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A Gift Even for Our Animals

In out last post and conversation we saw together that when God calls someone “righteous” it is easy for us to mishear what is being said. By our ear, it may sound as if God is putting his stamp of approval on that person’s moral and ethical character. In fact, at the moment of being declared righteous by God, the issue is not a matter of personal character, but of relationship with God.

In “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”, author Kenneth Bailey notes that the Hebrew and Greek words translated “righteous” in the Bible are packed with many facets of meaning and implications. As evidence he observes that “The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament” article on this family of words extends for fifty-one densely packed pages.”

Then he  points out that, “The key to it all is that [the Hebrew word] does not refer to an absolute ideal ethical norm but is out and out a term denoting a relationship.”

With this basic thought in mind, Bailey goes on to show that “righteousness”, like a diamond, is a many faceted idea in the Bible.  At some lengths he develops the following four implications:

1. In the Bible righteousness often refers to God’s mighty acts in history to save.

He quotes another author who says, “From the earliest times onwards Israel celebrated [their God] as the one who bestowed on his people the all-embracing gift of his righteousness.”

2. Righteousness has to do with being declared to be in right relationship with God. He quotes Rudolf Bultmann who writes: ‘It (righteousness) does not mean the ethical quality of a person. It does not mean any quality at all, but a relationship.”

At this point this author goes on to show what some were pointing out in our last conversation. Every relationship has implications of conduct.

3. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is the mark of those who want to reflect their gift of relationship with God. So Bailey adds, “The unspeakable gracious gift of acceptance in the presence of God requires the faithful to respond.” In this sense, “The righteous person is the one who acts justly”… not just by “giving every man his due” but, by “showing mercy and compassion to the outcast, the oppressed, the weak, the orphan and the widow.”

In other words, how God treats us in our need is the model for how we are to treat others.

The result is what he calls a fourth facet of righteousness:

4. Righteousness is also connected to peace. This appears in Isaiah 32, which says that the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of peace, quietness and trust forever.

Bailey notes that where there is this kind of righteousness and peace, even our animals benefit (Isaiah 32:17-18; Isaiah 32:20)

In this light maybe we will recall the proverb that says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,  but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”  Proverbs 12:10

While this has gotten a bit long, am wondering whether you see in these four perspectives of “righteousness” the kind of goodness that–when embraced– cannot help but change the way we look at ourselves and others?

 


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47 Responses to “A Gift Even for Our Animals”

  1. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Mart, your cluster of four facets of righteousness brings our thinking closer to what Scripture envisions for that quality of God’s character. The gem cannot be held or possessed.

    Your Kenneth Bailey quote particularly impresses this morning:
    “The unspeakable gracious gift of acceptance in the presence of God requires the faithful to respond.” In this sense, “The righteous person is the one who acts justly”… not just by “giving every man his due” but, by “showing mercy and compassion to the outcast, the oppressed, the weak, the orphan and the widow.” (under #3)

    In what Bailey describes, it is more and more clear that the working of the Holy Spirit is in every facet. I have always appreciated the King James’ use of the word “endue.” To reach out to grasp righteousness, as though one could, is to miss this action of the Spirit. Endue: “to invest or endow with some gift, quality or faculty. to put on, assume. to clothe (with)”

    It seems to me we can only follow hard after Jesus – humbly asking him to take us with him where he is going! It is God who imparts his righteous character to those who seek his presence.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  2. Mart De Haan says:

    Good thoughts, Maru, as Jesus taught his disciples, those who hunger and thirst for a quality of life and peace that is beyond ourselves, are called “blessed”.

  3. jam200 says:

    A 6th aspect of righteousness is defined as being right with God. This supports the concept of relationship, in that God is right next to us waiting for us to call upon His name and to have fellowship with Him.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart!
    Your lovely cow reminds us all that the cattle and sheep and other creatures felt/knew the presence of God in a wonderful way in the stable the night Jesus was born.

    A picture of the peaceable kingdom as Messiah entered the world!

    Joy at Advent,
    Maru

  5. Bill says:

    Another superb post. And insightful answers.

