He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.
Proverbs 21:21 NASB
It’s beautiful how God rewards our intents. This scripture says He who pursues. Can we ourselves ever obtain righteousness? We pursue a lot of things in this life. That word makes me think of a cop chasing after an elusive criminal. Or a not so elusive donut. ( love my cop friends) I try to pursue sleep, but obviously I’m not good at that. If I were then I would never get a blog written or my 10 month old would still be screaming for a bottle. I’m kind of at times like the walking dead tv show. “Oh your like one of the survivors like Rick?” nope. I’m more like one of the zombies.
What does pursuing righteousness look like? It’s different for the new testament versus the old. Thank God we have access to new testament. Old school righteousness meant slaughtering an animal. And it was only a temporary atonement. You tried to do good and then you paid the price. Righteousness comes at a cost. It’s this right standing with God. However, there is this ugly wort on the nose of our good deeds in our pursuit of righteousness. It’s called sin. It makes charitable acts look like lipstick on a pig. I’m sorry but the prettiest your going to make a pig look is when it’s cooked up as a plate of bacon. Give it a bath, put a bow on it, and paint it a different color, but a pig is a pig. And at the end of the day a sinner is a sinner.
Offer one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you, besides the burnt offering of the new moon and its grain offering, and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord .
Numbers 29:5-6 NASB
Old testament we needed the sin offering and so much more. I have trouble following directions on the back of the food package…I’m pretty sure I would mess up all that burnt offerings, grain offering, and drink offering business. Here you go Lord! I dumped the drink on the goat, feed him the grain..now do I throw him in the fire? And after all that hard work…we had to turn around and do it all over again next year. It’s worse than a car payment.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NASB
The cost of sin is death. It’s why our physical bodies die. It’s why an animal had to die for our clean conscious and short term forgiveness of sin. And it’s why Jesus had to die on the cross. He is our pure sacrifice. Given once and for all. The greatest sacrifice in all existence. God’s only son. It was such an extravagant offering that it paid in full the sin debt of all man kind. All we have to do is accept Him as our sacrifice. We confess that He is Lord. We accept the forgiveness of our sins. And we believe it.
If He is our sacrifice, what does pursuing righteousness look like? It means pursuing Jesus. Seeking Him. We can’t earn righteousness. He’s already made us righteous. It’s living it out as a new creation in Christ.
The second portion mentioned in proverbs was pursuing loyalty. I’ve also seen versions say kindness or mercy. I believe these all point to relationships. It’s simply loving others as yourself. Loving others will lead to kind acts, giving and receiving mercy and build loyalty. I think of the loyalty cards every retailer has. My favorite is this donut place near my house (I should have been a cop). After you fill all the punches you get a dozen free donuts. Heck to the yes! This divine loyalty program is even better. Yep even better than a glazed with sprinkles on top. Dang I must have the late night munchies. Sorry anyway, the reward for living our pursuit of righteousness is life, righteousness, and honor.
Prayer: Jesus thank you for paying this bill that was beyond me. You are beautiful and amazing. Help me to love others like this. Help me to walk out the life of kindness and righteous living. Make me more like you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.