desired.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

We will all appear before the Lord and be recompensed for the deeds we have done to other Christians. All they good or are they bad? Have you loved as the Lord has loved you? Have you withheld good from someone when it was in your power to do it? Are you ready to see the Lord?

Galatians 6:9,10 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

 

A Life that Is Prepared

The Lord wants us to be prepared for Him, just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so we are to be preparing ourselves to see Him. The Lord is preparing a place for you in heaven if you belong to Him and He wants you to be prepared to see Him face to face.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

The Lord has prepared you for glory. Are you prepared to see Him? Blessed are those who prepared themselves to meet their Master.

Romans 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

You can not even imagine all that the Lord has prepared for you. Do you love Him with all your heart? Are you one of those for whom He is preparing?

I Corinthians 2:9 but just as it is written,Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

He has prepared life for you here on earth and eternal life for all eternity. He has given His Spirit to you as a pledge of the life to come.

II Corinthians 5:4,5 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

He has prepared work for you to do that is good. He wants you to be ready for the good works that He has prepared beforehand for you to walk in them. If we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him face to face.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

You need to cleanse yourself from the former things that were yours in your ignorance and put on Christ, so that you will be a vessel for honor, set a part for Him and ready and useful for what He has prepared for you.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so the Lord wants us to prepare ourselves to see Him, who is our bridegroom. We are His bride and a bride cleanses herself and then she clothes herself with her clean and beautiful clothes. Our clothing will be the righteous acts or good works that the Lord prepared for us so that we would be beautiful and ready for Him. He has made us ready for Him if we will only prepare ourselves to see Him by being obedient to what He has called us to do, which are the righteous acts that He wants us to walk in.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

To sum up, if we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him in heaven. He has done everything to make us ready for Him.

A Life that Lives Above Circumstances

There is a promise in the Bible that is an amazing promise and it is one that says if you do a certain thing then you will ride on the heights of the earth. This means that you will live above the circumstances of every day life. However, as with many of His promises, there is a condition. What does the Lord require of you to live this incredible life?

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Lord established the Sabbath commandment at the beginning of creation when the Lord Himself rested on the seventh day of the week. Was He tired? No, the Bible says that the Lord God does not get tired.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

The Lord was setting the pattern for work and for life by His example. He does not only teach us but He shows us how to live life. He gave us a day of rest because He is good. He did not make man for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man.

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Often people will say that they wish they had a day where they did not have to do anything. He has given us a day every week to rest and become refreshed in our relationship with Him. It is not “family day” or a day that we can do things we want to do and because we enjoy them then it is not considered work. No, rather He makes it very clear that we are not to do our own pleasure or live life our way. We are not to seek our own pleasure or speak our own words but we are to honor Him by honoring His holy day. He says that if we do this then we will ride on the heights of the earth.  Holy means that it is set a part for Him.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

This is the Apostle John speaking. Since Jesus Christ rose again from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week, Sunday became the Sabbath day for the Christians after the resurrection. Sunday became the day that was set a part from the other days of the week so that they might get together and worship the Lord and rest.

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

The Lord considered the setting aside one day a week and not doing any work so important that He made it one of the Ten commandments. You will find that if you will keep this commandment then the quality of your life will become much better and you will also “take delight in the Lord”, as He promises.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

One of the beautiful characteristics of the Lord is that He does not make you do anything. You don’t have to obey any of His commandments. However, because He is so incredibly good He promises a reward if we delight ourselves in Him. He will give us the desires of our heart.

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Moral

Morality and immorality are opposites. Immorality is exchanging eternal values for  temporal values. Esau was immoral by trading his birthright for a meal. His birthright was his so why was his action immoral? His birthright was what had eternal value and the meal had temporal value.

Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

If we do not wait for God’s timing then we are also godless. Esau would have gotten some food but he could not wait.

Isaiah 64:4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

The Lord has far more for you than what you can see or have heard of if you will only wait for Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

He can even do more than what you can think of if you will only trust Him and wait for Him.

James 1:16,17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Do not be deceived and listen to the lies of the devil that come out of the world or that even come into your thoughts. The Lord wants to give you good things and perfect gifts.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Learn to think His thoughts and learn His ways. His thoughts are revealed to us in His Word and that is also how we learn His ways. He has given His Word to us. It is His revelation of who He is. It is the only way that we know the only true God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us through Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

He wants to teach us His ways and He wants us to observe His Words, by observing He means to study, know and obey them.

Psalm 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.

