Lesson 2 -- first quarter 2003
December 8, 2002
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications
Righteous before God?
"And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luke 1:6). What an amazing thing to have the Bible say about you! It makes me wish I could have known Zacharias and Elisabeth; perhaps I could have learned the secret of their righteous blamelessness. I would like to have known some of the other Biblical characters who got this kind of incredible recognition from God. I'll point out two others.
First consider a man who "walked with God" and "was a just man and perfect in his generations" (Genesis 6:9). About this man, God declared, "Thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation" (Genesis 7:1). I suppose the references give away his identity: Noah. His society and acquaintances offered him no help in living that just, perfect, righteous life. So such a life is surely attainable for us in our generation!
The other man? Well, God said there was "none like him in the earth." Sounds like another Noah-type, doesn't it? God also said this man was "perfect and upright . . . and eschewed evil." When God looked in this man heart and when He considered this man's ways, He saw "one that feared God." Without question, Job also was righteous before God (Job 1:1,8). Job had such integrity that God Himself was quick to stand up for him. That assures me that even today, God stands up in defense of His people.
OK, fine. So there we have four people who get this kind of distinctive recognition for righteousness. Do these character snapshots offer us any kind of key that we might use to unlock the secret of their godliness? Just what enabled them to attain to righteousness before God?
I think the answer lies in their choices. Make that their daily choices. These people made God their foremost choice. Then that choice guided them in all their other choices which in turn affected or reflected their characters and lives. These people chose to walk with God, living righteously because of their communion with Him. This walk of theirs was visible and tangible because it found partial expression through obedience to His ways and commands. And do you know something else? You and I can make those same choices and experience the same results!
This is possible because Jesus gave Himself fully and without reserve for us, "that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). His selfless death for us makes it possible for Him to present us "holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Colossians 1:22). I am amazed that this could be for . . . and about . . . Mark Roth. And it is no less for you! If we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, the coming of Jesus Christ will find our hearts established in unblameable "holiness before God, even our Father." Do you believe that? I do, because that is what 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says! This is possible because of "the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:22).
So let's make the daily choices that are both demonstrations and results of our commitment to walk with God. Will you give your life to ongoing obedience to God and His Word? Then God Himself will find you righteous in your generation!
His lot was . . .
Luke 1:9 illustrates the faithfulness of Zacharias. He had an assignment, so he did it. And he did it the right way. What is your lot right now? No matter what God gives you to do, do it! And do it the right way! Your faithfulness in that makes it easier for God to show you your next lot. Remember, getting today's assignment done is more important than knowing what our assignment will be for tomorrow.
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