Monday, February 27, 2017

FEBRUARY 26 "OUR FAVORITE 2 WORDS...NO & DO NOT!"

     "Don't do this" is HALF of righteous living, the other half is DO THIS, do these things and you will be blessed.  HOWEVER today, it's about "don't do this" and the question is "why would we do these things" that God tells us not to? Simply cause....we are not righteous. Most people you meet in life are not righteous people.  When I read this "when you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen..."  I thought immediately of Boaz, as I'm sure you did.  Boaz gives implicit directions to his men, that this principle is followed (did they not already know about this principle, of course they did) so that poor (literally) Ruth may benefit. If you study the life of Boaz you will find a man who lived a life worth wanting to emulate.  Boaz is not a man of much fanfare, he is simply a righteous man. Boaz's life speaks for itself and obviously has caught God's attention.  Boaz, no doubt has "the goods"  It is no surprise that Boaz ends up being in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Boaz applied these Godly principles that were long forgotten or ignored by the unrighteous.  Godliness is not defined by how many prayer meetings we attend it is defined in righteous living. This is not an excuse to blow off prayer, but prayer in itself does not always depict a righteous man or woman. As we have all seen people who seem to pray allot that are not righteous in the day to day. They are mean tempered and ill towards other men. Every now and then you will come across a righteous man or women, they are the man, the woman, doing the right thing actually for the right reason, not to be seen by men but simply because they are righteous.  Another man that comes to mind that depicts this righteousness is Cornelius. He is not an "Apostle", he is just a simple man, living out his life, doing right, being right, being liberal, praying behind the scenes, giving to the poor, dealing justly with his fellow man, in short; doing the right thing for the right reasons and this man catches the eye and ear of God!  Yes, it is written in the Word of God "there is none righteous" but it is also written that Abraham committed an act the God records as "...and it was counted to him as righteousness".  Jesus said, "hunger and thirst for righteousness (and you won't ever get it?) and you SHALL BE FILLED!" Filled with what? With God's righteousness. No, these men were not filled with their own righteousness, they were filled with God's righteousness, but in the end, that made them "righteous men".  Boaz, Cornelius and David, we know were not perfect men, certainly not David, but yet these men were amazingly righteous. And it often comes down to "not doing" whether we like it or not. Most of David's righteous living came not so much in what he did, but what he DID NOT do that revealed his righteousness. "he would not strike down Saul" "he would not take an altar for free"  "he would not strike Nabal down". These truths in our text are timeless, if you want to be righteous, Do not take everything for yourself, leave something for others, the poor, Do not deceive each other, Do not defraud each other, Do not hold back wages, Do not pervert justice, Do not show favoritism or partiality, Do not  slander people, Do not hate, Do not seek revenge, simply said, at the end of the day, God is simply saying, "would you just be righteous! The righteous man does not live righteously because life has afforded him too, he lives righteously because HE IS righteous, ie: filled with the righteousness of God! If you are a Cornelius or a Boaz, then a bad day doesn't change that, fatigue doesn't change that, unanswered prayer doesn't change that, mean and cruel people don't change that, a bad day at work doesn't change that, none of these external circumstances influences a Boaz, they are irrelevant to him. Your rating (concerning righteousness) before God will not be tallied by how many church services, prayer meetings, ministries you were involved  in, it will be measured by how you lived out your life, were you just, liberal, merciful and compassionate with your fellow man, this will be the standard God uses. This message is consistent from Genesis to Revelation, and if we fail here, no matter how faithful we are to church services, prayer meetings, ministries, committees, boards, and various other functions, it does not matter, we have failed. Oswald Chambers said it best"many a man will give himself to a religion, to a creed or to a mission, but are there any men that will give their hearts to Christ?"