Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and gracious love finds life, righteousness, and honor.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Righteousness is something we have to want. A question that many people are asking is, "Why should I care about being right with God?" This is a good question - especially for the people who do not know or walk with God. What are some compelling reasons for being righteous or being right with God? Why should anyone care?
I'm asking this question because I am involved in ministry, and I have noticed a trend among people who are just floundering through life, not caring whether they are right with God or not. I feel like we have missed the message Jesus asked us to proclaim, and that is - we can now be right with God the Father, because of what Jesus did on the cross. We should be able to see the magnificence of this God-given gift that is such a wow-miracle for all of mankind. Yet, there is little desire or enthusiasm to be right with God. What will compel a man to want righteousness?
I know that the enemy of our soul has blinded the eyes of many to see this incredible gift. 2 Cor. 4:4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. As previously referenced, "Righteousness is something we have to want." It would seem to me, that at least one compelling reason to want to be right with God, would be, to get rid of the devil's influence in our lives.
What is everyone looking for in life? Most people are looking for real-life and the meaning of it. When a person wants to be right with God and pursues it God's way, that person will find life. Prov. 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and gracious love finds life, righteousness, and honor. This is a compelling reason to want to be right with God. We will finally find life. Jesus, who is the life, says, "If you want life and be able to enter into the fullness of life, then keep His commands, Matt. 19:17b But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." Notice, Jesus said, "If you want to enter life." It has to be our choice, and we have to want it! I have to want God's life working in me to receive real life.
When we become, through faith, the righteousness of God in Christ, we have life now. 2 Cor. 5:21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. This is good news and a compelling reason to choose life. We have the right to stand with our Heavenly Father because of what Jesus did for us. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, I have found my life.
We read the story of Bartimaeus who was blind. Bartimaeus wanted life and a better life at that. As Jesus walked by him, he called out loudly for Jesus to help him. When Jesus asked him to come near. The Lord said, "What do you want?" Mark 10:51 Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "Rabbi, let me see again." Jesus healed him right there and then because Bartimaeus wanted his sight - so he could have a better life.
How much more will Jesus give us His righteousness so we can be right with our heavenly Father? However, we have to ask for it by faith and have a willingness to want it. The compelling reason to want to be right with God - is that God, wants us to be right with Him. John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. If you want, you can have eternal life. If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will receive it. But you have to want it.