“But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.” (Deuteronomy 24:18-19)
Israel’s hope for the future was that God would justify all her descendants. Apart from God’s righteousness there is not hope for anyone’s future. God never stated he would deem anyone righteous, unless they lived their lives in a righteous manner. Nor did He claim anyone would become righteous in the future, for the future is not assured to anyone. Living as a righteous human being, means exactly what it implies; one that lives to serve the Lord and their fellow mankind with equity and respect for are righteous. There is no clearer definition.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, it seems there have always been those who want the title of being a righteous person, but did not live out their life in that manner. A righteous person lives and works with others without envy of what others have or in business transactions tries to get more than they deserve. Righteous persons are well thought of, because they always deal with others in a respectful manner and with equal business ethics. To become righteous, we must become more Christlike each and every day, not to be showoffs; rather, to be responsible members of society treaty the poorest like the richest, showing no favoritism. Be with all those who are hurting in body, mind, and/or spirit, that they might set aside their issues and let You deal with them on their behalf, and accept their humble repentance of their sins Abba. For those in conflicts around the world with wars and natural disasters, pour out an anointing upon them all, that they too, might feel You near them and take comfort in that knowledge. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Thy will be done on Earth is a call to action, nothing more, nothing less.”
“Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39)
Paul preached that by faith Jesus justifies persons from everything the Law of Moses could not. The Law of Moses did not claim to deal with anything but unintentional sins (Let. 4:2; Heb. 9:7). Paul could not not find satisfaction for his sin problem through the Jewish system. He found satisfaction in Christ Jesus, who atoned for all his sins and relieved all his guilt. Only the mercy of God can deal with intentional sin. God revealed that mercy fully in Christ.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘God, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the say way, faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—-and shudder. You foo foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? What not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.,’ and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:14-26)
Christians as devoted as Martin Luther have been troubled by this passage when comparing it to Paul’s teaching of justification by faith alone. Jame argued against a false definition of faith. A definition with intellectual content but no consequences for practical daily life. Faith is not repeating words even demons can repeat (Mark 1:24; 5:7). Faith is commitment to Christ, depending on Him and not on human achievement for salvation, but also serving Him as directed by His Spirit. Paul and James agreed. They simply emphasized different points in the salvation experience and different components of Christian faith. Good deeds do not earn salvation one does not have. They do provide evidence of salvation received in faith.
As the Lenten Season has begun…:
“Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and trust in God. Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. Fast from pressures and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy. Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.”