Righteousness

I've been meditating on Matthew 6:33 for the past several days.  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." Righteousness is defined as "the state of moral perfection required by God to enter heaven."  John the Baptist called for righteousness or uprightness as an indication that one had truly repented of sin.  In Gen. 15:6 (quoted by Paul in Ro. 4:5) we are told that Abraham's faith (believing that God would do what he said) was counted as righteousness.  Summed up it seems that true righteousness is measured by the standard of God Himself.  In our current society which claims that there are no absolutes, righteousness becomes comparative rather than a standard.

Using the "God" standard, Ecclesiastes 7:20 and Romans 3:10 declare that there are "none righteous".  If that is true, then is the pursuit (seeking) of righteous a vain endeavor?  I think not.  After all we are told that Noah was "righteous among his generation" and as mentioned earlier, Abraham was deemed righteous because of his faith. Joseph, husband of Mary the mother of Jesus, was referred to as a righteous man.  The reality was, and is today, that these men, and all who seek God's righteousness today can only be called righteous because of the grace of God.  In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:6) Jesus said that "those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled." (HCSB) 

The emphasis both in Matt. 5 and 6 seems to be on the desire for and the pursuit of righteousness rather than the achieving of it.  God knows our hearts.  When we pursue His righteousness as a thirsty person pursues water He deems us righteous by His grace.  When we repent and are saved from our sins, we are robed with the righteousness of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul states that "He made the One who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 
So, I will continue to meditate on this idea of righteousness, to cultivate a thirst for it all the while being aware of the fact that it will be mine only by the grace of God.

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