The Food of Righteousness

Our bodies cannot survive without food.  A regular intake of nourishment is required for physical health.  This is woven into the very fabric of earthly life.  Everyone knows this.  Even babies, who cannot intellectually process what I’ve just written, seek food.  What I am saying about the importance of food is so obvious that it hardly deserves saying.

What does deserve saying, however, is that the well-being of our souls is equally dependent on a kind of food.  That food is righteousness.  As the outer man needs physical food so the inner man needs spiritual food.  Consider some things Jesus said in this regard.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
–  Matthew 5:6

Our inner beings can hunger and thirst for prosperity, popularity, pleasure, and many other things, but none of these things will lead to our being satisfied.  However, when our inner beings hunger and thirst for righteousness, they can and will find satisfaction.

…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
–  John 4:34

The food of righteousness doesn’t just involve hearing what’s true and lasting; it also involves doing it.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…
–  John 6:54

There has never been anything more righteous in this world than the life and death of Jesus Christ.  So great was His life and death that it was the first to ever justify an encore (resurrection from the dead).  If we feed on what He did, and what was done to Him, we will find true life for ourselves.

In these striking words – “eat My flesh” and “drink My blood” – Jesus is not trying to talk us into becoming cannibals, nor is He inviting us to periodically sit through a ritual of organized religion.  Rather, He is inviting us to think every day about the life He lived and the death He died.  This righteousness of His will feed our souls forever, providing for us 1) a constant assurance of how much He loves us, and 2) a pattern for us to follow in serving our families and then our neighbors beyond.

The pattern is: Do good, expecting nothing in return…except from God.  As it ultimately worked out well for Jesus, so it will ultimately work out well for us.  The short-term sometimes belongs to the devil, but the long-term always belongs to God.  This is the righteousness that feeds us.

False Witness

The ninth commandment says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”  It could simply say, “Thou shalt not lie.”  Why doesn’t it?

By phrasing the commandment the way He did, God is telling us not only that lying is wrong, but that it is a wrong against our neighbors as well as against God and against the truth (which is reality).

When we lie, we trouble every person who is exposed to the lie.  Even if they don’t believe the lie, they have still been troubled by having to deal with it.  No one wants to be lied to.

The world is full of lies, and every single one of those lies – to one degree or another – defiles those who are exposed to it.  This is the case whether the lie is being broadcast as news, or is being spoken by someone under your own roof.

We were created to tell the truth to each other, and when we don’t, we corrupt life for those around us.

Tell the truth, and thus be a true witness for your neighbor – not a false witness against him.

This is the way taught and lived by Jesus our Lord.

Faith Does Not Make Something True

Faith does not make something true; it cannot make something true.  Something is either true or it isn’t; faith cannot change it.  Rather, faith recognizes and accepts what is true.  Faith therefore submits to reality.

Unbelief rejects what is true.  Unbelief is rebellion against reality.

Faith sees the world as it is.  Unbelief shuts its eyes to reality.

Those who walk by faith are being realistic about life.  They assume that the Author of life – that is, the One who inspired the Bible – is not lying to them.

Those who reject the Bible are assuming that the Author of life is lying to them.  Not wise.

The Father of Truth and the Father of Lies

Jesus is the Father of truth.  Satan is the father of lies.

Jesus reveals Himself.  Satan hides himself.

Jesus invites us to walk with Him.  Satan deceives us into walking with him.

Jesus leads us – through His word and our consciences – to do right.  Satan leads us – through the lusts of our flesh – to do wrong.

Jesus is the light.  Satan dwells in darkness.

Jesus has overcome death for us all.  Death had been Satan’s greatest power…until the third day after the crucifixion.

Jesus is Lord.  Satan is deposed.

Jesus loves you.  Satan doesn’t want you to be convinced of that.

Jesus works through your faith in His love for you.  Satan works through your doubts and fears.

Jesus is true.

Life Is a Crucible

When I google “crucible” I find that it means

“a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures”

Because of this, Google further tells us that crucible is a metaphor for

“a place or occasion of severe test or trial”

and

“a place or situation in which different elements interact to produce something new”

For this reason, we can see in the light of Christ that life is a crucible.  Life on earth is our chance to pass a “severe test.”  And it is God’s chance to make us into “something new.”

God does not judge us based on how well our life goes, but rather on how we respond to how our life goes.  Go back and re-read this sentence substituting “day” for “life” because a day is simply a subset of life.  A day is how we experience life.  Some days are more like a crucible than others, but the totality of our days can surely be described as a crucible.

Let us not try to make life into something it is not – as so many are trying to do.  Every time men try to create utopia on earth it becomes a tower of Babel.  Rather, let us accept life on this earth for what it is – a crucible.  And let us demonstrate how relationship with God through Jesus Christ can cause us to survive – and even thrive – through whatever difficulties life on this earth puts in our way.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
–  Romans 8:35-39 (the all caps portion quotes Psalm 44:22)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
–  1 John 5:4

Faith Has to Do with What Is – Hope Has to Do with What Is to Come

Faith has to do with what is, while hope has to do with what is to come.

We have faith that God is, and, because of this, hope for the future.

We believe that God is, and we hope in what He will do.

Even when evil abounds, we trust that God is and hope that He will reward those who seek Him even in a time when evil abounds.  Because we have faith, and God does not change, that hope is sure and steadfast.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

It Won’t Work to Bring God into Your World

It won’t work for you to bring God into your world.  You have to bring yourself into His.

You can’t bring God into your world because, first of all, you don’t have a world.  You are a creature, and you live in a context of what has been created.  You live there with others.  You did not create this world, therefore you don’t have a world.  Even if, however, we stretch the expression to allow “the portion of the world in which you dwell,” it still won’t work for you to bring God into it.  This is because your world is dark.  Bringing Him into your world contains His light in your darkness.

What then is the solution?  Simple: bring yourself into God’s world.  The world we know is the one He created.  He is light.  When we come into His light, our darkness goes away.

Let us walk in God’s world, which is to walk in God’s light.  In Him there is no darkness at all.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Science Is Only Half the Truth

Science restricts itself to those phenomena which can be observed and measured.  This leaves out the half of creation that cannot be observed and measured.

There’s nothing wrong with studying science.  You can learn a lot.  However, never lose sight of its self-imposed restriction, which limits the full understanding of life.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Earthly Reward or Heavenly Reward?

Why should you perform your righteous acts for an earthly audience when all it will bring you are earthly rewards?  You can perform your good deeds for a heavenly audience and it will bring rewards that are far more satisfying.

When no one on earth sees your good deed, rejoice!  This means your only reward will be from Him who watches from heaven.  His applause is the most satisfying there is.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

We Are Not the Audience; We Are the Show

So much of our life in America consists in being entertained.  In ancient times it was royalty who were constantly entertained.  Therefore, most of us with a television set are living “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” when compared to prior ages.

We should wake up, however, and recognize that we ourselves are the entertainment for heaven – and it doesn’t give them much to watch if we ourselves are sitting around watching things all the time.

What sort of entertainment does heaven want from us?  Heaven wants to see heroes – people who will always do the right thing, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.