Each morning God gives us proof that He can be trusted. The sunrise reveals God’s consistent, actually eternal, promise of provision and care. Since the beginning of time God has faithfully delivered a sunrise to remind us that we have a new opportunity to walk in His love.
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8 NLV
The theme or focus of today’s verses seems to be righteousness. Righteousness is an old English, religious word but it can be defined as right standing with God. Do you see yourself as righteous? Ponder that for a moment. If you’ve answered no – then I trust that today’s teaching will open your eyes to the wonderful power of God in your life.
“You are righteous, Lord, and Your judgments are just. 138 The decrees You issue are righteous and altogether trustworthy. 139 My anger overwhelms me because my foes forget Your words. 140 Your word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it. 141 I am insignificant and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your instruction is true. 143 Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but Your commands are my delight. 144 Your decrees are righteous forever. Give me understanding, and I will live.” Psalm 119:137-144
There’s that word “understand” again. As David grew in the word he grew in understanding. He experienced firsthand the faithfulness of God’s righteousness. He knew that he was in right standing with God because he was devoted to God’s word.
Genesis 15 says that “he (Abraham) believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness”. That’s where righteousness was birthed, in believing God. David followed the example of righteous Abraham and he believed God. If God said it, that was good enough. In Psalm 23, David said that the Lord leads him in paths of righteousness. And he willingly followed His shepherd.
As an old man, David penned in Psalm 37 “I have been young and now I am old; I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging for bread.” In Psalm 112, which I call the righteous man’s Psalm, David describes the life of the man who lives righteous. This is God’s inspired word and so I am willing to live the truth of this Psalm in my life.
“Praise the Lord! How happy is the man who honors the Lord with fear and finds joy in His Law! 2 His children will be powerful in the land. Each family who is right will be happy. 3 Riches and well-being are in his house. And his right-standing with God will last forever. 4 Light rises even in darkness for the one who is right. He is kind and has loving-pity and does what is right. 5 Good will come to the man who is ready to give much, and fair in what he does. 6 He will never be shaken. The man who is right and good will be remembered forever. 7 He will not be afraid of bad news. His heart is strong because he trusts in the Lord. 8 His heart will not be shaken. He will not be afraid and will watch those lose who fight against him. 9 He has given much to the poor. His right-standing with God lasts forever. His horn will be lifted high in honor. 10 The sinful man will see it and be troubled and angry. He will grind his teeth and waste away. The desire of the sinful will come to nothing.” Psalm 112 NLV
We can’t be “righteous” on our own. It’s just not possible, no matter how hard we try. We are influenced by our prejudice and judge situations from our limited scope of understanding. While God on the other hand sees all things through His eyes of unconditional, unprejudiced love and judges justly in every situation.
“But God has a way to make people right, and it has nothing to do with the law. He has now shown us that new way, which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. 23 All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. 24 They are made right with God by his grace. This is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:21-24
Some of you may ask why I am spending time on this this morning. Simply put, if you can be convinced you that you aren’t righteous, then it’s easy to steal God’s word and His promises from you because you feel unworthy. I know – been there, done that, hated it! But once the Lord showed me that He considered me righteous, not because of what I had done but because of who I am in Christ, my life of defeated Christianity turned around and I began to face every giant, physical, mental and spiritual, with the same confidence and conviction that David had when he faced Goliath.
Standing complete in my righteousness in Christ turned conflict into conquest, battles into blessings and struggles into success.
So I’ll ask you again – are you righteous? Let me give you this answer. “Christ never sinned but God put our sin on Him. Then we are made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.” II Corinthians 5:21 NLV
Yes, yes you are if you are in Christ!
“Lord, I don’t want to live a defeated life. I want to have the kind of life that is described in Psalm 112. Show me who you made me to be. I want to live to my full potential. You made a way for me to be right with you – I choose Your way. In Jesus name. Amen.”