TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, August 02, 2017:
Characterized by uprightness or morality; virtuous or devout.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Many people in our world will tell you that they strive daily to live a righteous life. When you ask these people to tell you what they mean by being righteous, you will get many different kinds of responses. Some will say that being righteous is living an honest life. Others will say being kind to people. Some will say that being helpful to others is living a righteous life. Many in today’s culture will respond referring to something personal because we are living in a “ME” generation.
Most people will also tell you that it is very hard to live a righteous life and others will tell you that it is impossible if you are going to be successful. Many people are trying to achieve righteousness by their own strength and actions, but it is impossible to overcome our evil desires because of the sinful nature we are born with.
We cannot buy righteousness and we cannot earn it. Paul writes in Romans 3:10 that “There is no one righteous, not even one.” A person that does not know Jesus as their Savior cannot experience the righteousness we are talking about today. Righteousness comes only after we are saved.
The scripture above begins very clearly by stating it is, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” that we are saved. It is because of God’s mercy that He saved us and it is only through Him we can experience righteousness in our lives.
In Galatians 2:21 we are reminded that righteousness does not come through the law. If it had been possible to obtain righteousness by keeping the law and doing good then Christ would have died in vain.
There is nothing that we can do in the way of keeping the law, doing good deeds, or working to improve ourselves and obtain righteousness. This was something that Paul learned in a most traumatic way when he met Jesus on the Damascus road and was struck blind for three days. Paul studied and lived by the law of the Old Testament but after his conversion he recognized he did not have a righteousness of his own that comes from keeping the law, but the righteousness he had comes from God by his faith (Philippians 3:9).
In Ephesians 6:14 Paul writes that we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness, that only God can give us, to stand firm against the temptations of the devil. And finally Paul tells us in I Timothy 6:11 that we are to flee the things of this evil world and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Look at the company that Paul puts with righteousness. Are you practicing and growing daily in faith, godliness, love, patience and gentleness? Each day we need to strive to be more like Jesus but it is only because of His mercy we will be righteous in His sight.
Our memory verse for this week is found in James 5:16b.
The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Thank You, dear Lord, that because of Your mercy I have been made righteous because of my faith in You. Help me to increase my faith by being more like You today. May I put on the breastplate of righteousness that Paul talks about, so that I may stand firm against the attacks of the devil and wage the war on Your behalf against evil.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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