The Righteousness  (義)

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:32-33

Everyone wants a good life; with one’s needs of life well met: a good home, good food on the table, family members are all well-taken care of, healthy and strong, living to a ripe old age; Good prosperity, promotion or bountiful harvest bringing in great fortunes and comforts. The only problem is that when we started chasing all these things, we get anxious and worried; missing the real important thing in life; the abundant life itself.

God, the Father knows these are things we need and are legitimate, we don’t need to retreat to a mountain for meditation, cutting all family ties and live frugally eating grass. Our God is really concern about having our needs met, like a good father would. He like us to have all these things. In fact, He wants all these things added – given to us. The key here is the way for these things to be given to us; by seeking His kingdom and His righteousness; not by our own effort toiling and seeking after for ourselves.

But what is righteousness?

Righteousness - YiThe Chinese traditional character for righteousness is 義 (pronounced as yì). It is composed of the character 羊 (sheep/lamb/ram/goat) at top and the character 我 (I, me, myself) at bottom. So the interpretation of the ideograms of this character 義 (righteousness) is having a sheep above myself.  By itself, even to the Chinese, it doesn’t make much sense, but through the lens of the bible, then it made perfect sense. Biblical, the lamb here points to when God provided the sacrificial ram for Abraham replacing Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) and as exclaimed by John the Baptist: ““Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” referring to Jesus Christ (John 1:29-3).

You see, the righteousness God wants is not the “me – me – me” attitude; it is not about one’s self-effort or even of one’s self-achievements. At the very foundation, it is not about climbing the religious stairway up to heaven by one’s own sacrifices or works. The real righteousness is a gift! (Romans 5:17)   He is the Lamb of God, the Son, Who having achieved every law, standard and requirement of God, then sacrificed Himself on behalf of us, for us. And if we look up and place the Lamb above ourselves, taking up His offer of salvation, then God-the Father counts that as righteousness!

toy lamb wallpaper

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.   Romans 3:21-22

That’s how we are righteous through Jesus Christ! To put it simply, righteousness is enthroning Jesus Christ-the Lamb of God above oneself, to magnify the sacrifice of Christ on the cross over any works of one’s self. And all the rest of the blessings will be added and given to you…

 

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