What makes you righteous? I mean in the old fashioned sense of being in “right standing.” Are you righteous by behaving righteously?
“(Abram) believed the LORD and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Abram was righteous just by believing God.
Abram, later to be called Abraham, had been called by God and promised that he would be the father of a great nation. He and his family left their homeland of Ur and began the journey to the promised land. When the Lord reiterated his promise of great reward, Abram responded that he had no children. The implication, of course, was that a great reward is of little value without heirs to pass it on to.
This is the moment in which the Lord promised Abram’s offspring would be numbered like the stars of the sky. And, we are told, “He believed the LORD and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Abram trusted that the Lord would do as He had promised and this, it seems, is the essence of righteousness.
Yet, most of us still be believe that righteousness is to be found in our behavior — behaving rightly — rather than in living by trust in the promises of the Lord.
Perhaps a good subject of prayer for you would be to ask God where you are still trying to be righteous by behaving a certain way and where you might learn to be righteous by trusting in Him, rather than in yourself. I don’t know what the answer might be for you, but I bet you’ll find it challenging if you ask this question honestly!
Then, may you learn to trust more completely in the promises of God, and may it be reckoned to YOU as righteousness!
This column appeared in the March 17, 2019 issue of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
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