    My thoughts, for what they’re worth…

    You wrote:

    – In this light maybe we will recall the proverb that says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 –

    That’s an interesting connecting. But an apt one. A person at peace is much more likely to radiate peace to those around him, even animals.

    You wrote:

    – While this has gotten a bit long, am wondering whether you see in these four perspectives of “righteousness” the kind of goodness that–when embraced– cannot help but change the way we look at ourselves and others? –

    While I think Mart’s post is easy to understand and helpful, the downside to it is that it adds another word/concept to people’s understanding of themselves, God, and others.

    For example, is righteous the same as holy? What about the words sanctification? Or justification? Does righteous trump salvation? Will those who don’t understand my use of the word “righteous” to describe myself be offended by it?

    This is not a criticism of Mart’s post. It is an observation of the Christian life in 21st century America.

    These days, it seems almost any theological term/concept in the Bible can be turned into a doctrine that spawns a church — or an entire denomination. At the very least, it can turn into a heated argument.

    So when I read posts like this, my immediate thought is, “Great. There’s another term I’ll learn that’ll only separate me from those who don’t know it, or who don’t understand it or believe it.”

    I sometimes wonder if we’re picking apart the BIble too much, examining its word-meanings, at the expense of just living its message.

    Or, to put it another way, what does knowing the word “righteous” (as Mart has explained it) do for me? Should I just file away this information? Or should I share it with others? And, at the end of the day, do the people I serve care about the term? Or do they just want to know that I’m in their lives, loving them and helping them?

    Again, this is no criticism of Mart’s post, or of anyone’s comments. My opinions are due to me being more practical (and less philosophical) the older I get. I just want to DO. I don’t want to discuss.

  6. infiniti07 says:

    With interest in the comments and great appreciation for the true joy of being declared righteous and in a right relationship with God, I want to add a short comment to Bill’s post. While I agree with you Bill, I also see that because of your input and response, this provides thought for those of us who may have spent years searching for answers and at times fall away, thankfully, we don’t give up this journey in our present life so that we can be sharpened and fine tuned for the life ahead of us in eternity. Perhaps some of the young and older believers can still pick up a gem or two from all those willing to share their comments and of themselves at various times and ways including in the BTA. Thanks for your comments.

  7. poohpity says:

    Being children of the King covered in His righteousness we can do, discuss, learn and appreciate while resting in the peace of His presence as we grow in our knowledge and relationship with the Lord of Lords. I do not equated it with philosophy but like a marriage that over time we grow in our understanding and filling our minds with that which can and does transform us. Col 3:6-10 NLT; Romans 12:2 NIV; Phil 4:8-9 NLT

  8. poohpity says:

    oops Col 2:6-10 NLT

  9. poohpity says:

    Bill, what you said reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible Martha was one to run around doing and Mary was one to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His teaching. Luke 10:38-42

  10. Bill says:

    Which one of those people was doing what God called her to do, pooh?

    Answer: Both.

    You can bet that Mary didn’t stay at Jesus’ feet listening forever. At some point, she had to get up and go do something about what she had learned.

    And as for Martha, at some point, when she tired of doing, she probably sought out Jesus (or one of His disciples) and sat to listen.

    So you’re right. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we listen, then do. But nobody just listens forever.

  11. phpatato says:

    I haven’t read this topic yet but popped in quickly to say

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Pooh
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Pooh
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dear Pooh
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!

    May your day today be extra special and filled with unexpected pleasant surprises.

    God Bless!

    Pat

    Having internet connection issues. It’s sporadic. I’ve reported it to my IP server which in Canada is Bell. It may take a week to solve a tower problem.

  12. poohpity says:

    Thank you so very much Pat!!

    Bill, sounds like another philosophical answer from one who claims to want to be “more practical (and less philosophical)”. ;-) Shows that the whole easy practical point of the story can get lost by reading more into it than is really there by adding to the story line. In reality do you know what any of us do, hands on, to live out what we believe because we may not boast about our works. I would venture to say the answer to that is no, because as far as I know you do not know any of us well enough to come to any conclusion one way or another. Some do listen throughout the day and to those I would not condemn them for doing so.

  13. Bill says:

    Hi pooh,

    I don’t see anything philosophical in what I wrote. It’s as practical as it gets.

