In Matthew 6:33 Jesus told us to “seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these other things shall be added to you.”
Righteousness is important to God, and so it should be important to us as well. To be righteous, we must be committed to doing the “right” thing. Following is some practical instruction out of the Book of Philippians CH.4 on how to seek after righteousness.
4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
1] We must live right. Living right means living in the presence of the Lord. This is one way in which to interpret the statement “The Lord is near.” Cultivating or practicing the presence of God is vital if we want to live right. It is never wise to follow God at a distance. Righteousness requires us to draw near to God. The promise is that as we cherish His nearness, He will then draw near to us.
James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We draw near to God when we seek His heart and seek His face. This brings about a joy unspeakable, and our nearness to God will be evident to all.
6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
2] We must pray right. It is not enough for us to merely pray. We must learn how to pray in the right way. Praying right involves us praying according to the will of God. Praying right requires us to pray according to scripture. As a matter of fact, the best way to pray is to pray scripture over yourself or others. Praying right should also involve faith and thanksgiving. People pray wrong prayers when they attempt to give God counsel, they pray presumptuously or they pray in a way that contradicts God’s Word. Faithless prayers are also a wrong way for us to pray.
In James 5:16 we are told, “A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.” Righteousness demands that we pray in the right way. God’s promise is that these kinds of prayers are effective and productive. Many people do not see the answer to their prayers because they were not righteous prayers.
8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
3] We must think right. Negative and worldly thoughts hinder righteous living. If we fail to think in the right way, we will never achieve righteousness. Thoughts that are true, noble, “right”, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy should dominate our thought lives. Think righteous thoughts and we will live righteous lives. There is a right way to think and there is a wrong way to think. Winning the battle of the mind is necessary for righteous living. When we fail to think right, we immediately get off the right path.
One way to determine if we are thinking right is to discern what is coming out of our mouths. What we say is often a good measure of what we are thinking. Think the right things and we will speak the right things.
Live right. Pray right. Think right. You will never go wrong doing what is right.
About Dennis McGuire
Dennis McGuire has been involved in ministry for over 30 years and has a heart to see people equipped for ministry in the church and mission to the world. He currently lives along the beautiful Redwood Coast in Northern California, where he serves as Lead Pastor of Arcata First Baptist Church. He also has a radio and internet teaching ministry called Fresh Oil and is the Founder and Director of Redwood Coast School Of Missions. Dennis has a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology from William Jessup University and a Mater’s degree in Church Leadership from Hope International University. He has spoken at many churches, retreats, and conferences and has had the privilege of going to several nations, mainly equipping and training leaders in the things of God. Dennis also serves as an instructor at North Coast Bible Institute.
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