Aim for Righteousness and enjoy the blessings!
Today’s thoughts are taken from the 11th Proverb. Like so many of you I have written a short list of things that I would like to accomplish before 2018 ends. As I prepared to send out my first letter to you for the year, I was drawn into the 11th chapter of Proverbs this morning. Before I began reading my daily proverbs I quietly breathed a prayer that it would be rich with something that I needed. God knows more than I.
God showed me in a profound way the necessity and blessings of righteousness. Righteousness; it became my theme and my thought for the day. Might it become my passion for the new year; in this I believe I will see other goals accomplished.
You will want to read the entire chapter, but I’m going to just touch here on the references to righteousness.
1. Verse four claims that righteousness delivers from death. The first part of this proverb reminds us that riches will not profit in the day of wrath. There are many truths wrapped up in this verse but I am reminded how often young and wealthy people make bad decisions, often destroying their lives. The basis of happiness is not wealth or youth; it is righteousness.
2. The next verse speaks of how righteousness directs us. We need that; right? There is a reference to it directing the way of the perfect but I believe this applies to us too because the perfect One dwells within us. There is a “perfection” for the child of God that does not equate to being without sin. Reference is also made to the paths of those that choose a wicked way. Choosing righteousness should become automatic with maturity, ceasing to be a battle.
3. Verse six: I’m encouraged because it says that the righteousness of the upright will actually deliver them. What do I need delivered from? We all have something.
4. Verse eight; I really love this one. The righteous is delivered out of trouble. I have experienced that. I know it is true.
5. Part of verse 10 reads, “when it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoices” … Collectively, ladies, our righteousness can cause great joy and happiness to a larger number of people then each of us can add alone. Our righteousness makes the world better. What an investment!
6. Skipping a few verses to verse 18. That verse ends with a promise that for those of us that will sow or plant righteousness we will have a sure reward. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I don’t know why I even try.”? This verse encourages us to press on and tells us why. The harvest, my Dear. Harvest time always comes.
7. Verse 19 reminds us that righteousness tends to life. So righteousness is to life as evil is to death. We truly have choices in our life – whether our lives be happy or whether they be miserable. Choose life or choose death.
8. Verse 21 tells us the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. This is a reminder and something to meditate upon. Most people need delivered from some thing. Our righteousness is a blessing to those who follow after us. If you are a mother then that thought should be very large.
9. Later in the chapter we see that the desire of the righteous is only good. That is a comfortable thought to me and very much an encouragement. The simplicity of that statement is profound.
10. The next several verses compare the wicked to the righteous and compares the fool to one of a wise heart. Verse 30 wraps up the several thoughts of previous verses. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that wins souls is wise. Because of the content of this chapter and the emphasis upon righteousness, we cannot help but be reminded that part of righteousness is our testimony and by our testimony we can win others. The best testimony is not what we say, but what we do and how we live. People will hear you, but what they see is even clearer to understand. This verse emphasizes that our fruit as being righteous is a tree of life. Picture a tree – a lush, healthy tree – it is beautiful and it is life-giving. If we live righteously, we will be blessed by our righteousness, but also those around us.
11. Verse 31 is quite a verse to end the chapter with. It is a promise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth. We will be rewarded, we will be repaid, our efforts will not be in vain. Like so many of the verses the life of the righteous is compared to the life of the wicked. Chapter 11 ends with a comparison also; it says we will be recompensed in the earth: it ends with this thought… Much more than the wicked and the sinner.
Some mornings we awaken overwhelmed. How can we do all the things that we believe are ours to do? We add to the mix the necessity to do things that we have not planned in our day. By the time we are dressed, we begin our day with a feeling of defeat. If you have ever experienced this feeling, then you are human. Feelings lie; you are not defeated by 8 o’clock in the morning. Seize the day! Get it back! We have an adversary, but let us not give him too much sway in our life. God knows what we need spiritually for our day and will feed you His bread if you will come to the Table. I have read the 11th chapter of Proverbs innumerable times in my life, making notes on the importance of righteousness. Yet, today, the Bread is fresh again; in some ways a mystery. Meditate and marvel. Our Sword equips us more powerfully than most of the world. We can begin our day with the God that created all. By the grace of God, I choose the righteousness of Christ. I ponder these truths throughout the day, choosing righteousness. When we make this choice on a regular basis, we will surely experience better lives. And so, for 2018 I am actively choosing righteousness.
Expect to see regular studies on righteousness throughout the year as I dig deeper into the resolve I have made.
David encouraged himself in the Lord and so have I. Most women that read my essays know the Lord and also want to choose righteousness on a daily basis. We have within us the righteousness that is spoken of in Proverbs chapter 11, but it is our choice whether we give power to the righteousness. Be strong and of a good courage.
Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness. Helen Keller