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.

In Christ

1 Corinthians 1: 30

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

By the grace and the formidable power of God you have become one with Jesus. You are hidden away in him, safe and secure. In Jesus is everything you could possibly need. Do you need wisdom for a business decision; he is the wisdom of God in our lives. He provided and his blood pronounces that you are in good standing with God; that is your rightness or righteousness in him. You are sanctified which means that you have been made holy, dedicated to sacred use; consecrated. Did you realize that? That makes you very special. And that is not even the end of it. Jesus also redeemed you from the curse of the law, the shackles of slavery and the death sentence that was upon you. You have been set free indeed.

But by the miracle working power of God you are actually in Jesus. Can you fathom what that means? It sounds a little new age but most of the new age lexicon is just things which have been derived from God and then have had a twist put on them. For example, people think of meditation as New Age. In a way that is just funny. It may be “New” Age but God invented mediation before there even was an earth. He has been teaching his children about visualization and meditation for thousands of years so don’t let today’s idea upset your apple cart. The miracle of Jesus in you and you in him is completely feasible when you understand that there is a spiritual realm which is every bit as real as the physical realm. People adhere to the physical evidence because they are much more skillful with their five physical senses than they are with spiritual discernment. If, however, you can accept by faith that you are in Christ then you will gain an entirely new perspective on life. No matter what situation presents itself picture yourself “in Christ”. Wouldn’t it completely change your point of view if you knew that no matter what the matter is Jesus is every bit as much a part of it as you are? What if you were looking at your current situation through his eyes instead of through yours? Would that matter? Of course it would. Jesus has power to bring to bear on any and every situation. He also has great favor with the father. There is nothing (legal and moral) that God wouldn’t do for you but if you don’t believe that at least believe God would do if for Jesus. If you are in a mess God is interested in helping you and your big brother out of it.

Grab this idea – you and Jesus are an integral unit. When you go to the grocery store, he goes too. When he sits at the right hand of the father, you are right there with him. Your DNA is beginning to intertwine with and duplicate his. You are never without him. Even when you feel alone, you have a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverb 18: 24). In your darkest moments, he is your constant companion. You are a part of him and he wants the very best for you.