The Righteousness Train

JANUARY 30

MATTHEW 5:10_Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake:

One key element of persecution is to be sure you are persecuted for righteousness sake, not your own sake. The quality of discernment will help you know. You have already learned to discern if your peacemaking succumbs to political correctness. Political correctness is to agree with the world’s ways over God’s ways because it is the popular thing. Now you discern if you have strayed from the righteous path, and are suffering for it.

Everyone thinks they are righteous. To board the Righteousness Train requires a Bible ticket. Those trusting in and building lives upon the Bible have purchased a ticket. If you become too self-assured you have a seat on the Train, you can easily fall into the Pit of Pride. Hungering and thirsting leads you to the ticket office.

Righteousness is a byproduct of loving Jesus and His words. It comes naturally when you draw into a closer relationship with Jesus. You cannot make yourself become righteous. Only God can make you righteous. Only God holds the standard to what righteousness is. No one can live up to that standard. The Holy Spirit leads you there. Actually you won’t even know you’re there unless you begin to suffer for doing what is right. That is your clue. If you become too smug in the fact you made it – you can fall back to where you were. You can only claim it in Jesus’ name, never your own.

 PRAYER

Dear God and Father of All, I want to be righteous in You, not in myself – lead me there. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is righteousness—He makes me righteous!

For the Sake of Righteousness

JANUARY 29

MATTHEW 5:10_Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

No one wants to be persecuted, for any reason – even righteousness. But if we are, let’s hope we respond as the Apostles after they were beaten for teaching the words of Jesus. Acts 5:41 (KJV), “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Jesus says we’re blessed if we are persecuted. He says the reward is the same as for those who are poor in spirit – the kingdom of heaven. I still see this reference to the kingdom of heaven as something we attain in this life. There is a difference. We do not experience the kind of perfection in the earthly kingdom as we will in the eternal heavenly kingdom. But we can experience the power of walking free in our spirit and overpowering fear, in this kingdom of heaven. 

I hope I appreciate persecution when it causes me to become a part of the kingdom of heaven. I know I will suffer persecution as a part of God’s kingdom in this life.

I must take heed to the reason Jesus says I will be persecuted – for the sake of righteousness.

 PRAYER

Dear Savior, I ask You to help me be alert to righteousness in this sinful world. Help me stand for it and live it out in my life daily. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

 Christ is the kingdom of heaven—I want to live in Him!

Open Your Eyes

JANUARY 28

MATTHEW 5:9_for they shall be called the children of God.

How do you find peace within yourself? Peace comes from connecting the soul (mind, will, emotions) with the spirit. When the soul connects with the spirit which is connected to Christ, it experiences confidence and security – regardless of circumstances. 

When peace is dependent upon life’s circumstances being exactly as you want, seldom will you find inward peace. 

Open your eyes. See Jesus at work in your life. Hear Him calling. Focus on Jesus in the midst of your storms (physical, spiritual, or psychological). Believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is. Experience the peace that overcomes life’s circumstances.

John 16:33 (KJV), “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me [Jesus] ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” That verse says a lot. This life will not always go the way you want. Life comes with trouble. Jesus lets you know that He’s got this – no worries. That doesn’t mean you won’t hurt, moan, groan, and cry. If you didn’t do any of those you wouldn’t have trouble.

Agree with Jesus and let Him overcome your world – you will be a child of God!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I praise You for overcoming the world. I know You can overcome the storms which rage within my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ gives peace—To my soul!

To Be a True Friend

JANUARY 27

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

I can never be a peacemaker if I am not willing to yield to someone else’s viewpoint. I can never be a peacemaker if I can’t find peace within myself. All this is fully dependent upon knowing who Jesus is and who I am in Him. 

I can only be a peacemaker if I am founded on the rock of Scriptural truth. I must not compromise convictions for the sake of being someone’s friend. I know that sounds backwards after I just said I must be willing to yield – but don’t forget there is a fine line. To be a true friend, I would never agree with something I know to be contrary to the Bible. The best way to love people is to help them find the path to freedom, which is truth. 

Needless to say everyone thinks their side is right, but for Christians there has to be a standard – the  Bible. The Bible teaches the path to become a peacemaker is to love, to yield, and to serve. 

Romans 12:18 (KJV) says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” We just can’t live at peace with everyone in this life. This life is a time for good versus evil. If we follow the Biblical principles of love, yield, and serve, we can learn to be peacemakers, even in this evil world!                                

 PRAYER

God of Peace, I pray You will teach me how to love, yield, and serve. As much as is possible on my part Lord, help me live in peace. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ is my peace—He will teach me peacemaking!

The Fine Line

JANUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:9_Blessed are the peacemakers…

Perhaps there are people in the world who do not want peace. With all the violence we experience at such high levels, it certainly appears that way. What brings about conflict and violence?

By now you know what causes conflict between people – the heart. Either your heart is pure and set on righteousness or it is not. We have already discovered that you did not come into the world with a pure heart. To develop a pure heart requires decisions on your part. Decisions that involve the Bible, Jesus, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Without those three I don’t know a way to make good decisions.

Conflicts tend to come from self-centered, self-absorbed, my-way-or-no-way attitudes. If the conflicts are to be resolved, someone has to yield. Someone has to be willing to give consideration to the other’s point of view. Someone has to be willing to consider and perhaps try out the other’s suggestion. 

As with anything in life, there are lots of fine lines in peacemaking. When does peacemaking become caving in to political correctness or yielding to evil? When does peacemaking become caring more about what people think than what God thinks? 

PRAYER

Father of Peace, I know You want peace in the world. I know we live in a world that does not submit to You as ruler. Help me learn to be a peacemaker for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ is a peacemaker—He will help me become one!