Being Right or Doing Right

 

And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.

Isaiah 32:17 NLT

 

Dr. Bob Miller

It’s easier to raise a generation to believe that righteousness or right living is founded on what we do, instead of who we are.

Righteousness based on what we do becomes rule driven and unwelcoming.  Righteousness based in who we are becomes relationship driven and inviting.

Right living moves from the inside out, not from the outside in.

What we do is evaluated in goodness.  Who we are is established in grace.

 

A great challenge is raising a generation which embraces that we all are unrighteous only made righteous by the grace, mercy and love of God’s Righteous Son.  Paul reminds us, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Cor 5:21 NLT)

 

The prophet Isaiah was foretelling of this kind of righteous living led by a Righteous King whose Kingdom was not of this world and that would last forever.  This kind of righteousness would be founded in the “Who” and not the “what”.

 

This Kind Of Righteousness Brings Peace.  There is a “peace that surpasses all understanding” and “it guards our hearts and minds” . . . it protects our feelings and thoughts . . . “in Christ Jesus”. (Phil 4:6-7).  Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT).  Peace is only found in our Prince of Peace.  C. S. Lewis writes, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

This kind of righteousness brings peace.

 

This Kind Of Righteousness Brings Quietness.  I do not live in a world of quietness.  Raising four daughters had more chaos than calm.  The quietness illustrated by Isaiah is a quietness of heart before an Almighty God.  In the demands of a growing crowd, Jesus instructed His disciples, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31 NLT).  It’s in the stillness that our struggles find a solution.  The psalmist tells us God’s invitation, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10 ESV).  We have a Holy God reaching out to a hopeless man.

This kind of righteousness brings quietness.

 

This Kind Of Righteousness Brings Confidence.  If we base our relationship with God on what we do, we flounder in a world of failure.  If our rightness before God is based on who we are in Him, we flourish in our faith.  Paul tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1 ESV).  Even in uncertain times, we can have unwavering confidence in Him.  Solomon writes, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Prov 3:25-26 ESV).

This kind of righteousness brings confidence.

 

God has made us right.  Our being takes precedent over our doing.

 

He is Peace to your problems.

He is calm to your chaos.

He is certainty in your uncertainty.

His gifts and grace are not just for today . . . they are forever.

 

This kind is the kind of righteousness that we want . . . that we need . . . and, that we have in Jesus.

 

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