This verse caught my attention, because I do not hear many Christians extolling God’s praise for making their “righteousness shine like the dawn.” We hear a lot about brokenness, our sin, struggles we have, what we need, how hard it is, but why don’t we hear more on the work of righteousness (sanctification) that God continues to work in us. There are struggles in a Christian’s life, but there should also be the exciting experience of God radiating through you as He produces righteousness in you. Each day with Christ should be lived as an opportunity to kindle more of Christ in you. As you continue to die to self and live to Christ, His life will burn brighter and brighter in a similar way that a fire grows as you throw more kindling wood on it. Here are some thoughts on how your life can be an ever consuming fire for God instead of a life that is consumed by the world:
- Psalm 39:3 ties meditation to a heart on fire for God, “My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue.” (NIV)
- Mark 4:20 talks about exploding fruitfulness that results from not just hearing the Word, but accepting (obeying) the Word, “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop — thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown." (NIV)
- Micah 7:8-9 shows how vigorously affirming your faith in God regardless of the circumstances lifts you up, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against Him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until He pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness.” (NIV)
- John 15:4 gives the ultimate secret of being a consuming fire for God by constantly abiding in Jesus through His Word, prayer, meditation, and just the sheer pleasure of being surrounded by His love, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” (NIV)
Meditation, obedience, faith, and intimacy with Christ will all position you for a life that “shines like the dawn.” There are many more Scriptures that could be given, but ultimately it comes down to a heart that burns with passion for Jesus, because your first love is Jesus.
Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (NIV)
Do you know someone who needs this message on righteousness? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.
Here is a Bible study from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Discipleship.”