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What constitutes righteousness?
Righteousness relates to our thoughts and our choices of actions.
Righteousness is staying true to our Ideal.
Sin is deviation from our Ideal.
Righteousness and sin are extremes of awareness in the consciousnesses.
Righteousness and sin are personal conditions we must deal with in our lives.
What standard of measure do we use for our state of development?
How do we measure how far away are we from our Ideals?
Truth is a growth.
God understands our daily efforts and accepts them
whether they meet the approval or disapproval of others.
WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS?
Righteousness is light and those who walk in the light are righteous.
Those who are in opposition to God, the All Good, are in sin or error.
Who is to judge what righteousness is?
What is righteousness to one may be sin to another person.
We are accountable only to God.
We should act to show ourselves approved unto God,
a workperson that needs not be ashamed.
The Master called to the attention of the disciples,
that their righteousness must exceed the righteousness of others.
The Master recognized the degrees of righteousness.
How were the disciples to discern between the righteousness of others
and that represented by the Master?
The Master had been a living example of selflessness as He lived with His disciples.
They had been with Him and had seen that He practiced what He taught.
If with such light they were still selfish and self-centered then it was sin.
What about our righteousness with the light that is ours?
Jesus never condemned the attempt of anyone to express there concept of God.
Jesus never condemned anyone's concept of worship, even though self gets into it.
We should look within and see if our words, our activities, our prayers
are for self-glory or for God's glory.
Are we seeking for the welfare of others or ourselves?
What is the purpose behind our acts?
God alone knows and understands the intents and purposes of the heart of man.
THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
As seekers, as children of God, do we have first hand knowledge,
or do we accept only what others have told us?
What and who do we believe in?
Do we know that God will keep that you have committed unto Him against that day?
This is most important, for God is God to all.
God is the Father to those who know Him.
When we really know God we are righteous and therefore
Sons and Daughters of God.
Christ is the pattern. Christ is the Way.
Do we know the Way?
Are we following the Way?
Do we teach the letter of the law and forget the Spirit of the law?
Let us ask ourselves:
Are we manifesting thoughts, words and actions that we sincerely believe?
Do we give credit to the Spirit where credit is due?
Do we adhere to the spirit of brotherly love?
Do we sow the seeds of kindly feeling?
Are we long suffering?
Are we willing that God show us the Way, His Son's Way?
In seeking to help others we frequently come to an impasse.
Advice, counsel and prayer seem ineffective.
It is so easy, at such times to say,
"I have done everything I can. There is just nothing else I can do."
This is a self-righteous attitude.
Are we lacking faith in the power of the spirit within?
It is true that we of ourselves can do very little.
At such times are we thinking in terms of how much we can do?
When the "I" speaks or acts the results prove ineffectual and futile.
But through the power of the Spirit within we can do more.
For before that power there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome.
In truth there can never be in our experience a time when we can say,
"I have done all I can."
This is an admission that the Spirit is being forgotten.
It is to the spirit within that credit must be given for the power to serve
- in God's way.
The Master said,
"Be ye therefore, perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Would we modify that?
Would we say that we cannot do such things, that we tried it and
is unattainable in this life under our present environments, hates and fears?
Was He unreasonable?
Did He not manifest the Spirit of the Father?
Did He not bless those who dispitefully used Him and condemned Him?
"There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death."
This saying seems to say that when we go a way that to us seems right
that way leads to destruction.
Have we ever stopped to reason whether:
we made our own standards.
we measured our acts by our own sense of right and wrong.
we are not using "the Christ Way" as our standard.
Does thinking only make our actions right?
According to God's standard it has never been right to kill.
Yet men, in the name of religion, freedom and self preservation,
have killed and to them it seemed right.
The end justified the means, they reasoned.
History is full of man's standards of righteousness,
but in every case self was in the picture.
Wars may have been fought in the name of religion or for freedom,
but if you dig deeper you will find that in every instance
economics have played a part.
We need no wars for the power of God to be manifested.
There is only one way and it is not man-made, but Christ-made.
It is the way of selflessness, love, mercy, forgiveness, patience and long suffering.
Will we be led by the Spirit of Truth or will self, the ego,
our own material desires, so outweigh the purposes, the missions for which our souls
are given opportunities in material expressions, that it may be said of us,
if our righteousness does not exceed the righteousness of the self-righteousness
you shall all likewise sin.
GOD'S PURPOSES FOR US
The reason God created souls in the beginning was that they may be His companions.
Through self aggrandizement the Souls failed to manifest their true purposes.
So God in His mercy made man that the souls in mankind, in a material world
might learn through experiences through physical awareness:
"to be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breath and length and depth and height
to be filled with the fullness of GOD."
God has not changed in His purpose.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
"He is not willing that any soul should perish,"
but with every temptation has made a way of escape.
His purpose is that all should come to a knowledge and understanding of Him
through the One, the Perfect One, Jesus, the Christ, that man
made perfect through suffering.
"He learned obedience by the things He suffered."
