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 Remembers

God remembers and He wants us to remember. The Lord remembered that He had made a promise to Adam. The rest of the Bible is the history of Him doing what He said He would do. He never forgot because God remembers His promises.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

God remembered Noah.

Genesis 8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

God remembered all flesh and made a promise not to flood the earth again. He gave us the rainbow as a testimony of His promise to every living creature of all flesh.

Genesis 9:16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.

God remembered His covenant that He had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Exodus 6:5,6 Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

The Lord remembered His promise to send a Savior, who would be born of a virgin and His name would be Immanuel, which means “God with us”.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

God remembered us. He sent His Beloved Son so that we might be saved. He did not send Jesus into the world to judge us but that we might be saved through Him.

John 3:16,17 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Even though we are prone to forget the Lord wants us to remember. He wants us to remember the cross and the price that was paid for our salvation. He wants us to remember that He forgave us and freed us from slavery to sin. He wants us to remember the great things that He has done for us. He does not want us to forget. He wants us to pass on to the next generation what He has done. The purpose of the Lord’s supper is to remember the cross and His death.

I Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Every time we thank Him in prayer we are remembering His great goodness to us. Every time we take the Lord’s supper we are remembering what He did for us. Every time we share the Gospel we are remembering His love for us and not only us but His love for the world.

I Corinthians 15:1-4 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

He says that if we are not ashamed of Him and His Word then He will not be ashamed and remember us when He comes again. Are you remembering Him by proclaiming Him?

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Judged

No one wants to be judged and yet we all deserve judgment and judgment is going to happen. So how do you avoid being judged by the Lord? You judge yourself. Is it not true that we are all sinners and if we are saved then we are sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

I Corinthians 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

What is our judgment? It is that we are sinners deserving of hell and punishment. However, when we confess our sin to Him then we judge ourselves and He forgives us.

I John 1:8,9 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Allow the truth to penetrate your life and heart so that you can judge yourself rightly so that you will not be judged by the Lord. When the Lord judges us He disciplines us so that we will not be like the rest of the world.

I Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

So, when you pray, pray then in this way, “Lord, forgive me of my sins” and then enumerate how you have sinned against Him if necessary.

Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

You do not need to confess your sins to anyone else as Jesus is your High Priest if you are a Christian. He is a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. for He too was tempted in all things.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Therefore, let us draw near to Him. He is very patient towards us and wants us to come to Him. He understands as a loving Savior and He wants you to be clean and holy as a righteous Judge. He will forgive you. Do you need mercy and grace? He is there for you.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

 

 

A Life that Keeps Vows

The Lord says that we are to pay our vows. We are to be faithful to pay our vows to the Lord. The Lord says that it would be better for you to not make a vow than to make a vow to God and not fulfill it.

Ecclesiastes 5:4,5 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Thank the Lord and pay your vows to the Lord.

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

The best way to keep vows is one day at a time.

Psalm 61:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

If you are married and have children then your children are children of your marriage vows.

Proverbs 31:2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?

Marriage vows are vows that you make to the Lord and no one, not even your spouse, can break your vows. The Lord does not talk about vows being broken but of vows being kept. Vows can not be broken. They are either kept or not kept but the vows still stand. For this reason if a spouse leaves or divorces his spouse then the wife is to remain single. She is to keep herself pure, spiritually and physically.

I Corinthians 7:34 The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The “unmarried” refers to women who were once married but are not at this time, but their husband, who they were married to, is still living. The virgin is a reference to a lady who has never been married.

Romans 7:2,3 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

Marriage vows are binding and intended to be kept and fulfilled. Do not plan to get married unless it is until death do us part. Marriage vows are made to the Lord not to each other and each spouse is under obligation to the Lord. These matters may seem difficult if you are in a difficult marriage but the Lord will bless you if you do His will. He says that where sin abounds then grace abounds. The Lord will give you the grace to love your husband and He will give you wisdom in your relationship. Go to a godly woman who is is walking with the Lord if you need help in your marriage for that is God’s provision.

Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

However, if you have made a commitment with your mouth or even made a vow to the Lord to do something and you realize that you have made a mistake then the Lord has a provision for you.

