Friday, February 23, 2018
First Week of Lent
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20
Who wants to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Certainly all of us do! That should be our primary goal in life. And, along with that goal, we should seek to bring as many people with us as possible.
Too often we fail to see this as an ultimate goal in life. We fail to keep our eyes on Heaven as the primary reason we are here on Earth. It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day satisfactions of what we may call the “mini goals” of life. These are goals such as entertainment, money, success, and the like. And we can often make these mini goals our only goals at times.
So how about you? What is your goal? What is it you strive for and seek throughout your day? If you honestly examine your actions throughout each day you may be surprised that you are actually seeking unimportant and passing mini goals more than you realize.
Jesus gives us one bit of clear direction in this passage above on how to attain that ultimate goal of life – the Kingdom of Heaven. The path He points to is righteousness.
What is righteousness? It’s simply being real. Being authentic. Not fake. And most especially, it’s being real in our love of God. The Pharisees struggled with pretending they were holy and good followers of the will of God. But they were not very good at it. They may have been good at the acting job, and they may have convinced themselves and others, but they could not fool Jesus. Jesus could see through the fake veneer and perceive that which was underneath. He could see that their “righteousness” was only a show for themselves and others.
Reflect, today, upon your own righteousness – your honesty and sincerity in striving for holiness. If you want to daily keep Heaven as your ultimate goal, then you must also strive to make each daily mini goal an honest attempt at holiness. We must daily seek Christ with all sincerity and truth in all the small things of life. We must then let that sincerity shine through, showing what truly lies beneath. To be righteous, in the truest sense, means we sincerely seek God throughout our day and make that sincerity the constant goal of our life.
Lord, make me righteous. Please help me to be sincere in all that I do and all that I seek in life. Help me to love You and to love You each and every moment of the day. Jesus, I trust in You.