This purpose of God to bear with man until he comes to an understanding
has been manifested in the many messengers, teachers and prophets
He has sent again and again into the earth to warn, comfort
and guide his people.
Some of them were Moses, Joshua, Jesus, many who have seemingly fought
for lost causes, but their purposes, being one with God, have born fruit.
God said in the beginning of man's experience in the earth,
"Let there be light," though that light at times dimmed, has never gone out.
Each messenger whom God has sent to warn people has rekindled a flame
in the hearts of many of whom the world has had little knowledge.
Galileo, Socrates, Luther and Huss, each had their own message to give,
each took with it his hemlock whether it were persecution or death.
What was the reason for these persecutions of men with profound truth
to give to the world?
The people failed to place true values on new ideas.
If they were not according to their standard of righteousness,
then of course, it was sin.
They made themselves both judge and executioner.
Are we doing the same today?
Then is our purpose one with the Father,
or are we still seeking self gratification, self indulgence?
If so, we will have it all to learn over again,
for every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess.
Then what must be out purpose if our efforts are to be counted to us
In as much as God so loved the world, even so should we love one another.
For love is fulfillment of the law.
Love works no ill to our neighbors, but begets mercy, peace and gentleness.
It is only through these that we may manifest God's purposes for us.
OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE
Righteousness is the attempt of individuals to apply what they think is good
in the material world.
What is good appears in varied forms in man's consciousness.
But good that is free from selfishness is from the All Good and never varies.
It is always the same.
It is only when self and self interpretations come in
that there is a manifestation of degrees of goodness.
All mankind is not awakened.
All do not know the God of love.
God in His mercy, His longsuffering, His love counts every attempt
of righteousness to the credit of His children.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
If spiritually asleep he thinks himself good
and acts in accordance with his belief,
then His God meets him where he is
and according to his faith blesses him.
To many Abrams offering of Isaac would appear foolish,
yet, as stated, "It was counted unto him for righteousness."
It then is a personal application of the awareness
that is the consciousness of the seeker after God.
How great is the sin of those who are awaken to the goodness of God,
who know Him to be the Father, who know they should do good
and yet do it not.
It is well to think on these things.
Are our purposes in accord with the purposes of the Father?
Or are we still asleep spiritually?
Joshua said: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve."
Jesus said, "First cast out the beam that is in thine own eye."
Are we praying that all may be brought to light and understanding?
We believe sin to be selfishness.
If we are just thinking of self we may be sure that sin lies at our door.
Jesus said love your enemies.
Righteousness is selflessness.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful."
Are we showing mercy?
Are we seeking the good in our brother whether he be friend or foe?
If not, what are our purposes?
The spiritual awakening brings conviction within the heart, though
the experiences of the physical are often tormenting to the individual.
It will bring understanding to us who have the courage to dare
to do the right in the face of all oppositions.
Unkindnesses, slights, slurs, broken promises become as naught
in the praise of Him who gave His life that we might have life
If we would be at one with Him it must be through helping others
who are disturbed in minds, bodies, and desires.
If we would be at one with Him, it must be through bringing to others
the knowledge of the Christ and how He through suffering
fulfilled the purposes of the Father.
Righteousness and sin are to many the extremes of awareness in consciousness.
Thus it becomes a personal condition to be reckoned with by each individual.
There are laws.
There are metes and bounds of righteousness and sin.
Still the way maybe righteousness to one, to another may be sin.
And what might be sin to one to another might not be considered at all
a deviation from the righteous path.
Finally, what then is righteousness in the life of an individual?
To be at-one in purpose, in will, in desire with his Ideal
is to an individual a righteous state.
Then to deviate from his Ideal, whether consciously or unconsciously
is sin to that one.
Each soul is the combination or the composite of all
that he has thought or done in consciousness
in every sphere or phase of activity.
Paul was sincere in his persecution of the church.
He had the Mosaic law to seemingly sustain his acts.
It took an awakening of the Spirit to cause him
to judge his activity as an error.
It is indeed better to be in error and be consciously active
than to do nothing.
For when we are called into service and there is sincerity
toward the ideal, we will be shown, will be awakened,
will be aware of God's purpose with us even as Paul was.
We should consider and meditate upon these things
and apply them in our daily lives.
We should be sincere, direct in our calling,
as we choose to serve Him in a definite way.
Let us not be slothful, but up and doing now, today.
He will count our try as righteousness.
In the beginning the perfect man was given
all the attributes of the Father,
and placed in an ideal environment for physical manifestation.
Even with that we find him listening to those influences
which were at variance with God.
Of his own accord he became willfully disobedient.
Then in the fullness of time in the temple
we find the Man made perfect through suffering saying,
"Know ye not I must be about my Father's business."
The result is worth every effort.
The trials and humiliations that we have should be only stepping stones
that help us to realize that we are one with the Father,
one with the Ideal, heirs and joint heirs with the Perfect One,
who has showed the Way made plain.
Righteousness is right use of Opportunities.
Updated: 2 January 2014