Righteous Life

Psalm 112: 1 – 6

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever.

Today’s passage shows the characteristics and benefits of a life lived in reverence to the Lord. It describes the life of the person who loves the Lord. Blessing and prosperity adorn his life and he is prosperous in all his ways. It also shows his personality traits, traits which are gained through living enamored with God.

The person who loves God is a righteous person. That does not mean he is holier than thou. It means he is in right standing with God. Our righteous standing with God is part of the miracle and part of the mystery of Jesus’ victory. If I boast in my righteousness it is only because of what Christ has done for me. Though we didn’t earn it, that righteousness entitles us to a benefits package. I think it has a price too. We are to trade our life in the world, and any benefits it may have, for a life in Christ. We give up our place in the world for a life in him. It appears as a sacrifice but once you have transitioned you realize that you gain far more than you give up. I find this is a process. We are beginning to glimpse the great joy and benefit of living in Christ. The more we give up of ourselves, the more we gain. That is just like our Father. His kingdom makes no sense to the worldly mind.

This life in Christ has a transformative impact on our personalities. Now, that will cause some people great consternation. “Do you mean I have to give up who I am to be in Christ?” No, not really, and then, absolutely yes. The laying down of our lives becomes a pleasure, a freedom rather than a sacrifice. And truthfully, you are not giving up who you are but rather the imperfected you in exchange for the glorified you. You will still be you but the 2.0 version, and then 2.1, etc. You are evolving, transforming, coming out of your chrysalis as the beautiful butterfly which was always in your DNA. This transformation is reflected in today’s passage. Please look at this language again, “He is gracious and compassionate and righteous, . . . [he] is gracious and lends.” You can measure your level of transformation by this quote. As the transformation takes place, you will find yourself more generous, compassionate and gracious. It strikes me that graciousness is listed twice. The repetition must have significance.

I was just thinking about how we bless and care for others and Father blesses and cares for us. The blessing must flow downstream. Jesus wants us to live intertwined with him so that he can take care of us and has told us that we are not to have care about our own lives. We are to care about others. Once our minds and spirits are free from worrying about ourselves all the time, and thinking about ourselves, then we are able to hear the Lord communicate with us about the needs of others. It really is a great joy to be used of God to bless someone else. It is an honor to be trusted with even a small fragment of Jesus’ ministry.

Blessed is the person who loves and reveres the Lord. Blessed and to be envied is the one whose life is intertwined in the Christ. May it show in our actions. Let God’s name be lifted up and praised because of the generosity and caring of His children.

Godly Wisdom

James 1: 5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

We all need wisdom. And we know where we can get it. What great news that he gives to us all generously. You can trust that if you need wisdom for a problem, he will give it to you. He has promised and he is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23: 19).

We do not have to live our lives like the unsaved, wondering what to do all of the time. We can simply ask the Father. That is how we are able to live a life without worry. We role the cares of the problems over to our Father God and we ask him to give us insight and wisdom into the things we should do. We pray, “Show me what I should do in this situation,” and then we enter into his rest. It could be that he does not want you to do anything. His wisdom will guide you. In every situation, ask God for his wisdom on the matter. Don’t worry yourself to death trying to come up with the answers. That is really not your job. God does not want you burdened down with all of those issues. Just ask for his wisdom and his guidance and then let it go. Do all that he instructs you to do and nothing that he doesn’t. He is the one person we want advice from and He is always available to give us sagely advice from the reservoir of His infinite wisdom.