“To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”
Proverbs 21:3 NKJV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:6-10 NKJV
My morning has a routine. I get up, hit the loo, bathe, eat breakfast, spend time with God, write, pray. Not much changes. Periodically I will get an urgent message as someone needs prayer. I will drop everything and attend to that need. I have found that it is easy to get so tied up into the routine of life that there is little time for the those incidentals. We become so busy about getting done what we need to get done, that we fail to see where God may be working.
I wrote yesterday about a moment when the Lord interupted my routine to help strangers who crossed my path. I could easily have said, “I’m sorry, I have to be going…” Instead, God gave me the chance to do righteousness and justice, and demonstrate the heart of God. As I live my faith these days, I find that the boundaries between my church life and my daily existence have become porous. I live seamless, as I approach each day as a minister of the Gospel.
Proverbs 21:3 prompted me to look at the Beatitudes. Chapter five of Matthew is a great presentation of the human factor of being a believer in Jesus. When I read them, I see the interactivity of them, as they illustrate Godly interaction in a state of humility. One firsts hungers and thirst for righteousness, and then righteousness is infused into every aspect of interpersonal life.
We often think that being in the faith is about doing all the church things with regularity, as we connect the earthbound organization to the faith. It becomes about the institution, and not people. One thing I have seen in my journey through this great faith, is that God is all about people. Most we are going to encounter are not found within the walls of the church.
Jesus did not come to earth to establish an organization, or an instution consisting of grand buildings made of stone and mortar, but to establish a Church made up of people, created of flesh and blood. As I work through the bible this year, I am reminded of the heart of God, as He led the children of Israel through the wilderness and into the promised land, as He guided them through the rise and fall of kingdoms, as He came to be among them, to teach them, to die for them.
In our world we are crying out for justice, for things being made right. In truth, justice belongs to God and we deserve only hell. Jesus brought true justice, as He died to pay for our sins.
We seek after legistlative solutions to problems, not of this world. We seek solution in the natural in dealing with the supernatural. All our efforts fall short.
True justice can only come from God. We who have been saved by the grace of God are vessels of righteousness and givers of that justice, as we bring the Gospel. It is in Christ that all mountains are brought low, and all valleys made high, as people are justified and made one in Christ Jesus.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:26-28 NKJV
Being a vessel for the dispensing of God’s righteousness and justice involves being willing to step out of one’s comfort zone. It means reaching out in love to those who are caught up in sin, and behaving and living differently, finding the common ground, reaching out and being a minister 24/7, whether in or outside of the church.
“Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.””
Mark 2:15-17 NKJV
Jesus upset the conventions of those who were the church people of the day. He was stepping out and taking the word to ones who needed to hear it. Those who were the church folk were all about institutional sacrifice, but had little concern for righteousness and justice,and meeting the needs of sinners.
Brothers and sisters, we are on mission, called to take the Gospel beyond the walls of the church to people who are suffering. God desires that we be about people, and less concerned about the institutionalization fo the faith. Let us not be Pharisees, bound up by convention and missing the opportunity to lead people to Jesus.
Let our lives be seamless as we represent Jesus in every aspect of our lives.
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