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Promise of the Month - February, 2006

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6 KJV)

Almost everyone  longs for righteousness. This is why Matthew 5:6 is such a great promise. We  not only can have righteousness, but we can be filled with it. But just what is righteousness, and how many of us are righteous? The LORD said that Noah was righteous and his whole family was saved: The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. (Genesis 7:1 NIV). The fact that only Noah was found righteous by God is important. Many people were probably righteous in their own eyes, but not in the eyes of God.

Another man declared righteous was Abraham. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:3 NIV). Abraham did some things that we may not consider righteous, but those things don't matter to God. Abraham believed and trusted in God - we can do the same.

Why is righteousness important? Because Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34). Also, The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. (1 Samuel 26:23 NIV). In addition to all of this, it is important for our leaders to be righteous. The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: 'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.' (2Samuel 23:3-4 NIV).  And let's not forget that  The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:5 NIV). God will reward those who are righteous: You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (Psalm 45:7 NIV).

So, who is righteous? As it is written, "There is no one righteous. No, not one. (Romans 3:10 WEB). The fact is that mankind has no ability to be righteous by himself. Thousands of years of history declare this truth. The good news is that we have the Saviour Jesus Christ, through whom we can become righteous. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2Corinthians 5:21 NIV). We can begin to be righteous to God when we understand what Noah did about faith and his position in the world.  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 NIV). The apostle Paul showed great insight into what is required to become righteous when he said "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Philippians 3:8-9 NIV). All those in Christ can be told "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8 NIV).

You might be wondering where to find the information that you can use to become righteous in the eyes of God. Look in the Bible, because All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17 NIV). We all need to learn a new way of life so that we can be told "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body." (Ephesians 4:22-25 NIV). When we are in Christ, we have faith and hope. ... by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. (Galatians 5:5 NIV)

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God. (Ro 7:24-25 KJV)

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