“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,

a King who will reign wisely

and do what is just and right in the land.

In His days Judah will be saved

and Israel will live in safety.

This is the name by which He will be called:

The Lord Our Righteousness…

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time,” declares the Lord.

“I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.”

Jeremiah 23:5-6;31:33

What is righteousness? Righteousness is not a very popular word in our culture but it is important to our happiness because we must be found righteous in order to be in a right standing relationship with God and only God can bring us true happiness.

Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was not only a demonstration of God’s love for us but it was the ultimate expression of Christ’s own love for those who would receive the gift His life offered. He alone made that sacrifice for each one of us.

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2

He is Yahweh Tsidqenu (yah-WEH tsid-KAY-nu), The Lord Our Righteousness. He is the One who intervened on our very behalf so that we could be restored and in fellowship with God through His life, death and resurrection.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:6

Our righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Romans 3:21-22) It involves conforming to God and His character and realizing our responsibilities toward Him and those around us. Righteousness is not just about outward behaviors but it is also an issue of the heart; of our thoughts, our motives and our very desires. It’s not only about doing what God says but it is also about becoming like Him, His reflection. It means that we must resemble Him in terms of His character by displaying His love, mercy, forgiveness, integrity and humility.

Scripture says that “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10, which proves our need for a Savior. Because of our sin it is impossible for us to have a relationship with God on our own. There is only one way that we can be restored and reconciled to that right relationship with God and that is through Jesus Christ.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1Peter 2:24-25

Jesus absorbed the penalty of our sin by His crucifixion on the cross and suffered the punishment that we so deserved. He was pierced for our transgressions and through this restored us forever to the God who so loves us when we call upon His name and believe.

Father I pray that you make me hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Make me aware of my constant need for a Savior and that I alone can never achieve righteousness. May I never forget all that You endured to restore my relationship with You and may I never take for granted the cost of my sin and the suffering You endured to restore that relationship and draw me back to You.

Addison Leitch (professor of theology, husband of Elisabeth Elliot) says that righteousness “is primarily and basically a relationship, never an attainment…Christian righteousness…is a direction, a loyalty, a commitment, a hope- and only someday an arrival.”

“Blessings crown the head of the righteous”
Proverbs 10:6

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life”
Proverbs 10:11

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.”
Proverbs 10:25

The righteous are delivered from trouble, and the wicked get into it instead.”
Proverbs 11:8

Written by Nicole

I'm not complaining but…

Grumbling and complaining have become a past time in this country. It takes place in our homes, at work and even in the foyers of our churches. It has become so tolerated that sometimes we don’t even recognize it in ourselves or in others but it is a sin. In fact, I think if we had to make a list of sins, it probably wouldn’t even make our top 10 list. Because it is a sin, it breaks the heart of God.

The people of Israel had complaining mastered. As they wandered through the desert, they grumbled and complained and God disciplined them for it. Some were even struck down by a destroying angel. (1 Corinthians 10:10) God takes complaining very seriously because when we complain, it becomes a reflection of our heart. If we’re too busy complaining then how can we find time to rejoice in Him. If we’re complaining about money, relationships, our churches, jobs, whatever else is out there then we are definitely not praising Him for the very breath He gave us this morning or the roof over our head or the food that fills are bellies or the people He’s placed in our lives. Suddenly our reflection becomes blurred and what we see starring back at us is ugly.

Proverbs 27:19 say this…
“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

Whatever is in our heart is very visible to other people every time we open our mouths because the words that come from our mouth speak loudly to the condition of our hearts.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45

What do your words say about you? Are they Christ-like? Are they words of love and praise for a God that has blessed you with life, the love of family and friends, shelter and food and most of all salvation?

Life isn’t always what we think it’s supposed to be but we have a God who is in control of it all. He allows our lives to unfold the way He had planned in order for us to draw close to Him and mature and grow in our faith. Instead of complaining about all that is wrong in our lives or the world, praise Him for what He’s doing and how He’s going to use it for His glory!

Lord in all of our living let us be grateful and content in what You have for us. Convict us when we grumble and complain. Thank You for your goodness and your faithfulness to grow us through Your discipline. Thank You for not sparing us the striving and growing it takes to draw nearer to You. Let our words and actions be ones of praise and thanksgiving instead of those of discontent and grumbling.

Written by Nicole