Attributes Of Abundant Living
What does abundant living look like to you? If you won the Mega-Millions Jackpot tomorrow, how much of it would you share with family and friends or invest back into your business? Would you hide your face or reveal it to the world while accepting your winnings? With abundance comes the weight of much more. Do you really desire to live abundantly, no matter what may come your way as a result?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
“The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy; I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Now that we understand the importance of having our existence in Christ as we seek to achieve a more abundant life, let’s discuss walking in the abundant life. Three attributes set apart the abundant life: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Today we will discuss righteousness.
As stated before, the more abundant life is not about achieving material prosperity, though it does not preclude it. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:32b (NKJV), “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things”. After stating that, Jesus went on to say, to acquire these things you must… “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,” and then the material things you need will follow. - Matthew 6:33a (NKJV)
What is righteousness? You are righteous when you live your life in line with God’s will. None of us lives completely without sin while on this earth, but once saved, you can live by His power in such a way that He is pleased. His righteousness in you causes you to please God through your actions, thoughts, and behavior. This righteousness is a manifestation of having your existence in Christ. When you move and have your being in Him, the fruit that you bear is a righteous lifestyle.
There are two types of righteousness: a righteousness which is of God and our own standard of righteousness. Unfortunately, many of us who have a zeal for the Lord and are serving Him in the marketplace fall prey to walking in our own standard of righteousness. The apostle Paul stated in that he wanted “to be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” - Philippians 3:9b (NKJV)
Apostle Paul also stated in Romans 10:2-3 (NKJV), speaking of the Israelites, that they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. In their zeal, they established their own righteousness because they were ignorant of the righteousness of God.
What is this righteousness that is “of the law”? It is actions and behaviors that are based on the letter of the law but ignorant of the Spirit. This zealous self-righteousness is using God’s word to realize one’s own will and desires without taking into account the effect on others. It is a stubborn pursuit of one’s rights based on scriptures at the expense of love. Without any regard to the spirit of the law, it is a defense of one’s rights based on scriptures. It is void of faith.
Those who have their own standard of righteousness may not be involved in immoral acts such as murder, adultery, and so forth, but their actions do not please God because they are based on their own sense of righteousness rather than God’s.
How do I know if I’m walking in my own righteousness?
Unfortunately, some Christians have earned a reputation of self-righteousness. This means that we have fallen into our own standards of righteousness, not God’s. As a result, our message of the Good News has at times been lost and often falls on deaf ears because we are perceived to be more concerned about our agenda than caring for people.
- I always justify my own position.
- I’m not operating out of love.
- I’m seeking more to be understood than to understand.
- I’m fighting for my rights rather than what is right.
- I’m not being led by the Spirit.
- I lack compassion.
- I’m presumptuous.
As a Kingdom Business steward, if you are not careful, you may fall in this trap. This trap of self-righteousness will impact the success of your business. Or even if your business succeeds financially, you will lose your ability to transform the marketplace because of your self-righteousness.
How then do I ensure that I’m operating in God’s righteousness?
As Paul emphasizes in Philippians 3:9 (NKJV), he says that is to be found in Jesus is to operate in God’s righteousness through faith. God’s gift of faith enables us to lay aside worldly righteousness based on performance, self-sufficiency, maneuvering, and conniving. Instead, by faith, we trust God and His goodness to justify and cover us. We rest in the love of Jesus Christ.
- Do not justify.
- Operate in love.
- Seek to understand.
- Focus on what is right and not who is right. (Ignore your rights; you have none.)
- Be led by the Spirit.
- Be compassionate.
- Do not assume.
Walking and resting in God’s righteousness demonstrates that your existence is in Christ. Once you have established the foundation—your existence being in Christ—and add to that God’s righteousness in your life, you are ready to build toward the subsequent steps of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you is that you will begin to walk in your divine righteousness in your life and business. In next week’s devotional, we discuss peace, the second attribute of the more abundant life.
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