Isaiah 61:11 NLT — The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your righteousness! Thank You for Your Word which teaches, guides, exhorts. Lord, thank You that You show us what is truth, what righteousness really is. Thank You that Your time on Earth is our example of how to live, how to serve You, and how to love others. Thank You that You alone are the perfect One who not only showed us ourselves clearly, revealed our sinful state, but You paid the price. Lord, I’m confessing my struggles with temptation and humbly requesting Your strength to remain diligent in all things. Lord Jesus, I’m trusting You to show me what Your desire for my day is. I want to be honorable before You, no matter the cost. Please keep my feet upon Your paths, guard my heart against stumbling onto the paths of selfish ambition, fearing man, the ways of the flesh, or anything else which would lead me astray. Lord, may my lips speak truth, my heart be filled with gratitude for Your salvation, and my mind ruminating upon Your Word. I want to be seed which produces a crop. I want Your righteousness and praise to spring up in my life daily. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21 NKJV
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 NKJV
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;” Romans 3:10 NKJV
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:3-4 NKJV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. I John 2:29 NKJV
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord . Psalms 4:5 NKJV
Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12 NKJV
The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32:17 NKJV
Thus says the Lord : “Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed.” Isaiah 56:1 NKJV
Clearly, God’s Word speaks volumes and we can see our hearts truly need Jesus Christ.
It is the treasure of truth to submit unto God and to unlock the innermost parts of ourselves to Jesus, to find the greatest treasure of life eternal in His sacrifice as well as the gifts of walking in righteousness for His namesake.
What earthly treasure compares?
What achievement can rival thus?
Where would the flavor and joy of life be if not in the promise of heaven hereafter?
How great and blessed we are to be called by the name of Christ Jesus and to be able to surrender ourselves before Him daily.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. How incredible it is! I love truth is so clear and yet so profound. Lord, You amaze me in so many ways and Your wisdom is such a treasure. Thank You for giving me Your Word. Thank You for salvation. Lord Jesus, thank You for continuing to show me daily how to walk in Your paths. Lord, I want to follow You with every part of me. I want my whole life to bring glory to Your name. For there is no one who deserves glory, honor, and praise like You. Thank You Jesus! Amen.
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. Proverbs 21:21 KJV
For those who have accepted the blood of Christ Jesus as a cleansing from sin, we have the incredible gift of right standing before God through no merit of our own, it’s a gift.
And when we realize the costly grace bestowed upon us we look back at our sinful nature with horror of continually finding it ensnaring us into the old ways, old habits of ourselves before Christ.
To look upon Him whom we have pierced with our sin is to recognize the truth of never wanting to choose that again.
Our hearts long to walk in righteousness before God.
Thus we were given another incredible gift, the Holy Spirit.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:7-8 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/jhn.16.7-8.NKJV
Romans 14:17 NKJV — for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NKJV — Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Walking in righteousness is being led by the Spirit and choosing to follow God’s Word.
For He gave us so much to guide us, especially about being righteous.
Proverbs 13:5 NKJV — A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.
Proverbs 20:7 NKJV — The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.
Psalm 37:16 NKJV — A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.
These are only a small taste of the wealth of guidance God’s Word supplies.
It’s a beautiful pairing of God’s Word and God’s Spirit.
The Holy Spirit teaches our hearts and guides our steps, while we immerse ourselves in the Bible.
Psalm 1:6 NKJV — For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word, the Bible. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, our Helper. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice that cleanses our souls. Please help us to shine evil and do good, to walk in the way of righteousness. Lord, please continue to purify our way before You, cleansing us of false ideas, freeing us from lies, exposing the trucks of the enemy. Lord, please help us to honor You with our attitudes, our actions, and our words. Lord, please shine through us to those who have yet to know You. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. Amen.
Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem. II Samuel 20:22 NKJV
If one is unfamiliar with this story, it seems harsh and gruesome.
The backstory is where we find out this wise woman who acted quickly, saved many lives.
King David’s son, Absalom, took matters into his own hands.
First, he planned the assassination of his brother Amnon. (2 Samuel 13:23-36)
Amnon deserved severe punishment, but it wasn’t Absalom’s place to meet it out. (2 Samuel 13:1-22)
After having his brother killed Absalom fled to another country. (2 Samuel 13:37-38)
Through the work of Joab, King David allowed him to return to the country, but obviously Absalom’s heart was far from repentant, for he began to steal the hearts of the people for himself by slandering his own father. (2 Samuel 15:1-6)
Then he lied to his father the king and went to Hebron to be anointed as king, where he then turned around to return and wipe out his father and all who supported King David. (2 Samuel 15:7-12)
2 Samuel 15-18 records who supported King David and how Absalom was defeated.
It also records the tribe of Judah escorting the king and his people back across the Jordan.
Just then all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king, his household, and all David’s men with him across the Jordan?” II Samuel 19:41 NKJV
An argument between the people of Judah and the people of the other tribes of Israel begin shouting at one another over who has more right to escort the king back to Jerusalem.
Which is where Sheba comes on the scene.
And there happened to be there a rebel, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said: “We have no share in David, Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!” II Samuel 20:1 NKJV
The people of Israel leave:
So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king. II Samuel 20:2 NKJV
King David returns to Jerusalem to put all things in order.
He sent the army out to deal with Sheba.
This wise woman knew the stakes were high.
The kingdom had just gone through a civil war brought on by a young man who had no regards for what was right.
Absalom did as he thought best and suffered the consequences.
Sheba comes on the heels of this painful and splintered time, and by all accounts his treachery could further splinter and shatter the kingdom.
But for this wise woman.
