Is being moral important to you? How important? Is it the most important pursuit of your life?
The central defining characteristic of Jesus of Nazareth was His determined and successful pursuit of morality. A common Bible synonym for morality is righteousness. Therefore, to say that Jesus pursued and achieved righteousness is the same as saying He pursued and achieved morality. He did what was right – what was moral. He did not do what was wrong – what was immoral.
Jesus Christ calls His followers to embrace the same attitude. If you want to do right, that is good – but you must desire to do right more than you desire anything else. If you can so elevate your desire for morality, and maintain it there, you can be close to God. You do not have to go to church; you do not have to read the Bible. God has put His laws in your heart. Through His Holy Spirit dwelling in your conscience, He can speak to you and teach you all you need to know about doing right. (You can know the Holy Spirit is with you if you trust in Jesus.)
I must, however, put a sharper point on the definition of morality: it is doing what is right in God’s eyes. It can’t be just doing what’s right in your own eyes. Most people do what’s right in their own eyes; and even criminals can feel justified in their behavior. It can’t be doing what is right in everyone else’s sight either. Other people can’t see your heart and know your motives like God can. People cannot, therefore, be adequate judges – even if they all approve of you. It must be desiring with all one’s heart to do what the right thing from God’s perspective. This requires you to be completely honest with your Creator regarding all that goes on in your heart. For example, He doesn’t want you to be condemning and unforgiving of others – even in the slightest thought.
If being moral in this way matters to you more than anything else, then you are not far from God. In fact, if you have this attitude and maintain it, God will bring you more peace and joy in your daily life – regardless of whether your circumstances are pleasant or difficult – than you ever could have imagined. This is the kingdom of God.