Before we can get into the practical advice for living life as a Jesus follower, we need to first understand the main mission of this journey. Along with aligning our lives with what Jesus desires, we need to also pursue a life of righteousness.
Wait a minute! Churchy word alert… What does righteousness mean? What does that look like?
First of all, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page when we say “righteousness.” Dictionary.com lists being righteous as being upright and living a moral life. While that is definitely a part of it, that definition is missing some important elements.
In this context, righteousness means having a right relationship with God and having a right relationship with those around you. It represents a growing vibrant relationship that is both “vertical” and “horizontal” in nature.
What Jesus Says About Righteousness
“‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31
The above verses from Mark 12 are a response from Jesus to a teacher who came to him with the following question, “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?(Mark 12:28)”
The nation of Israel received their 600+ laws from God via Moses at Mount Sinai. Out of those 600+ laws, this teacher wanted to know which, from Jesus’ perspective, carried the most importance. In His response, Jesus gave, what I believe to be the definition of the type of righteousness He wants in the life of His followers. It is more than doing the right “religious” things. Jesus wants His followers to be in strong, vibrant, and growing community with both God and those they interact with.
What Does A Righteous Life Look Like?
Abraham could be considered one of the best examples of what a righteous life looks like. Abraham answered the call of God on His life and left the comfort of life in Ur (modern day Iraq) and traveled a really long distance to a land that God would show him(modern day Israel).
The Easton 1897 Bible dictionary describes it this way,
“Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God (Gen. 12:1,2); whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, “not knowing whither he went” (Heb. 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him.”
The last statement of that quote brings out the key element of what it means to live a righteous life. “He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him.”
This idea of trust refers back to the article dealing with the Foundational Keys Of A Relationship with God. In that article, I wrote the following statement, “Trusting God and what He says in His Word is a key to truly believing in Jesus and following Him with all your heart.” That, along with faith in God, is the basis for living this type of righteous life.
We see evidence of this truth throughout not only Abraham’s life but also the lives of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rehab, Gideon, Samson, David, Samuel, and the prophets. The important thing to remember about these “giants of the faith” is that they were normal people with normal struggles. They were people who lacked confidence, were liars, prideful, self-seeking, had anger issues, adulterers, murderers, and more. Yet God still choose to use them in mighty ways, because, despite their sin-filled faults, they tried and always returned back to living a righteous life.
If God can use these sinners to accomplish mighty things for His kingdom, why should there be any doubt in our minds that he could use us the same way? If we just dedicate our lives to living this righteous life and following Jesus every minute of every day, then I truly believe that God will use us to do mighty things just like Abraham, Moses and the others.No tags for this post.