What Ever Happened to Righteousness?

     In a Sunday School class that was comparing and contrasting the prodigal son and the elder brother, we were asked why we come to church.  Some answered because they loved Jesus.  Fair enough. One said because she wanted to.  Me, too.  Nevertheless, I answered that it is the right thing to do. 
     That doesn't seem like a very popular response these days.  In fact, I would say there are those who would frown on such a response.  Somehow it is too stiff and "religious".  So, I have to ask you to compare the ways of the world and the ways of God. 
      How much does the world care about righteousness?  I think we can all agree that the world cares very little about righteousness.  What the world cares about is: what pleases me, what makes me feel good, what makes me happy. 
      Is it ok to come to church because it makes me happy?  Absolutely!  But what happens when it doesn't make me happy?  What if I have a personality clash with the pastor (been there, done that)?  Does , "Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves" become null and void?  Well, you say, I can always go to another church.  You can.  And sometimes that is the right thing to do, but we've got a world full of church hoppers because they can never find contentment.  They are looking for the church that only exists in theory, not reality.  Here is where righteouness comes into play.
     What about marriage?  Are there times when the only thing that is holding you together is the fact that it is the right thing to do?  You better believe it! Are you bound to your marriage by cords of love?  Wonderful.  Praise God.  But what about those times and situations where you feel anything but loved and/or loving?
      Righteousness should be a way of life.  It is not a dirty word.  Yes, it is in the new testament.  God loves righteousness (Heb.1:9), awake to righteousness and sin not (1 Corinthians 15:34) righteousness comes by faith (9:30), it is a gift (Rom. 4:22) , blessed are those who are persecuted for it (1 Pet. 3:14).
      Little children, let no one deceive you.  He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. (I John 3:7)


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