Numbers 30:3-8 Also if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth,and her father hears her vow and her obligation by which she has bound herself, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand and every obligation by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father should forbid her on the day he hears of it, none of her vows or her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her because her father had forbidden her.“However, if she should marry while under her vows or the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall stand and her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he shall annul her vow which she is under and the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her.

The Lord has provided fathers and husbands for girls and ladies for their protection. Go to your father or husband if you have made a rash decision and humble yourself and ask them to help you. On the day that they hear of what you have done they can release you from that commitment.

Psalm 50:22,23 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

Whatever you do and whatever mess you find yourself in (and we all makes messes at times) then remember the Lord. Do not take things into your own hands or just ignore what you have done thinking that it will go away. It will go into your conscience and will come up later. The Lord is your Savior and He will save you from any situation that you are in and He will show you His salvation.

Psalm 130:1-4 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

If you have not kept previous vows to the Lord there is forgiveness with Him but you need to confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Do not minimize it. There is forgiveness with Him. If you have made a vow to the Lord and you can go back and fulfill it then do so. Make sure you have a clear conscience. Cry out to Him out of the depths of any pain. He loves you. Do not despair. You will see His goodness.

Psalm 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 

 

 

A Life that Runs Well

The Lord has called us to run. One of the ways that He wants us to run is to run from temptation. People often will talk about resisting temptation but that is not what the Lord says, he says to flee from temptation.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

The Lord says to flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who have a pure heart. The Bible says that those who have a pure heart will see God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Those with a pure heart will not be deceived by the lusts of the heart. The word “lust” in the Greek means “desire”. A lust is a desire that is outside of the will of God. Many lusts are greater temptations in our youth because we don’t want to wait for the Lord to give us His gifts. We want them now and so we “give in” to temptation.

James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

However, when you get what you want and it is not God’s will then you also lose the ability to fully enjoy it, that is why, the Bible talks about the passing pleasure of sin. It is only for a moment and then the guilt comes. We were deceived. We are always deceived when we sin. However, if our friends have a pure heart then they will help us in our weakness. The Lord will also help you flee from temptation. He understands your weakness.

Hebrews 4:15,16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The other way that we are to run is that we are to run to Him and we are to run with endurance the race set before us.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The saints who have gone before us are watching and they are the cloud of witnesses. Therefore, lay aside the things that make it hard for you to run the race and strive to run hard after the Lord. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is at the right hand of the Father and He is praying for you. He also had to endure and was found faithful. You can do it. This is what grace is all about. Grace is the power and strength to be faithful to the end. Don’t grow weary or lose heart. Ask others to pray for you if you find yourself struggling. We all struggle. Jesus struggled. It is in the struggling that our faith is strengthened. It may seem like forever but in view of eternity it is only a moment. You will never regret being faithful but you will have great regret if you are not faithful.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Our life is like a mere breath and our days are a passing shadow but eternity is forever.

 

 

A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

A Life that is Good

Life can not be good apart from God because only God is good. One of the meanings of the word “good” is the highest form of love.

Matthew 19:17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good

The “good” person only does good to others. If it is not loving then it is not God’s will and if it is God’s will then it will always be the highest expression of love not only for you but for all who are affected by your action.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

This is impossible apart from God but through Him not only is it possible but it is the life that He has planned for you. You are His workmanship made for “good” works which he has planned beforehand for you.

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.

This is why it is crucial that you learn to hear His voice and follow Him because He will lead you in the good works that He has already accomplished but He wants you to share in the joy.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

He knows you and knows what is best for you, or in other words, what is “good” for you. His plan for you is exactly what you need and what will fulfill you and make you the happiest. This is why it is so important for you to stay on the “potter’s wheel” and let Him finish making you into the vessel that He has designed you to be. You will love it!

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.

Does He not know what He is doing? Is He not the Master and you His masterpiece? Does He have hands to form you into something beautiful? Yes, yes and yes!

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Don’t quarrel with Him or compare yourself to others. He knows what He is doing and it is perfect.

II Corinthians 10:12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.

When we compare ourselves with others then we are without understanding, which means that we do not know Him. When you thank Him for His plan for your life you are expressing trust in Him and faith and then you will receive understanding.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

His plan for you is not only good and loving but when you trust Him and experience His plan then you will have a future and a hope.