Acts 13:1-25; Joshua 18-19; Job 29
What does a life of righteousness look like? We all tend to have our own ideas of what people who live righteously should be doing. Usually those ideas coincide with the way we live ourselves. One great list, though, is found in Job 29. As Job moaned about his travails and defended himself before his friends, he talked about his righteous life. As he began, he got the most important part right. “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,” (Job 29:4) All of the rest of this chapter he expounded on his deeds. All of those deeds however were based on this intimate friendship he had with God. Some would make a relationship with God focused on following rules that someone claimed to be from God perfectly. Grace is absent from any discussion. In baseball, you get three strikes – but not in their understanding of God. As followers of Christ, however, we know that God wants to have an intimate friendship with us. That friendship is not based on our righteousness, though. It’s based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We have that friendship with God based on His grace and forgiveness, not on our own perfection or deeds. But, just as seen in Job’s discourse, that intimate friendship with God will make a difference in how we care for others and how we deal with them. Our intimate relationship with God should compel us to reach out to others just as God reached out to us: with grace, forgiveness and a heart that sacrifices to meet the needs of others.
Lord God, it’s so easy to get caught up in my relationship with You that I forget about the need to minister to others. Help me to be so caught up in my relationship with You that I show others the same love, mercy, grace and ministry that You have shown to me.