“Righteousness is found in a disciplined life of devotion, not momentary acts of isolated obedience.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 19, 2021
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. Job 17:9, NIV
In a moment of weakness, a few years ago my wife and I agreed to our children’s consistent pleading for a puppy. As parents, we long to give good gifts to our children, and many people assured us of the joy and happiness that a canine companion would bring to the family. What we failed to fully account for is the fact that a puppy grows into a dog, and dogs live a long time! This seemingly simple decision to bring a puppy home was in fact the possibility of a 10+ year commitment. Dog ownership requires long range vision and disciplined care that transcends moments of joy or frustration. In ways that may not be immediately evident, dog ownership has taught me a few things about my life with Christ.
Job reminds us of a central truth of the Christian faith: fidelity to Christ is a lifelong pursuit. To be righteous, men and women who are holy and like God in our hearts and lives, our faith must be strong and steadfast, deeply rooted and able to weather any storm or trial. Disciples of Christ say “yes” in a moment, yet renew that commitment daily through deeds of faithfulness to Christ, his church, and our family and friends.
Righteousness is found in a disciplined life of devotion, not momentary acts of isolated obedience.
As it says in Hebrews 12:1, we must “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Similarly, in Luke 14:28, Jesus invites us to consider the cost of discipleship, saying, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” We cannot be shortsighted in our life of faith. The Lord asks us for a lifetime of faithfulness, not short sprints of zeal followed by extended seasons of apathy or indifference.
This life of endurance is sustained by the power of the Spirit and a disciplined life of prayer and service. These are not in opposition to one another! The Spirit of God animates, restores, renews, and empowers, yet he does so as we place ourselves in the streams of his grace. We resolve daily to spend time in Scripture and prayer, to worship with the family of God on Sundays, and to live a life of regular repentance, seeking forgiveness from others and living at peace with all. As we do, our hands will be clean, and as Job reminds us, we will grow stronger and stronger in the life and goodness of our God.
Father, give us the grace to run with perseverance to the very end, looking to Christ as our hope and healer. Amen.
How can you bring discipline and intentionality into your daily rhythms as a step towards a sustainable and enduring faith?
Austin Stone Worship: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
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