I LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS
"For the righteous Lord loves righteousness," Psalm 11:7
God loves righteousness. If God loves righteousness and we belong to Him, don't you think we should love righteousness too? It is not a matter of trying to be righteous. It is a matter of loving righteousness.
What is righteousness? The word means "blameless conduct and integrity, right actions and attitudes, truth, faith, obedience and justice." Righteousness goes far beyond laws and regulations. It is not legality. Righteousness is life. It is Christ's life living in and through us. True righteousness flows through our countenance as we smile at our loved ones; through our hands as we comfort, caress and minister God's healing and love; through our feet as we go about doing good; and through our heart as we show compassion, but act with justice and integrity.
God associates righteousness with many attributes in His Word. As we look at these qualities we will understand more of God's righteousness and how we can practically live it out in our lives.
Righteousness is associated with Joy
Hebrews 1:9 says, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Because Christ Jesus the Son loves righteousness, He is anointed with the oil of gladness Psalm 45:7). Righteousness is the opposite of looking pious. It is the opposite of misery. If we walk in righteousness, we'll abound with joy. We'll laugh and sing! Our homes will resound with laughter and gladness. Can you imagine the joyful atmosphere in the homes that are pictured in Psalm 118:15? "The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous."
Psalm 68:3 says, "Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice." Read also Psalm 32:11; 33:1; 51:14b; 64:10; 89:15-16; 97:11-12; 145:7; Proverbs 10:28; 29:6 and Isaiah 64:5a.
We go over to the New Testament and see the same association, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17).
Righteousness is associated with Peace
Isaiah 32:17-18 says, "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Psalm 85:10 tells us that "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." (Isaiah 48:18)
Righteousness is the opposite of anxiety and stress. Some people are so intent on obeying laws (often man-made laws) that they are filled with tension. God's righteousness works peace in our lives. God's righteousness enables us to make peace in our homes. Read Hebrews 12:11 and James 3:18. I know of one marriage that divorced because the wife believed it was wrong to celebrate Christmas. It is not a matter of who was right or wrong. Righteousness would make peace and harmony and keep the marriage together!
Righteousness is associated with Stickability
God promises, "He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" Psalm 55:22. Read also Proverbs 10:30 and 12:3. Righteousness is the opposite of being tossed to and fro. We will not be shaken by the circumstances that happen in our lives, no matter how unexpected. We will stand unmoved because we trust in a righteous God who only does what is right. Job confessed, "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go" Job 27:6. Read also Job 17:9 and Isaiah 54:14.
Righteousness is associated with Generosity
Psalm 37:21 says, "The righteous shows mercy, and gives." Read also Psalm 37:25-26; 112:9 and Proverbs 29:7.
Proverbs 21: 26 says, "The righteous gives and spares not." God's righteousness is opposite to stinginess. If we are walking in God's righteousness, we'll be liberal. We'll be constantly giving-giving our finances, giving hospitality, giving our time to serve others, giving love, giving smiles and giving words of encouragement and inspiration. We will not hold back but pour out everything we have.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
"Oh Father God, please save me from walking in the righteousness of the Pharisees who relied on their own good deeds. Fill me with your righteousness so that your life will flow through me. Amen."
Christ's righteousness in me is joy and peace!