Righteousness

The Trees of Righteousness

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:3

Who are the “Trees of Righteousness”? I have never heard about the “trees of righteousness” have you? In this verse it references to those who might be called the “trees of righteousness” who are the planting of the Lord. The planting of the Lord . . . those who hear him calling them, those who are mourning, and those who have the spirit of heaviness. Oh, how we need beauty for ashes and the oil of joy today. We need to know that our God hears us when we have a heavy heart. These are those who have believed in him and those who have been grafted in by God. How amazing that the Lord has a personal interest in all who are grafted into the vine of His lordship and fellowship. The root of the tree is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who is the righteous one. Jesus himself is the gift of righteousness to the world. The grace of God became the gift of grace by one man, Jesus Christ.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Romans 5:19

It was Adam’s disobedience to God that caused sin to become the character of man towards doing evil. Everyone is tempted when they are drawn away by their own lust and enticed, [see James 1:14]. Adam’s sin brought judgment upon all men to condemnation, but the righteousness of one the free gift came upon men to justification of life, [see Romans 5:18]. It was Jesus Christ who humbled himself and become obedient unto death on the cross that we might be made righteous. It is by faith in Jesus that we become righteous. The Hebrew word for righteousness is “‘tsedeq’ and it means ‘rightness or justice.’ This means that a human being is morally good. This means that humans have a genuine respect for all people. It was Jesus who was anointed by God to preach the good news unto the meek, and to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, to comfort all that mourn, oil of joy for the mourning, garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and so forth. In a world that is torn by injustices every day, we need to know that there is hope for something better than the failure of our human condition. Those who are righteous have the Lord’s ear. He hears their cry.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Psalms 34:15-16

The Lord hears the cry of the righteous for they are the planting of the Lord. They are the ones who have been established by their faith in Christ. They have put on the armor of Light by casting off the works of darkness. They have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not allow the works of the flesh to rule their hearts. They are the ones who put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the devious works of the devil.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 

2 Corinthians 10:5

The righteous ones are not deceived for they know who they are in Christ. They know that whoever abides in the Lord Jesus will not sin, for the purpose of the Son of God was to destroy the works of the devil, [see 1 John 3:8]. Those who are righteous are those who abide in the vine. They know that without Jesus they can do nothing. Only if they abide in Him are all things possible.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”

John 15:7

Ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. It shall be done unto you for the father desires that you bear much fruit. The father recognizes Jesus in you. Have you ever thought about this. The apostle Paul did, for he stated that “we are laborer’s together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building,” [1 Corinthians 3:8]. This implies fellowship and communion with God. If you are abiding in the vine, you have fellowship with God. If you are God’s building then you are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you. You have become a holy temple. The apostle Paul stated, “for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are,” [see 1 Corinthians 3:17]. We must learn to see through the eyes of the Lord God, and it is only through the Holy Spirit that we gain wisdom and understanding in knowing God and how He sees us through His Son Jesus Christ. In this we see God’s desire for all mankind.

“Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”

Isaiah 60:21

We become the branch of His planting, the work of His hands, that He may be glorified. Christ is the gift of God, and so is righteousness a gift of God. We do not work for it since it is a gift received by faith. We must remember that Jesus Christ is himself the chief corner stone. Jesus is our peace that has broken down the middle wall of partition. We who once were aliens and strangers to the covenants of promise and having no hope in the world have been drawn near by the blood of Christ. Is Christ our peace? Yes, He is our peace and righteousness. It is through Christ that we become the trees of righteousness for we are grafted into the true vine who is Christ. Through Christ we become and grow into a holy temple in the Lord. We are being built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit, [see Ephesians 2:22]. How exciting it is to become a holy temple of God. Can we even envision such a mystery as this.

The apostle of Paul wanted us to know that we are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God [see Ephesians 2:19]. Are you not of the household of God? Have you believed in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for our sins, arose from the grave, and is now sitting at the right hand of God? Are you not born again into a new man by faith in Jesus Christ? Have you been reconciled to God? There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that has repented. Can you imagine that? Joy in the presence of the angels over one lonely sinner who has repented and ask for forgiveness. Only God is able to save us from our sin. Only God can create a new man. Only God can provide a new way of living in this world. Paul exclaimed that all men should see what the fellowship of the mystery is, which from the beginning of the ages hath been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, [see Ephesians 3:9]. Let the love of Christ be grounded and rooted in your heart so that you may grow into a tree of righteousness for all to see how Christ is glorified within you to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Temple of God

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Justification, Love, Righteousness

Perfect Peace

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed o thee, because he trusted in thee.

