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Friday, January 24, 2014

Righteousness, Peace, and Joy

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
If you look for a description for the Kingdom of God, you can find it in this verse. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. This is a picture of what Christ is within our hearts. This is where His kingdom lives... within our hearts. It might matter to the world what we eat or drink and how we structure our days, but God always looks at the heart. If our hearts are right with God, then we live and act in His righteousness. We ask forgiveness for sin, but what we are really placing on the altar is the motive in our hearts. It is what lives in our heart that speaks unrest and discouragement or peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Righteousness is God's gift to us. (Romans 5:17). Sin no longer separates us, and we stand in a right relationship with Him. Everything is right between us and God. Because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us, we are forgiven. Because we have right standing with God, and His righteousness lives without our hearts, we have peace. When everything is right with Him, there is no more struggle. Sin does not stand between us. We can be at peace. God is for us. He is on our side. He are at peace within our hearts.
Peace is defined as the absence of conflict. His peace comes from being reconciled to Him. It means that nothing is broken or missing any longer in our lives. His peace means that we know that all that we need is provided. His peace means that we live abundantly in our relationship to Him. We lack for nothing. When we are right with God and have peace that He is all we need.... that nothing is missing from our lives.... that nothing is broken in our lives...... we will know His joy. Righteousness brings peace. When we have His righteousness and peace, then we discover His joy.
The Kingdom of God lives in the hearts of men. It is a kingdom of the greatest love ever known. It is a kingdom where there is no separation, or imperfection, or selfishness, or anger, or bitterness, or hurt. It is a kingdom of righteousness, or peace and of joy in Him. And it is for now. And it is for us.... for me and for you. We can have His peace and His Joy....... when His righteousness is what rules in our hearts.

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