July 4, 2021

Way of Life

I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.
Psalm 71:16
God's people are called to righteousness. And yet by nature, we tend to do the wrong thing. We're usually more self-righteous than righteous. And so when we admire another person's righteousness, we often find out that their real motivation wasn't all that righteous at all. Thus the psalmist praises God's righteousness alone.

That's why Ephesians 2 stresses that it's not our goodness that saves us, but our faith—and even our faith isn't our own creation, but is a gift of God. This doesn't mean we can't do good. To help others and to do the right thing were the reason we were put here in the first place. 

That term way of life is often used to divide people. Rural farmers have a way of life that urban youth just don't relate to, we're told. Or westerners just can't understand the Chinese way of life. But Paul says that Christ brings us together for we all are intended to have a single way of life: Good works that bring wholeness to the world around us. It doesn't matter whether we live in the city or the country, it doesn't matter what country we're from: We can recognize each other in loving acts that make God's abundant life known.

For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
 Ephesians 2:10
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Thank you, O God, for life. Through your righteousness that is lived in me, may I make your life known to others in Jesus' Name.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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