Isaiah 26:3

The world is a dusty dirty place and we as Christians must walk in it every day. There are times when conflict and the daily grime we experience weighs heavy upon our heart to bring us down. It is no wonder that Jesus said to shake off the dust of your feet in Matthew 10:4. We go out to work, play, and buy and it is not always pleasant. We witness anger, arguing, and nasty words not worth mentioning, but see no peace. Visiting someone’s house who may or may not be receptive to what you have to say can be nerve wracking.  Some do not want to hear what you have to say because you’re a Christian. We may want to tell the world what God has given us, but we are hit in the face or told to shut up. Has this happened to you? Has someone walked away from you because you are a Christian? Some may even say, “Oh! you think you are so righteous.” It happened to me.  I just looked upon the person with sadness in my heart, for they were speaking judgement rather than the love of God. This is a reflection upon themselves that they are not what they want to be. In fact, no one is righteous before God.

Only those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God who died, and arose from the dead, have been given the gift of Christ righteousness. The word righteous is a Hebrew word “ tsadiyq,” meaning to be upright or just. This speaks about an upright or just man. The meaning is of a just man because that person is right with God and follows God’s commandments. As a child of God, we carry the peace of God with us everywhere we go. If you are not received, when you depart, shake off the dust of your feet. Why? Shaking off the dust of our feet is a testimony against them [see Luke 9:5]. This speaks to the day of judgement, and your peace should be return to you. We are to be in perfect peace no matter what happens in the world. God’s peace should reign within our hearts. Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” [John 14:27]. As Christian we see with different eyes because of Christ.

Because of Christ we are a new creation. We are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation. This is the ministry of atonement for our sins, for judgement came upon us all, but through Christ we have the gift of justification toward life [see Romans 5:18-19]. We have been made righteous through Jesus Christ. If our mind is anchored in Christ, we will have perfect peace within our heart and soul. Our trust is in what Jesus has accomplish for us on the cross. Paul states that “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ,” [see Romans 5:1]. In fact, the whole fifth chapter of Romans 5 speaks about our justification. It is about living in the grace of God and having hope. Paul affirms that through tribulation, that we experience, we will learn patience and hope. We are not ashamed because the love of God is in our hearts. Love is the fulfillment of the law [see Roman 13:10]. All things must be done through love, or it means nothing, and what is done is done in vain. That is why the apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 13, “now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Love makes the world go round. . .love is what we humans need. Love is what God gave us through his son Jesus. That love gave us perfect peace. As Christians we are restored because we trust in the Lord.  That is what Isaiah was talking about in chapter 26. It is a testimony of the restored and the path of the just.  Jesus Christ is our strength when we are weak. He is our peace, if our mind is firmly anchored in him. We are not to be anxious about anything, but to pray and ask God for help. “Let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” [Philippians 4:7]. This is a promise that God gave us that we ourselves would have perfect peace, if our mind and heart is anchored in Christ Jesus. If we do not have peace, we must ask the Lord why? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what has cause the peace to leave. Remember a right relationship with God is an open relationship where nothing is hidden.

I remember singing this worship song titled, “Peace Give I To Thee,” at youth meetings in 1974. I also had the album. Let this song resonate within your heart and share it with others as a reminder of who gives us peace, faith, hope, and love. May God’s perfect peace be with you at all times.

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Righteousness

Have you submitted to God’s Righteousness?

https://dailyinhislove.blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/ep01-Have-you-Submitted-to-Gods-Righteousness-1.mp3

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Romans 10:3

Are we ignorant of God’s righteousness? Have you ever considered your own righteousness being above that of Christ? Do we take it for granted and think that we have attained righteousness because we are decent, honest, and just? That we are righteous because of the good works we do. Some claim they are righteous by the church they have become members of. Righteousness is not a common human trait. Righteousness is what we learn through experience in how we treat each another. We are not born with righteousness. Righteousness is doing what is right and just in all our relationships. Righteousness maintains the peace in every situation. However, a self-righteous attitude does not maintain the peace, it thrives on its own virtue. One might say a self-righteous person has a superiority complex and that has negative results of conflict and irritation, which only creates distance within a relationship.

In Romans chapter ten, the Apostle Paul is talking about the failure of Israel’s claim that they are righteous by the deeds they have done. Their claim is not different than what any church or individual may claim in that they are superior in what they do. They may have a great zeal towards God. A zeal towards God by their actions by doing good works, yet they persecute others for not coming up to their standards has brought disappointment in God’s eye. The apostle Paul said they are ignorant and do not know about God’s righteousness. They have established their own righteousness. An example of this is when a place of worship becomes a place of merchandise thinking that you are doing good deeds by selling items for the glory of God. This brings disapproval in God’s eye [see John 2:16-17]. This is not the true form of righteousness.

To think that we can obtain our own righteousness by the deeds we do is an impossible task since sin reigns within our mind not to do good.  We only do good if it is for our own benefit. We think we are better than the next person, but we are not.  Superiority means nothing in God’s eye. To think that you are better than someone else is a falsified claim. Why? Because we should be all one in unity with God through Christ. There is one body, and one Spirit, and one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all [see Ephesians 4:4-6]. Paul tells us to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace [Ephesians 4:3]. This was the theme for every Christian Church.  I remember a song we sang in church titled, “We are one in the Spirit,” written by Peter Scholtes in the 60’s.  This song reveals the nature of the truth that Paul was talking about in Ephesians chapter 4, but it is also in John 13:34 that we should love one another.

