Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Small Bites - Philippians 4:8 - Righteous

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable,
right and pure, lovely, admirable.
If something is excellent or praiseworthy,
think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Think about right things.  Literally, think about righteous things; those things that are upright and virtuous, innocent and faultless.  Good luck with that!  Except for Jesus, who is a worthy person to think about?  Do I have any chance of seeing righteousness on this earth before me?  Who would be someone whose way of thinking, feeling and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God?

Luckily, the Bible gives some examples of people who were deemed righteous:  Joseph, Jesus' earthly Dad; John the Baptist; Elizabeth and Zachariah; Simeon; Joseph of Aramethia; Corneluis (that pagan); Abel; Lot.  And, of course, Jesus.  All of these were called righteous in their day.  If that could be true 2000 years ago, I would assume I could find a few righteous people worthy of my attention today.

How would I know them?  Again, the Bible saves the day and gives the evidence of righteous people.  As I read this list, I discover that I have known these people.
  • People whose lives stand out in God's kingdom. (Not exemplary in the world, but exemplary among the people of God.)
  • Those who obey the law and will of God.
  • Employers who are just and fair to their employees.
  • People whose prayers have great impact.
  • When I welcome them and join in their activity, I can share their blessings and rewards.
Now I can name these people.  My Grandmother, who just about held all those results.  A boss I had that treated us fairly and justly.  My prayer warriors who have lifted me out of the muck and the mire.  Those with whom I have shared ministry projects and reaped the blessing of fulfillment and purpose.  My husband who does not deviate from doing the right thing, ever.

I actually like to also note those in history who lived exemplary lives:  missionaries, moms and dads, preachers.  They have noteworthy stories which speak about their relationship with Jesus Christ.  Maybe I can grow to be like them, too.

[Matthew 13:43; Romans 2:13; Colossians 4:1; James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:12; Matthew 10:41]

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