    I also don’t see anything I’ve written being judgmental or assuming.

    I do not know much about any of you. You are correct. But neither do I assume I know anything about any of you.

    Here’s what I wrote:

    “Again, this is no criticism of Mart’s post, or of anyone’s comments. My opinions are due to me being more practical (and less philosophical) the older I get. I just want to DO. I don’t want to discuss.”

    So, you see, my thoughts have nothing to do with knowing or not knowing anything about you. This was just me sharing something about me, and how I approach this subject matter. Your mileage may vary.

    There’s no need for contention, pooh. It’s all good.

    Bill

  14. Bill says:

    By the way, it appears a Happy Birthday, pooh, is in order…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  15. remarutho says:

    Happy Birthday, Poohpity! Hope it is a wonderful day!

    Blessings,
    Maru

  16. davids says:

    Happy Birthday, Pooh! May it be blessed.

  17. poohpity says:

    Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes!!

  18. poohpity says:

    Mart, I know you were raised in a Christian home did that make you any less aware of your need to be covered by the righteousness of the Lord. I have heard many with the thought just because they were not really in their words that bad as their moral thermometer goes before they accepted Christ they tended to look differently at their conversion experiences than those who had major changes in their lives. So how they changed after which may not have been that much different than before they accepted Christ. Is that why they do not see that much of a need so they do not treat others with how you phrased it, “In other words, how God treats us in our need is the model for how we are to treat others.”? Some but not all do not show that much grace to others.

    I do not know if I wrote that out so that is was understandable to the point I was trying to search out, that was also mentioned in the last topic as well.

  19. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Today’s opener made so much sense. Thanks for the extra insight. I was really touched by point #3, which reminded me that those who love God “hunger and thirst” for righteousness. That helps to put the past topic into perspective. Of course, point #3 put me in mind of Micah 6:8. Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.

    Poohpity – I would like to join in to wish you a Happy Birthday. May God bless you!

  20. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Off topic here…
    Hope all is well in your lives. It’s a pretty busy season in mine, especially now since I have a new job (been there for almost 6 mths now), and I’m working longer hours. I’m still doing what I love, and that’s working with children, so all is well. I’ve started looking for a weekend job too. Could definitely use the extra cash. I *could not* let this very significant date in history pass by without making mention of it! :-) Today is 12-12-12 and it will never happen like that again! Wow! That’s pretty major to me. I LOVE significant dates! I bought a newspaper today because that was the only thing that I could think of to commemorate the day. Have to say, I’m almost sad to see it go… I hope you all had a great day on this special historical day!

    ps. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Poohpity! :) May the LORD bless you and keep you always, and I wish you many more! Hope you did something memorable and something fun on your special day.

    Love to all…

  21. kingdomkid7 says:

    Happy birthday, pooh!!!!

  22. bec4jc says:

    Hi everyone,
    Number four rightousness and peace. I feel a certain amount of peace when I do what’s right as opposed to hesitating or just sitting on the fence so to speak. Animals can sense if you are peacful or not.
    Phooh, Happy Birthday! May it be a wonderful year full of blessings.

  23. His Sparrow says:

    Happy Birthday poohpity!

    Knowing you through this blog has and is a huge blessing in my life.
    I look forward to continued fellowship with you.

    Love
    His Sparrow

  24. foreverblessed says:

    God bless you Pooh, thanks for being here. Some are strong physically and can do a lot of things, some are not, and sit at the side of Jesus hearing His heartbeat, and reminding others to not forget that when being busy doing. All praise Him! God bless you all, a new day to start with Him, it is never too late to make a new start.

  25. BruceC says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY POOH!!

    Sorry I did not have time to read all the posts this morning. Have to get going early. Wifey has an appointment with a different dentist(locally) to get her dentures. Pray all goes well. Her feet are killing her as she has spent hours and hours over the last two days baking about 50 dozen Christamas for shut-ins, friends, and our staff at church.