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love

Do they know today that we are Christians?  By our love?  We should all pray that all unity may one day be restored. How is it restored? It is restored through the process of reconciliation through the cross of Christ.  We need to be restored back to wholeness as a child of God.  Restoration is done through the Holy Spirit. Through the love of Christ death on the cross is the only way we as human beings can be restored.  Paul stated in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Wow! In the unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God.  In the knowledge of the Son of God and not in the knowledge of anything else. Why? Because “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” [see Romans 10:4]. Christ is the living bread of life. Christ said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven,” [John 6:51]. Christ also said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” [John 6:63]. The words are spirit and life, yet we enter in through the flesh, which does not profit because it is not spirit or life. The flesh speaks to its own self-worth instead of Christ. Our self-worth only comes from the Son of God who is worthy of all praise. Note that the Apostle Paul ascribes righteousness to faith [see Romans 10:6]. Righteousness is of faith, and this is what Paul is preaching about.

The righteousness of God was approved in Christ Jesus. Only Jesus met every requirement of the law. No flesh will glory in God’s presence. Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, [see 1 Corinthians 1:29-31]. This is the full meal package that is based upon the word of faith. This is the word that is near us and in our mouth to speak states Paul. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Can we believe that Christ is our righteousness and that He fulfilled the law and the commandments? Can we believe that God has raised him from the dead? Look to God, Believe in His Son, and Confess with the mouth that God raised Christ from the dead. This is a heartfelt confession, for the Spirit reveals it to everyone who listens. We can either accept it or reject it. God knows those who have a true confession. Do not think for one moment that you are above anyone when it comes to righteousness. Do not fool yourself into your own self-righteousness. Our virtue comes from Christ alone. Adam brought death because of sin, but Christ gave us the gift of righteousness and life eternal. Let us submit to God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ who paid the price on the cross and arose from the dead to give us the gift of righteousness. We receive it with open arms, and we are thankful for God’s provision. We walk in faith accepting God’s gracious gift and ask for the Holy Spirit to help us to live the life of Christ by working out the conflict we have within our heart knowing that Christ is our righteousness. Through faith we submit ourselves to the righteousness of God.

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Holiness, Righteousness, Servant

Yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. . .

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Exodus 15:11

Who is like unto thee, O Lord? So glorious in holiness is He. Yet, the apostle Paul is telling us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness. Through Christ we become servants of righteousness unto holiness. Holiness is to be SEPARATE, TO BE SET APART FOR THE LORD. We were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. We were bought with a price. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:22-23, “likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” We are Christ’s servants. We respect everyone knowing the time is short, for we serve the Lord in righteousness and holiness. Only through Christ is love made perfect, anything else is consider vanity. “They speak vanity everyone with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak,” said David in Psalms 12:2.

Have you ever considered what it means to have a double heart? A double heart is one who pretends to be your friend, but deep down in his heart he has something against you. It is a form of falsehood. It is like the saying that they will be your friend to your face, and then stab you in the back. It is a breach of confidence and trust. We must be aware that there are some who fall into the double heart situation due to an unfruitful desire that they have. A desire that is contrary to the will of God. If one does not surrender that desire to the Lord, they are in danger of becoming a slave unto sin instead of a slave unto Christ. Therefore, Paul told us to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth, [see Colossians 3:2]. We must have Christ righteousness and holiness. We are to seek after the Kingdom of God and his righteousness [see Matthew 6:33]. Through Christ, we have been freed from our sins and became the servants of righteousness. 

Let us continue to hold fast our profession in Christ Jesus. Let us not stumble and allow our faith to become useless. We must hold onto our profession with a clean heart knowing that Christ is the sure foundation for our faith. Our heart must be pure so we can see God [see Matthew 5:8]. It is through Christ that we have the ministry of reconciliation. Thank God that we have a high priest who is familiar with our weaknesses, so we can go to him in prayer.  Jesus had strong words of warning about false profession in Matthew 7:21-23. Many would ignore the warning, but my friend it is real and as a Christian we must learn and heed Christ warning about having a false profession of our faith and consider that not everyone will be entering the kingdom of heaven. Those who say I did this for the Lord, and I did that for the Lord may have a double heart. God knows who they are. James said it well in the following scripture.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

James 1:22-24 KJV

We are not to deceive ourselves. We all should look at ourselves in a mirror and behold what we see. We should not forget what manner of man we were, going our own way. Surrender all to the Lord and take the narrow road to holiness and righteousness.  Always keep our eyes on Christ. Allow Christ Spirit to cleanse your heart and mind.  Ask in prayer to be clothed into the Spirit of Christ.  That is what it means to put on Christ who is created in righteousness and true holiness. Scott Underwood song titled “Take My Life,” expresses the desire well in what we need, and that our heart, mind, and will need to be converted.

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