We get caught up in the wrong things. We don’t have the right priorities.
What church do we go to or what denomination do we belong to? How good is the worship team or choir? What school did we graduate from? What neighborhood do we live in?
What is my title at work? How much money do we earn? What kind of car do we drive?
The list goes on and on.
Jesus challenges us down to our core. Here are some important things that count with Jesus.
- What is my relationship with our loving God and Father?
- Do I love God and Him only?
- Do I seek with all my heart to please Him every day?
- Do I love the people in my life the way He loves me?
That is all that is important. Jesus challenges us to live that way.
God has a goal in mind for us. He wants us to live in right standing before Him. Jesus is the way to that right standing.
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.” ~Jesus (John 4:24 The Message)
God wants us to pursue righteousness. Dictionaries define righteousness as “behavior that is morally justifiable or right.” Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness. The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behavior, and every word. Thus, God’s laws, as given in the Bible, both describe His own character and constitute the plumb line by which He measures human righteousness.
The Greek New Testament word for “righteousness” primarily describes conduct in relation to others, especially with regards to the rights of others in business, in legal matters, and beginning with relationship to God. It is contrasted with wickedness, the conduct of the one who, out of gross self-centeredness, neither reveres God nor respects man. The Bible describes the righteous person as just or right, holding to God and trusting in Him
- Amos 5:24 (CSB) — 24 But let justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream.
- Matthew 6:33 (CSB) — 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
- Isaiah 1:16–17 (CSB) — 16 “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil. 17 Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.
- Isaiah 56:1 (CSB) — 1 This is what the Lord says: Preserve justice and do what is right, for my salvation is coming soon, and my righteousness will be revealed.
- Jeremiah 22:3 (CSB) — 3 This is what the Lord says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from his oppressor. Don’t exploit or brutalize the resident alien, the fatherless, or the widow. Don’t shed innocent blood in this place.
- Hosea 10:12 (CSB) — 12 Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap faithful love; break up your unplowed ground. It is time to seek the Lord until he comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain.
- Zephaniah 2:3 (CSB) — 3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who carry out what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lord’s anger.
- Matthew 5:6 (CSB) — 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
- Ephesians 6:14 (CSB) — 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,
- 1 Timothy 6:11 (CSB) — 11 But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
- 2 Timothy 2:22 (CSB) — 22 Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.