“For the LORD is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face. Psalms 11:7
My take: Its good to know the LORD, God Almighty, loves good. He is good and righteous at His core.
For God only knows why He created evil, as only He is able to create something from nothing. Everyone else can only rearrange.
So let’s go about doing righteous deeds, serving a righteous God in gratitude for we are in a new and inproved era. For now Christ is
our righteousness by faith. By pure true faith in Jesus, we put on His righteous brestplate (in spite of the fallen souls we were born with). For by one man (Adam with help from his wife and the deceiver) we all fell down like dominos, so it is fitting that by one man (the God man adhering to the Father’s will aided by the Holy Spirit and help from the angels) we can all stand righteous and pure. What a day that will be when we encounter our Creator in person, face to face. Amen!
My prayer: Thank you Jesus and all Your team that fight the good fight. Help me to do my part this day!
right·eous [rahy-chuh s]
characterized by uprightness or morality: a righteous observance of the law.
morally right or justifiable: righteous indignation.
acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous: a righteous and godly person.
Slang. absolutely genuine or wonderful: some righteous playing by a jazz great.
the righteous, (used with a plural verb) righteous persons collectively.
Origin: before 900; earlier rightwos, rightwis (remodeled with -ous), Middle English; Old English rihtwīs. See right, wise
- good, honest, fair, right.
- evil, wicked.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Col 3:23 — Col 3:24
My take: Paul reminds us Christians that our highest motivation should not be earthly rewards. Yes, these are nice and should be just but they pale in significance compared to the eternal reward Jesus shall provide to His faithful workers.
The command here is to work heartily. Other versions say enthusiastically, from the soul, with you whole being.
Working with people is difficult. Christ too had his challenges with people but he remained steadfast to His work; to His mission. His driver was pleasing God not being a disengenius ‘people pleaser’ nor an unmerciful tyrant. He set goals and performed at a high level to please His heavenly Father. By keeping this in mind, it carried Him through battling the Devil in the wilderness, the dissapointment of the rich young ruler walking away, the betrayel of Judas – his treasurer, and even one of His innermost confidents denying knowing Him.
In spite of all these then apparent attacks and failures, by keeping His eye on the prize and remaining whole-hearted and steadfast, God worked it out for good. He will do the same for us. Amen? Amen!
Emulating Jesus should be our main goal as a Christian. Afterall, a Christian is to be like Christ. Right? Though impossible on one hand, through God’s strong right hand; indeed possible.
And being like Jesus is also our great reward, once we are promoted and receive our great reward and prize. So being like Christ is the highest calling and highest prize; both the goal and reward.
My prayer; God I know You have my back so long that I am faithful and do my best to serve You. Please forgive my many shortcomings and empower me to thrive in this chaotic world.
Our youngest daughter plays high school basketball. Though she is a starter on a talented team, her role this year is primarily as a support player to three D1 college bound seniors.
She has learned this well, embraced her role and is a good player but she was having an off game last night. A friend who she plays summer ball with and also big school competitor was the competition for the Indianapolis conference city tournament finals last night.
As the game was winding down in the final seconds the opposing team’s star player shot the ball, it went over the rim, over Audrey and into her friend/competitor’s hands, Izzy’s. With time running out, Izzy shot a seven footer which hit nothing but net right over Audreys outstretched hands to win the game.
After the game, the star player on Audrey’s team, Arie, came over and told Audrey, ‘not to be too sad because it’s a team sport and no one player is responsible for the win or the loss’. Arie is an amazing player and scored like 35 points and Audrey scored maybe two, if any – she might’ve been like one for like seven. Audrey, my daughter, did contribute and worked hard in many other ways with good defense, hustle, rebounds, etc.
As Audrey came out of the locker room, she saw Izzy celebrating with her team and cutting down the nets for the city championship. She walked out on the court amongst the other team and told Izzy that she was happy she scored the winning point and congratulated her on the last second victory.
My wife was quick to complement Audrey for her sportsmanship and her character, which after all is what ultimate winning is about.
Playing sports should be about life lessons foremost. She will take that into the rest of her life. And hopefully next year, when she’s a senior, will get the next basketball game victory.
Though she missed her goal of winning that championship, she is becoming a better person and that is the point of this story.
What a blessing it is to find something you are passionate to do but even if you aren’t working in something like that, every job has it drudgery or challenge, we can shift our mindset.
We can have a mindset of stewardship and working with and for God.
We can have a mindset of improvement.
We can have a mindset of planning for something better.
Sometimes our problems are such there is no solution in sight. If we are not the ones who created the problem we can find ourselves at a dead end trying to solve it. There may be factors beyond our control or people whose decisions and actions determine the outcome. At such times it is important to remember the path we choose to find the solution is as important as the solution itself.
Problems can be opportunities to learn to depend on God. Nehemiah led the people of Judah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 446 BC. Opposition goes with the territory of being a leader. Nehemiah was no exception and had his fair share of opposition. He faced problems which were not within his control. Some of these problems were created by people with malicious intent, but he refused to buckle under pressure, continued to do his work and remained focused on his goals.
Even though Nehemiah was a man of action, his prayer life was not neglected. He blended practicality and spirituality in order to solve the problems he faced. What a great example of a leader he is for us.
He knew action is necessary for results, but action backed with prayer guarantees success. When his enemies plotted against him, Nehemiah realized that this was not a problem that he could solve in his own strength. Instead, he sought God’s help in dealing with it.
Nehemiah prayed practical prayers that showed reliance on God while he kept on with his task. Likewise, if we rely on God when faced with problems, we’ll have the ability to press on with our work and to reach our goals.
Yes, our success is indeed guaranteed when we seek out God with our whole being for a just cause as Romans 8:28 affirms.
Nehemiah is a great leader to study. One aspect I am taking away is his focus. He wasn’t going to let non-essentials detract from his accomplishment of the mission set before him.
The author pointed out so well his balance of using his God given assets to accomplish his goal; that of his physical / mental resources and his spiritual ones. That of his personal leadership and that of unified teamwork.
Nehemiah was wise by not letting naysayers drag him down and thwart his plans. I really like words he said:
“Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.”
For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Nehemiah 6:8-9 NKJV
Yes, indeed. When our problems are beyond our grasp, we need help from our team and most importantly, all the time, from God almighty.