    When I think of being “clothed” in the rigtheousness of Christ I am reminded that our Lord wants us to keep that suit clean as we can for His glory. And the cleaner that works best is love. We need to make sure that others see His love and not “us”. The “us” isn’t nice quite often. My wife is very sensitive and gets easily hurt(something she has always had a problem dealing with) and on more than one occassion I have seen some who acted like they had it together cut her deeply in her heart; like she was when in her days as a child by some in her family. When one continually is being dressed in His love no one can help but notice peace and many other attributes of a relationship with Chist. Busy day today. Keep us in prayer please!!

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  26. Mart De Haan says:

    Bill, because of the considerations you mentioned I agree that we have to be careful about how and where we use words like righteous, holy, ungodly, evil etc.

    If we don’t understand the extent that righteousness means relationship; that holy means set apart for a purpose; that Jesus called his disciples evil; and that to be justified means to be declared right with God rather than made good– we are apt to use the words as if they are describing us as a morally superior people.

    Pooh, there’s a lot about whether or not we are raised or schooled in a Christian environment that I haven’t been able to sort out. Though I don’t have a story of dramatic “conversion” at some point I began to feel like more of a sinner than others because of the principle of being accountable for the amount of “light” we’ve been given.

    When Jesus said that “those who have been forgiven much love much” I’m guessing that he wasn’t talking about “comparisons/differences” of sins that need to be forgiven as much as “comparisons/differences” of awareness.

    In many ways the worst sinners of the New Testament (i.e. those who would be held most accountable”– and therefore most thankful when forgiven) could have been those who were most “righteous” in their own eyes, and even in the eyes of their followers.

    Not sure that I’ve answered your question– which is an important one.

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Etymology is the study of words. We amateurs who barely speak our own native language with any semblance of accuracy seek here to explain the meanings of words given in antiquity with the design of explaining life, its meaning and our relationship to the Creator.

    *Good luck*

    We don’t seem to be seeking the true meaning of *righteous* but rather a different word for how others feel about people whom either God or mankind consider to be *righteous*.

    Why does it bother some to think that others seek a righteous life?

    Is it because they feel love and compassion for others? I think not!

    Do I have to copy out every word of Scripture to show that God expects us to live righteously? That we are to be Holy in our attitude as well as our lifestyle? That we have a goal to strive towards?

    I can, but then once again it becomes a debate over semantics.

    The one thing that becomes obvious to me is while attempting to explain our understanding of such a word as righteous, our own persona’s are exposed, as how we look at anything shows how we think and how we think is the most inner basics of our being.

    I seek to be right with God and while that may seem like an impossible task, it is what He has offered me and what He expects me to do in return.

    Believing that with our union in Jesus of Nazareth His righteousness becomes our righteousness, are we not all righteous because of the sanctification through Jesus’ sacrifice and offering?

    Now that we have become sanctified are we not to produce the good fruit of the Spirit, can we produce such fruit if we are not *righteous*?

    Steve

  28. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Mart, appreciate your reference to Isaiah’s description of the coming age, when God will “set the world to rights,” as Tom Wright puts it. It is about that coming time when the battle between the fallen nature and the Creator God will be over.

    We mourn for a world separated from God – where there is no Justice and no Peace. It is/was/will be Messiah who brings this right(eousness). Cities built to show off and forests of pride will be cut down. The offspring of Right (Isaiah 32:18) – God’s people, will be brought into the fold of happiness. It seems to me, we yearn for this Peaceable Kingdom by the fire this second week of the Advent Season. Come Lord Jesus.

    Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured
    down on us from above
    And the badlands desert grows crops
    and the fertile fields become forests.
    Justice will move into the badlands desert.
    Right will build a home in the fertile field.
    And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace
    and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
    My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—
    in safe houses, in quiet gardens.
    The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
    the city showing off your power leveled.
    But you will enjoy a blessed life,
    planting well-watered fields and gardens,
    with your farm animals grazing freely.
    (Isaiah 32:15-20 MSG)

    Grace and Peace,
    Maru

  29. remarutho says:

    RefTagger brings in the CEV — while I am quoting The Message. Works for me! :o) Maru

  30. kingdomkid7 says:

