Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33
Christ-followers belong to a righteous kingdom. Therefore, righteousness is a requirement for citizenship and it is the code of conduct.
We have established righteousness results from a relationship with the Righteous King through faith in Jesus Christ. One of the major impediments to having a righteous relationship with God is your unwillingness to surrender your rights. It is your nature to want to do God's will in your way. You want it both ways and you can't have it! There can only be one way that is right and it is not yours.
To be in His kingdom you must surrender to the King and to have His righteousness you must give up your rights.
Are you letting your rights get in the way of His righteousness?
Another obstacle to righteous living is the need to survive. That is the context of this statement by Jesus. He has been teaching about God as a Father who is willing and able to provide for His children:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."  Matthew 6:19-32
Is protecting yourself or providing for yourself more important to you than honoring God? Would you deny Him to preserve your own life?
Even a man aS great as Simon Peter chose survival over righteousness when he felt his life was being threatened.
What would you have done?

I hear Jesus saying in verse 33 is this, "I don't have to survive but I do have to be righteous."
Some three years after Jesus issued this challenge in His Sermon on the Mount, He found Himself faced with that very decision as He wrestled in prayer in Gethsemane. He sweat drops of blood but chose to be righteous if it killed Him.
Many of our brothers and sisters around the world face that pressure every day because they live in repressive totalitarian atheistic countries. And thousands of them have chosen righteousness over survival only to be imprisoned or executed. They were true to His kingdom and His righteousness and true to His promise, He gave then everything they needed!
Do you love righteousness more than you own life?