Seek un­der­stand­ing for right­eous­ness

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - By Rev. Dr. Richard How­ell

Anita con­tin­ued to ex­pe­ri­ence the love and joy of Christ when she be­gan liv­ing in ac­cor­dance with the ways of God’s king­dom. She was thank­ful that God’s love had been poured into her heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The Bi­ble teaches that it is not about our love for God but God’s sac­ri­fi­cial love poured into our lives by His grace. We must ask our­selves, do we de­sire God’s love?

Anita learnt from the prayer of Paul that as her love for God would steadily in­crease, she would gain knowl­edge and depth of in­sight, so that she would be able to dis­cern what is best and “be pure and blame­less un­til the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of right­eous­ness that comes through Je­sus Christ— to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9–10).

Anita be­gan to re­flect Christ-like char­ac­ter and the fruits of right­eous­ness. Ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in small group fel­low­ship helped her grow and in­crease in fruit­ful­ness. Anita was aware that knowl­edge was not enough, she needed to know how to ap­ply knowl­edge in an in-depth way in or­der to de­velop pu­rity that leads to the fruit of right­eous­ness. Gain­ing in­sight in­cludes re­ceiv­ing feed­back, cor­rec­tion, hav­ing a deep look in­side our own heart and soul, and pray­ing to God specif­i­cally about our own char­ac­ter dy­nam­ics and pat­terns. As king David said, “But who can dis­cern their own er­rors? Forgive my hid­den faults. Keep your ser­vant also from will­ful sins; may they not rule over me.” (Psalm 19:12-13). We are not able to see and understand our­selves by our­selves. In­sight comes from God and oth­ers. David asked God to show him the anx­ious and of­fen­sive ways in him­self and lead him into good pat­terns (Ps. 139:23–24).

We can never grow by lis­ten­ing to a ser­mon once a week and then just go about our busi­ness. We must gain deeper knowl­edge about God’s ways and ap­ply them to our own is­sues in life. Then we can grow.

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