"Blessed are you, who hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will be satisfied and filled."--Jesus
Take time to consider, meditate, ponder, contemplate, & wonder at these thoughts on righteousness:
- The Lord will not demand of us more righteousness than he does. For Him to say 'Be ye therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect;' and not help us by word of love, deed of power, and promise of good, would be to show him far less of a brother and a saviour.
- It is the part of the enemy of righteousness to increase the difficulties in the way of becoming righteous, and to diminish those in the way of seeming righteous.
- Jesus desires no righteousness for the pride of being righteous, any more than for advantage to be gained by it; therefore, while requiring such purity as the man, beforehand, is unable to imagine, he gives him all the encouragement he can.
- He will not enhance his victory by difficulties-of them there are enough-but by completeness.
- He will not demand the loftiest motives in the yet far from loftiest soul: to those the soul must grow.
- He will hearten the child with promises, and fulfill them to the contentment of the man.
- Men cannot be righteous without love; to love a righteous man is the best, the only way to learn righteousness: the Lord gives us himself to love, and promises his closest friendship to them that overcome. (MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel)
A few years ago a denominational official came to analyze the condition of our church and make recommendations, presumably, to help us make progress and grow the work. He recommended we close the church. I was disappointed at the assessment on a variety of levels. During a pre-interview between him & I, I had taken him by my house to illustrate my perspective on the work we'd labored at for several years and the parallels between my house and the church. We'd bought our house at an auction where many locals gathered but only two bidders made an attempt to commit the resources to repair this terribly neglected property. We won (I think). There was much to tear down before we could even begin to build up. My point to the denominational official was: it may not look like much now, but you should have seen where we started!
Jesus didn't come to swap out conditions of right standing before God like trading baseball cards. Rather He came to help fan the flames from the tiniest ember in the deepest longing of our souls for true righteousness. To provide whatever resources we need to grow more true, right, good, in a word: filled up with love for Him! To tear down old works and worthless deeds; to work alongside the consequences of those olds works and worthless deeds to build something remarkable, a house worth living in! Its not the "works of Christ" we are told to trust, but the Working Christ who ever always is devoted to filling us up with the deepest longing of our souls!
We may not look like much yet, but you should have seen where He started!