Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford about what we mean by righteousness and morality.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Threads of Righteousness, Lesson 3

For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! Because of this light within you, you should only do what is good and right and true. (Ephesians 5:8-9, TLB)

We’ve all been there. You start with a three-putt, hit one OB on the second, then triple-chip the third. Your tee shot at the fourth is long and straight, but that just gives you more time to grumble as you make your way to the ball. When you get there, you breathe long enough to make a decent swing, and you watch as the ball lands at the front, curls forward to the hole, and stops a foot away. A kick-in birdie! A new day begins!

The story of a life changed by Jesus Christ is the story of a new beginning.

We live comfortably in our sin, unchallenged to change, sure that we know what’s best. Then something gets our attention, an instrument of the Lord in the guise of a late-night DUI, a cancer-stricken friend, or a stack of divorce papers. “My way” has become a dead end. A change enacted in a power far greater than our own—this is what we need.

And when we turn to Jesus—not just for a moment’s assuaging but for real and for good—he makes all things new. Actually, he has already done this. Redemption has been bought. But when our eyes are opened to it, and we cry out for his saving intervention, it is applied to us. We begin again.

When this happens, Paul wrote to the Ephesians, his light resides in us. This is a light that exposes, yes, so that we can see what all needs to be cleaned. But it is the light that illumines too, allowing for that cleaning.

In this light, we do not do what we once did. Rather, we do what is God-honoring. We do what is good and right and true. And we do it in spite of the criticism we may receive. We are not trying to push our morals on anyone; we’re just trying to live morally, as God would have us. No one despises integrity, honesty, or humility. You will not be condemned for rendering justice and mercy.

We choose righteousness when the light shines in our life, for it is then that we see how much better it is than darkness. We do good not in a competition for accolades but in consideration of the God we worship. We live in truth not to be seen as “gritty and authentic,” but because God’s truth is the compass that makes us moral.

Jeff Hopper
September 19, 2014
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