Thursday, December 10, 2015

What Do You Want for Christmas?

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

What do you want for Christmas? We hear that a lot these days. I’m going out on a limb here, but I doubt you’ll hear anyone say this, “I’d really like to be more righteous.” The fact of the matter is people want to be more spiritual, but seldom do you hear the desire for righteousness. 

Maybe it’s because we don’t want to appear self-righteous. Or maybe it’s that so little attention is paid to righteousness these days. It hasn’t always been that way. It wasn’t too long ago that a group of people lived so righteously they were known as Puritans. Righteousness was a major concern for them, and rightly so. The Bible  is concerned also. 

The apostle Paul told the Roman Christ followers that the Law could not bring one to righteousness; it’s purpose was to make mankind conscious of sin—held accountable to God. He continued, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify” [Romans 3:21]. Jesus told the people of His day to seek righteousness [Matthew 6:33]. Clearly Scripture emphasizes this theme.

Jesus made a remarkable statement when He said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 5:20]. By now I think it is obvious that we are to seek to become righteous people as we obey God’s Word and walk in His ways.

Are you a righteous person? Would it embarrass you to be known as a righteous person? First and foremost, we should think about ourselves biblically, using biblical language as much as possible. Don’t shy away from words like righteousness. And don’t let the world scare you away from being righteous. Instead, be a model of righteousness even in our hostile culture.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

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