Living Right

I’ve reading through Proverbs right now on my journey through the Bible this year.  There is such a wealth of knowledge and great direction in this book, it is impossible to actually take it all in.  I figure I’ll do it one bite at a time each year by thinking about and meditating on one of the main ideas that Solomon talks about in Proverbs.

This year God stopped me on the section in Proverbs about righteousness.

Righteousness is an old-fashioned term that doesn’t seem to relate to my world today……until I realize it’s just ‘living right’.  Doing the right things.  Making the right decisions.  Saying the right things.

How do I know what is right?  God’s Word is right.  It’s the truth.  God himself speaks to me through the Bible, explaining it and helping me apply it to my life.  The Holy Spirit convicts me when my thinking gets off and my actions don’t reflect what I believe.

I’m so glad I have the role-model of Jesus.  I don’t have to try to look around the world and find someone I want to imitate in order to ‘live right’.  I have Jesus.  This truth has often helped me move passed major disappointments with people – especially people in the church.  I used to expect people in the church to be a lot more ‘righteous’ than others until I realized that we’re all just people, struggling with our weaknesses.  As believers, God is gradually redeeming our lives but he still has a lot of work to do.

So watching people- especially people who say they are Christians – I got confused and disillusioned.  Then I looked to Jesus.  Focused on him.  And the issues about imperfect Christians went away.

Jesus gave imperfect Christians grace and love and spoke truth at the right time into their lives.  I’m so glad because I am imperfect and this is how he treats me.

Jesus did it – it’s the right thing to do.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class – Made Right with God

With God’s help, we are memorizing Romans 8.  This is a tough chapter – it’s definitely one verse at a time.  But it’s happening!Romans 8; 1-9

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because, through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin sacrifice.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law be fully met in us who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the spirit.  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what nature desires but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.  The sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s laws nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit if God’s spirit lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

Romans 8 - 10 - 28Thank you, God!  Here’s the next verse –

“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin but your spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Our bodies will die because of our sin.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, he makes us right with God and his Spirit brings eternal life to our spirit.

This is the Good News.

Amen!  Hallelujah!

Sword Fighting Class – Our Anger

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind; that man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”James 1 1 -9

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  While the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, for he will pass away like the wildflower.  For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, a rich man fades away even as he goes about his business.”

When tempted, no one should say ‘God is tempting me’, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”James 1= 13-18

“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.”

Dear brothers and sisters, take note of this; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Yeah!  We’re memorizing James 1 and we’re doing great!  If you’re doing this with me, I know you are being blessed.  I am.  I love having this portion of scripture etched on my brain.  God uses it all of the time in my life.  Here’s the next verse,

” because man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. ”

Our anger is not right for us.

It makes us say things we shouldn’t say.  It makes us do things we shouldn’t do.  We are not quick to listen and not slow to speak when we are angry.

Our anger is often based on self-centeredness.  Something was done to us.  Something was said to us or about us.  It focuses our attention on ourselves, our emotions.

Away from God.  Away from the peace of God.  Away from the forgiveness of God.  Away from the unconditional acceptance that we only get from God.

James tells us in his third chapter that true righteousness is sown in peace, not in anger.

Dear Father, please help us deal positively with our anger and grow our righteousness.