    Am in the middle of exams still, so I must be brief. I see what Bill and Steve are saying, even though the views seem disparate. I agree with Bill that too much discussion around terms that can (but need not) divide isn’t too helpful. Like him, I am getting weary of mere talk in my old age. (my interpretation, Bill!!). But I also see what Steve is saying about the evidence of a changed life and a real relationship with God. (But I wonder whether that is what we might mean by sanctification. I really don’t know, and I am not up for semantical wordplay.)
    In the end, I have a question about Mart’s post. When Jesus told the parable of the forgiven debts He was dealing with a woman who was described as immoral. He said she was more thankful because she had been forgiven much. Seems to me He was explicitly describing her former life of open and notorious sin. Why else would He say she had been forgiven much?
    To me, that is in line with the more dramatic conversions many of us have from our former lives of riotous or self-driven living. Why wouldn’t we be more grateful than one who noticed a more moderate shift from what they used to be to what Jesus has changed them into? So, I’m just wondering whether it wasn’t just about “awareness” as you say. Even though I agree that Jesus often had the harshest words for those who were prideful and condemning of others.
    I think I am more brief when I don’t try to be. Hmmm.

  31. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me the scene in which the woman who is a sinner anoints Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair (Luke 7:47) in no way implies that the woman is righteous. We derive the sense of rightness from Jesus’ own forgiveness of her sins — and his commendation for her acts of devotion to him, the Messiah (Luke 7:44, 45, 46)

    It may be one of the keys to this passage is Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4, 5, 6, 7). In the time between the two stories (the sinful woman at Jesus feet and the parable of the lost sheep), Jesus has set his face (Luke 9:51) toward Jerusalem. He is on a righteous path — this is certainly true. Righteousness (tsedayq) is a Way, a path, following God’s covenant will. Nobody ever has or ever will be as obedient to God as Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  32. Bill says:

    @kingdomkid7, you’re probably right. “Old age” is an apt description of me. I’m not as young as I used to be. But who among us is? :)

    You put it well when you wrote, “…too much discussion around terms that can (but need not) divide isn’t too helpful.” That’s what I meant. I’ve seen terms divide. As soon I start talking about a term — especially on Facebook — people jump in to disagree with how I’m using it. Or they’ll tell me there’s another term that’s better. Or, I’ll watch the dog fights that arise on the Facebook pages of Christian leaders. Posters argue terms and absolutes. That even happens here, on Mart’s blog. We’ve all seen heated debates that begin over disagreements in theology or terms. Etc.

    I also agree with Steve. I love etymology. I love studying words in depth. I even enjoy a good debate about them from time to time. So I don’t eschew words. I just worry about divisions that arise when we define them. Theological words, especially. Because as soon as we claim to know, precisely, what terms me we open ourselves up for debate from others who think THEY know what terms mean.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to study the Bible. And I totally dig knowing theology. And the various schools of thought regarding theology.

    But I know it’s highly unlikely (if it ever happened at all) that someone got saved from theology. Or terms. And very few people can eat words or wrap up in them to keep warm.

    So there’s a time and place for terms, study, etymology, theology, and discussion.

    The key is balance.

  33. remarutho says:

    We get all excited and tell all about it just because Jesus Christ is the Way — where there was no way!

    On Christmas Eve we rejoice with angels, and Mary and Joseph, and Elizabeth and Zechariah, and the shepherds and with God and the Spirit that there is now hope for a dying world.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

    Perhaps the sheep and cattle and doves up on the ledges of the stable rejoiced also…

    Maru

  34. SFDBWV says:

    “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6: 33)

    Steve

  35. poohpity says:

    Mart, when you said , “Though I don’t have a story of dramatic “conversion” at some point I began to feel like more of a sinner than others because of the principle of being accountable for the amount of “light” we’ve been given.”, that to me just shows you really care about what God thinks of you. I understand what the bible teaches about those who are given that light especially for those who teach in James 3:1 NIV but then comes the next verse James 3:2 NIV. You seem to be reflective of what Paul said of his own awareness in Acts 24:16 NIV.

    I really do not know if the reason some fail to be aware is so that they can feel superior to others in some way. So ““comparisons/differences” of sin would seem to leave out even looking at who they are compared to Jesus rather than other human beings. That would bring us back to having degrees of sinfulness or righteousness.