She saw danger.
She found the source of the sin.
She acted in quick response to what would deal with it quickly.
Unfortunately, Sheba had signed his own death warrant by his actions.
But there is so much to learn from this story.
Sin causes pain, violence, and destruction.
It needs to be dealt with, quickly and completely.
There is no record of King David punishing Amnon for his sin against Tamar.
King David’s own son, Absalom, was a murderer and yet the king did not punish him.
We will never know what would have been different if the king had dealt with the sins of his sons.
But he didn’t let Sheba’s sin slide and neither did this wise woman.
Evidently the king had learned much from his previous error and the results are far different.
In this case only the one who committed the sin paid for it, Sheba.
Because of Jesus’s payment for sin we no longer have to die eternal death to pay for our sins, but we still must be wise.
The New Testament tells believers to put away sin.
2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
No one is immune to sin, therefore the Word of God gives us instruction.
James 5:16 NKJV — Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
1 John 1:9 NKJV — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
As this year comes to a close and a new year begins, let us be honest about the sin within our walls and deal with it as the wise woman did.
For Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness!
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the example we see in scripture. Please Lord Jesus, do not allow any sin to hide inside my heart, but reveal it that it might be dealt with completely. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness in continually showing me the way I should walk daily. Please continue to shine Your truth into my heart and mind. Lord, You alone have all that I need and Your Word is my guide. Please continue to hone my heart. Thank You. Amen.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV — Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Often, it holds regret, shame, and always sin.
“It’s only a white lie…”
“Well, it was just a one time thing…”
“I’m only hurting myself…”
Sin hides beneath falsehood.
Marring each person’s heart.
And sin never hurts only one person.
Instead sin causes a rippling of consequences which can cause harm for generations.
Jesus bore every painful bitter sin upon the cross.
1 Peter 2:24 NKJV — who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
But He did it, that we might live for righteousness.
Because the list of those who won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven is only part of the truth.
1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Jesus is the only One Who can cleanse our past and heal our hurt.
Because sin always brings pain.
But Jesus brings salvation.
Whatever your past might hold, relinquish it into the hands of the Lord Jesus and let His truth set you free.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for going through the pain and suffering of the cross to provide freedom from sin and eternal separation from You. Lord, there are so many ways we try to forget or hide from the past, when You paid for it already. Lord, please heal those who are hurting. Let forgiveness and trust replace shame and fear. Lord, let our hearts be humble before You that we might freely lift up those things which cause us anxiety, pain, grief, and suffering. Lord, thank You for loving each one of us. Thank You for being our salvation. Thank You for paying the price. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 NKJV
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Joseph.
But what is written is inspiring.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. Matthew 1:19 NKJV
“..being a just man…”
This one phrase speaks highly of his character.
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible has the word just as number 1455 and says:
“…equitable (in character or act); by impl. innocent, holy (absol. or rel.);- just, meet, right (-eous).”
Joseph was a man who walked in the ways of the Lord.
The Bible records Noah as a just man. (Gen. 6:9)
Other things are written about a just man.
Proverbs 20:7 KJV — The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
This verse certainly applies to Joseph!
Not only was Jesus blessed by God, we know that His brothers James and Jude were also believers.
James was a devout man and known for his character and his love of God from Christian history.
The Bible contains two books in the New Testament, each penned by these two men.
Joseph also proves his love for God and his willingness to obey the Lord through his actions.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus , for He will save His people from their sins.”…Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus . Matthew 1:20-21, 24-25 NKJV
Joseph acted immediately.
He didn’t doubt.
He doesn’t question.
He simply obeyed.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13 NKJV
Joseph took his young family to a foreign country with no idea of how long they would need to live there.
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Matthew 2:14-15 NKJV
Joseph may have lived over two thousand years ago, but his faith in God can inspire no matter the decade one resides in.
His humility and obedience, his character of faithfully following God, are applicable to any generation.
And we have the truth of salvation in Christ Jesus to aide us in walking with God.
Because Joseph wasn’t the only man who was described as a just man.
It was stated about Jesus the day of His crucifixion.
Matthew 27:19 KJV — When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
Of course no man can compare to Christ in righteousness.
But it’s inspiring that God records there were others who followed His ways and are written in the Bible as just.
One of them being, Joseph.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for this encouraging look at Joseph. Lord Jesus, only through You can we find the path to righteousness. Thank You for giving us Your Word to serve as a guide and direction. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts, teaching and admonishing. Lord, thank You for Your patience, as we learn to walk in the correct way. Please help me to walk justly before You. Thank You. Amen.
Amos 5:15 NKJV — Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV — The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Zechariah 8:17 NKJV — Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”
The point is clear.
Evil is among us, even found in us, and we are to hate it.
Because evil harms.
It hurts us, it hurts others, it breaks our fellowship with God.
It’s something we should want to purge out of our minds, hearts, and lives.
The Bible tells us how to do this.
Romans 12:9 NKJV — Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
God is good.
There is nothing evil or false about Him at all.
When we cling to God, we find what is good.
Deut. 12:31,16:22, 18:12, 24:4, 7:25, 17:1; Prov. 3:32, 6:16, 11:1,12:22; Mal. 2:16 are a few of the verses explaining what God hates, those things which are an abomination to Him.
Proverbs 15:9 NKJV — The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
Proverbs 15:26 NKJV — The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.
Let us be followers of righteousness, people whose words are pure.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for giving us Your Word to guide and direct our lives. Lord, help us to fear You, to walk in Your ways, to speak words that are pure, to cling to what is good. Lord Jesus, help us to cling to You in all things. Thank You. Amen.