Are you thinking His thoughts and learning His ways. It is a lifelong process and the more we know His ways then the more we will know Him and experience His good gifts. That is why the Lord says over and over again in His Word that the ones who keep His commandments and follow His ways are blessed. Morality is keeping His ways and being obedient to His Words, which are eternal values. Immorality is doing what you want to do and satisfying your flesh, which are temporal values.

A Life that Responds Correctly to Anger

Anger is such a destructive force in relationships and in families but if it is responded to in the correct way then it will dissolve much more quickly before the damage in done. Often, for a young lady, many of her relationships are ones that she did not choose, for instance, she may have a relative or a boss that has an issue with anger. Anger causes men and women to do things that they would never have done in their sane mind.

Genesis 49:6 “Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.

If you have a choice, then choose friends who do not have an issue with anger. The Lord says to not go with a man given to anger. A person who is slow to anger is like the Lord, for He is slow to anger.

Exodus 34:6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;

Even though the Lord is slow to anger He still is a just God who will render judgment and recompense to all men. Slow to anger does not mean that you are passive, rather it means that you are God controlled.

Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’

However, how do you respond to a person in authority over you when they become angry? First, be sure of your position, that it is the position of what the Lord stands for in His Word. Check your attitude and make sure that you are entirely dependent on the Lord and that you have no will of you own but only to do His will. Then, once you know that you are doing what is right, do not give in or be intimidated. Stand firm.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.

If you must respond then make sure that your gentleness speaks louder than your words. The Bibles says that a king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion. It is frightening.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

What if you are the one who has been defeated by anger in your own self? If anger is something that you struggle with then you must give it to the Lord. Basically, most anger comes when we do not get our way. Anger is the opposite of self control. Self control is part of the fruit of the spirit. Do you feed your flesh with worldly passions and desires for that quenches your spirit and you will not be able to have self control when you need it. All men and women respect someone who can control his own spirit.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Only a fool allows his anger to take control of him.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.

If you find yourself angry then get away from the situation and through it all call upon the Lord to help you. Ask the Lord for wisdom and prudence so that you will know how to respond to the situation in a way that will cause people to respect you rather than lose respect for you.

Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor.

Never let the sun go down on your anger. The more that you can learn to do this then the happier your life will be and the healthier your relationships will be. This also is great preparation for marriage, where the closer you live with someone, the more your selfishness and anger will come out, if you have not learned to walk with the Lord.

Ephesians 4:26 do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Finally, ask the Lord to forgive you and also the person with whom you were angry, if you said or did something. Asking someone to forgive you and meaning it is one of the best ways to stop doing something and to change because if you are really sorry for what you did then you will not want to do it again. It also helps clear the air and bring about healing to the damage that has been caused in a relationship.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes themwill find compassion.

Finally…put it away from you.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

We all have struggled some time or other with anger but our response, if done correctly, can change us and can change those around us. The Lord wants to give us victory in this area. If you learn to conquer anger then it will save you much grief.

A Life Filled with Truth

Truths are like diamonds. These diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. The more truths that you have in your heart then the richer your life will be. Just like diamonds, truths have many facets to them. You can live your entire life and still be able to learn more about His amazing truths. So realize when you hear something about a truth that it is one or more aspect of that truth and not the truth in its entirety. Often when people argue they are discussing different aspects of the same truth. Truths never change and they are the character of God expressed here on earth.

Proverbs 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

The Lord says to buy truth and not to sell truth and to also get wisdom and understanding. It will cost you but the value far outweighs the price. They are a package deal. They all go together. If you have truth then you will receive wisdom and get even more understanding. For whoever has truth…then more truth, wisdom and understanding will be given to him.

Matthew 13:12 For whoever has, to him  more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

There is only one source of truth and that is the Lord Himself. He said that He is the truth so if you want to know the truth then you must know Him.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

We are all deceived until we come to know the truth. Deception means that we have believed a lie in some way and we are not even aware that we are deceived, otherwise it would not be deception. When we are deceived then we actually believe the “lie” that is deceiving us is the truth.

II Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

The truth is the only thing that can set you free. It will set you free from the lies, from sin, from depression, from guilt, from bitterness and from anything else that you can think of that you might struggle with or be overcome.

John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Repentance leads to the knowledge of the truth. Repentance is turning away from the lies that you believed and acted on and turning to God.

II Timothy 2:25 if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

The Lord desires that you come into the knowledge of the truth.

I Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God’s Word is truth and it is what sets you apart from the world.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in truth, God’s word is truth.

The Lord wants you to build your life on His truths. Words of truth are the only correct answer that you will be able to give to the Lord as an explanation of why you did the things you did on earth, how you spent the money and time He gave you and an account of your obedience. You will give an account of your life in terms of stewardship and obedience.