    Taking credit for righteousness, fruit of the Spirit, gifts to serve or even change in one’s life really seems to be more worldly than Spiritual.

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… you’ve been hitting some very good high notes lately that directly apply to how I also feel about all this righteousness, as I’ve just been reading these last few days in James 2:21,22,23,24 NLT.
    It seems to me, as soon as we make one solid thought,or have that “Ah,Ha!” moment, or seem to find our own righteous recipe for righteousness, along comes another verse to show us that we just do not know it all.
    How about faith alone?
    James 2:14,15, 16,17,18,19 NLT
    Then, James 2:29 NLT
    How can anyone of us every start to think that any one scripture, or any one doctrine, is ever all things to all people, and not ever affect the rest of the word?
    I see all things connected, from our intial gifting of salvation, to our walk or relationship from that moment on, our ongoing working out of our salvation, and how we finish the race, our finally receive our salvation, as being all connected. Not a having one cancels out, or trumps all the others.
    How could anything less be more, especially if you are taught correctly and believe correctly in what you have just read?
    We can never fully own any unflitered interpretation of the word, but God surely does… we only get tosometimes argue our little, mostly misunderstood points, add nauesea, for who of us could ever control the tongue?
    James 1:2,3,4 NLT.
    James 1:19,20,21,22,23,24,25 NLT.
    I think maybe we’ve all gotten the point here,
    but I may be wrong! :) Gary

  37. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry, I still have not mastered how to reference the NLT properly. So, ESV, or something else will be shown instead. What else could NLT after listing a verse of scripture mean?
    I think the (.) immediately after has a cost I did not fully consider…

  38. poohpity says:

    Gary, I think the computer reads the comma as a break so maybe try something like James 1:2-4 NLT

  39. poohpity says:

    God seemed to hold to account righteousness because Abraham trusted God to provide. Abraham seemed to have such a close relationship with God after experiencing time and time again God’s provision even though he did not know how it would be done but that God would do it. Abraham had a very close, intimate relationship with God. So that relationship showed all 4 of the points that Mart made defining righteousness.

  40. poohpity says:

    I have always believed that our faith is developed that way too, by trust. When we tend to do everything for ourselves we have no need for God to provide so we fail to learn that He will. That is the point where peace is found rather than struggle, manipulation (which is what happened with Hagar) by bringing about things in our own strength rather than waiting on God. Assurance, a quiet trust and dependence on God that His Will will happen no matter what we do or in spite of what we do but desiring to be part of that Will out of love, not applause.

  41. kingdomkid7 says:

    There’s a good word, Bill: balance. Thanks!

  42. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh…. thanks for the tip on posting.
    Belated Birthday wishes to you. Sorry I missed your party, hope you didn’t eat too much birthday cake yesterday. Gary

  43. bec4jc says:

    maru, thank you for posting Isaiah 32:15-20. All the other scriptures were good but Isaiah was so soothing to my soul as I read it.

  44. prayforme says:

    Hi all

    From what I understand is Martha was busy serving and Mary was listening to Jesus she loves.

    In Luke Jesus says is important we hear His word and put it into practice.

    So “listen and putting into practice” is different from serving? Serving is a display of faith?

  45. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All –

    Mart, you wrote:

    “In other words, how God treats us in our need is the model for how we are to treat others…am wondering whether you see in these four perspectives of ‘righteousness’ the kind of goodness that–when embraced– cannot help but change the way we look at ourselves and others?”

    As these facets of the character of Jesus transform our hearts, it seems to me his radical call is to follow him as closely as we may. The night he was taken into custody by the temple guard:

    “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with a towel that was tied around him…After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher , have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.’” John 13:3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15

    In Him,
    Maru

  46. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh what you wrote is so soothing: it is God who does the work in us, we rest in faith in Him, we prepare the way in us, putting out sin, worries, anxiety, because we trust He will fill us with His work, His life.
    No manipulation, no strife, argueing and pushing that people around us have to keep the law of God, that is not peace at all,like the verse in Isaiah 32 says in verse 17
    “The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
    the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”

  47. Mart De Haan says:

    foreverblessed, because I’m writing another post that relates to this conversation, I’ll copy your note forward after I post.

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