The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/17/2008

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Loving What Is Right


"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:20).

So what exactly does Jesus want us to do and not do? Sounds like a funny question doesn't it? We all love reading the story of the "Good Samaritan." It is a great parable to read to our children also, with the lesson it teaches. Lets look at it from a slightly different perspective though. Do you suppose that the Levite and priest were totally bad guys? Don't you think that they both abhorred the disgusting immorality of the robbers who beat and robbed the man by the roadside? They are probably like a lot of people we know...'"good,clean, upstanding folks" on the "side of what is right."

So what are the characteristics of good moral people as we see them? We may think of morality in terms of not doing wrong things..So then if a person doesn't murder, steal, or commit adultery they are moral. Maybe we even secretly congratulate ourselves for being "above average" morally because we would certainly not stoop to engage in some of the despicable things we see others doing. If this is the case then, the strength of our morality is measured by the intensity of the negative feelings we have about immorality.

If this is our morality, then we are no better than the Pharisees....They scrupulously avoided unrighteousness. Our righteousness must exceed this type, not only in quantity but quality. The truth is, there is more to being moral than looking down on immorality. Roy Masters said this....See if you agree. "Loving what is right is different from hating what is wrong and feeling good about it." There are really a lot of things in the world that we ought to feel a genuine revulsion about....This feeling of revulsion should not be confused however with a true love for what is good. We just don't qualify as being good if all we do is criticize what is bad.

I think that God is really concerned with what we do about what we KNOW TO DO. The person who truly loves what is right is not just the person with high ideals, but the one who is the actual doer of good. "Can do" and "have done" don't even live in the same neighborhood. The Book of James has some very clear teaching on the concept of knowing and doing good.

As the great scholar once said, "talk is cheap!" "Loving good requires that we do good." ...Some good scriptures; "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it----he will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:17).

There is happiness and blessing in doing the right thing when we know to do it...Have a wonderful week....Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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