God’s Righteousness

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

“‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.'”

Matthew 5:6 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In His “Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a series of “Blessed are . . . ” statements which modern-day theologians reference as “The Beatitudes.” The problem with grouping them together is it tends to discourage the study of each statement individually. If we look at them as separate indicators of desirable characteristics in those who follow Christ, they take on much more meaning.

With the indicator noted above in Matthew 5:6, Christ emphasized the importance of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” as personal descriptors of a devoted Christian. He also noted: those seeking righteousness to this extent will be filled. In other words, if a follower truly hungers and thirsts for righteousness, time and energy will be spent trying to emulate the example Christ gave us when He was on earth, since everything He did was done in a manner well-pleasing unto God. We see this in Matthew 3, verses 16 and 17:

16 — “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, low, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

17 — “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

Matthew 3:16-17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, one must first “hunger and thirst after righteousness” in order to be filled. This hungering and thirsting will increase our “searching of the scriptures” which will allow God to “fill our desire for righteousness.” The more we learn from the scriptures, the more we understand of what God wants from those of us who follow Jesus’ commandments.

As newborn Christians, we are to “desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow” in likeness to Christ. This growth is how we are filled with God’s righteousness.

1 — “Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

1 Peter 2:1-2 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Peter goes on to say that those who believe and follow Jesus are “the chosen ones;” thus, they shall be filled with righteousness if it is searched and applied. He goes to great lengths in this chapter to describe the differences between those who believe and those who do not believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”

1 Peter 2:9 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In searching the scriptures, if we hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will learn how emulating Christ’s actions and attitudes, while He was on earth, will satiate us and increase those behaviors in us. Thus, we “shall be filled,” and we shall become more like Christ as we continue to grow and live for Him.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of God’s righteousness.

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Photo Above: by permission from Benjamin South @facebook.com.

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 February 2022). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A6&version=KJV.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 3:16-17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-3/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2:9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Peter-Chapter-2/.

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Unchecked Anger and Sin

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

26 — “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

27 — “Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26, 27 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Have you ever been so angry you could spit nails at another person? I am sure all have been at one point or another. It is normal to be angry, even to be tempted to lash out at someone due to anger, but — as Christians — we are never to give in to such impulses.

In verses 26 and 27 of chapter 4 in his epistle to the Christians at Ephesus, Paul addresses a number of behaviors that may be a part of the person we were before becoming a Christian. One of those tendencies was to become angry toward another person and to seek revenge because of that anger. Paul cautions them in this. He tells them to be angry if they must, but do not stay angry.

Do what you must to gain control of your anger and set it aside by nightfall. When the sun goes down, allow yourself the enjoyment of watching the beautiful colors of the sunset with gratitude and admiration. Know those colors are a reflection of God’s love for us. He said, “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (v26). In other words, don’t let the day pass and allow that anger to destroy your sleep or the sleep of others.

He said, “Be angry, and sin not:” Don’t rant and rave. Don’t threaten. Don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. Work through your anger and set it aside.

When we allow sin to overtake our behavior, we do things we should not do. We do things Christians are instructed to not do by Jesus and the apostles. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed the crowd to “turn the other cheek when others do you wrong.”

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38 — “‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:'”

39 — “‘But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.‘”

Matthew 5:38, 39 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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On another day, Peter asked Jesus if seven times is sufficient to turn the other cheek to someone who does us wrong. Jesus answer to Peter was: “not seven times but seventy times seven times.”

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21 — “Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Til seven times?'”

22 — “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto the until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.‘”

Matthew 18:21, 22 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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When you think of it, through our belief and faith in Jesus and through our obedience to Him, we are forgiven many multitudes of sin over and above seventy times seven. Truly, grace doth abound in His forgiveness of an obedient Christian.

If we as Christians strive to emulate Christ — and that is to be our goal — we must learn to set our anger aside. Do not sin due to anger: such anger is merely Satan trying to lure us back into our old ways and away from Christ. Set anger aside. Forgive the other person toward whom your anger is directed and forgive yourself for being so angry. Holding onto the anger does not really harm the other person; it harms you. The ultimate consequence of holding onto anger can be the loss of your life due to a heart attack, a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other catastrophic health crisis. If we leave this world in a state of such anger, you can be assured: we will answer for it in the day of judgment.

When I was a teenager, in church services we sang a song that I dearly loved because it teaches this concept in such a harmonic manner. “Angry Words,” has ever been one of my favorites.

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Angry Words – A Cappella Hymn – YouTube

Words and Music: Horatio R Palmer (1867)

KeyEb Major

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Photo Above: by Andre Hunter @Unsplash.com.

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 4:26-27. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4 KJV (kingjamesbible.me).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 5:38-39. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 18:21-22. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 18 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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