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Fulfilling All Righteousness

During discussions with first century spiritual leaders, Jesus spoke about the quality of being morally right and justifiable in God’s sight. The author of the Gospel geared toward a Jewish audience, a member of the Tribe of Levi, focuses on fulfilling and seeking God’s righteousness. Instead of being distracted by the here and now, Matthew learned that by making God your first priority in life, everything else falls into place.

But John [f]protested strenuously, having in mind to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? 15 But Jesus replied to him, [g]Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for [both of] us to fulfill all righteousness [that is, to [h]perform completely whatever is right]. Then he permitted Him, Matthew 3:14-15.

In one of the episodes of Castle, Rick played by Nathan Fillion, is holding a sacred artifact that possesses the ability to travel back in time. In the middle of a shootout, Rick is hurled into a past where he and Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic have never met. Rick’s past is completely rewritten with his career as an author turning out to be a failure. If John never baptized Jesus, the world as we know it would have been cast into darkness forever.

But seek ([z]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([aa]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [ab]taken together will be given you besides. 34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble, Matthew 6:33-34.

After convincing John to fulfill all righteousness by baptizing Him, Jesus continues this theme in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow, today should be invested in seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness. When your priorities shift from the temporary toward eternity, fulfilling all righteousness becomes a possibility. May you know this truth so that God’s truth will set you free from anxiety and worry, John 8:32.

by Jay Mankus

W.W.T.W.

Acronyms such as W.W.D.J.; what would Jesus do have existed for centuries as followers of Christ ponder about the right thing to do in a certain situation.  Unfortunately, thinking about an ideal reply or response is much easier said than done.  Thus, when push comes to shove, its essential to recall W.W.T.W.: why waste time worrying.

Psalm 114 recounts a list of reasons why worrying is a waste of time.  As a summary of God’s past miracles performed for Israel, these acts should have transformed the lives of each eyewitness.  Yet, over time, it appears that many waned, as their faith faded like a distant memory.  If God can part rivers and seas, then why wouldn’t the Lord have the power to change your circumstances, eternal destination or ongoing trial.

Recently, I was convicted by my intense worry, recognizing my energy was misdirected, Matthew 6:25-34.  Instead of trusting the God of Creation to provide for my needs, I spent several miserable hours worrying.  Like having your strength sapped by summer heat and humidity, I wilted, feeling worse as the day went on.  Therefore, whenever you are desperate to see results, turn to the Lord in prayer.  Why waste time worrying, when the operator of life is on the other line, waiting to preform another miracle as in the days of old.

by Jay Mankus

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