WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 17, 2023
TOPIC: DO WHAT IS RIGHT
BY T. O. BANSO
“Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is” (Amos 5:14 Good News Translation).
The Bible says that we are saved by grace, not by our good works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 New King James Version). No one is justified by works but by faith in Jesus Christ. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2:16 New King James Version).
Although nobody can be saved by doing good or what is right, God has called us to do what is good or right. After salvation, we must do what is right, not according to the standards of the world but according to the Word of God. But no child of God can do this by his power. He must depend on the Holy Spirit.
Paul said, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. So I find it to be the law [of my inner self], that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good” (Romans 7:18-21 Amplified Bible).
Paul said he couldn’t do the good he wanted to do and asked who would deliver him from the body of death. Only Jesus could deliver him. “Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin” (verses 24-25 Amplified Bible).
The intention of God in giving the Israelites the law was to make them do what was good or right in His eyes but they couldn’t. Moses told them in Exodus 15:26, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “do what is right in His sight” But the Israelites didn’t. They did evil or what was right in their eyes.
In Deuteronomy 6:18-19, Moses also told the Israelites, “And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken” (New King James Version). Again, note the phrase “do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord.”
Also, in Deuteronomy 12:25, Moses told the Israelites not to eat lifeblood with the meat so that it would go well with them and their children after them because they would be doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. He said the Lord would be merciful to them only if they keep all His commandments which he commanded them, to do what was right in His eyes (Deuteronomy 13:18).
God has always wanted human beings to do what is right. He punished the Israelites for not doing what was right in His eyes. God says in 1 Kings 11:33, “Solomon and the Israelites are not like their ancestor David. They will not listen to me, obey me, or do what is right. They have turned from me to worship Astarte the goddess of Sidon, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of Ammon” (Contemporary English Version).
In Jeremiah 18:11, God says, “Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right’” (New Living Translation). Neither the Southern kingdom nor the Northern kingdom did what was right in the sight of God. Consequently, the two kingdoms fell and many of the people were taken into captivity.
Do what is right, not evil. Isaiah 56:1 says, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Be just and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you’” (New Living Translation). Jeremiah 22:3 also talks about doing what is right: “This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!” (New Living Translation).
It is important that you must be born again. Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Doing good or doing what is right does not save anyone. However, after salvation, everyone must do what is right in the eyes of God. In other words, we must do what God has asked us to do. We cannot claim to be born again and continue to disobey the Word of God.
Amos 5:14 says, “Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is” (Good News Translation). Note the phrase “Make it your aim to do what is right.” This is an Old Testament text but it is still relevant today. A Christian is not doing what is right to earn salvation but because he is saved. He does not depend on his power or strength but on the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 6:33a says to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. The Amplified Bible explains “his righteousness” as “His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God.” The Contemporary English Version renders seeking God’s righteousness as doing what he wants. Do what God wants. Do what is right. Make this your aim and pursuit.
Seek God’s righteousness. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God made Him (Jesus Christ) who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. A Christian cannot be the righteousness of God and have an unrighteous lifestyle. 1 John 3:10b says whoever does not practise righteousness is not of God. And verse 7 warns, “Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous” (New Living Translation).
Do what is right. Do what God requires of you. The Apostle Peter says, “Do what is right; then if men speak against you, calling you evil names, they will become ashamed of themselves for falsely accusing you when you have only done what is good” (1 Peter 3:16 The Living Bible). Don’t only do what is right but also help others to do the same. “We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord” (Romans 15:2 New Living Translation).
While interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him, Daniel told him to repent and do what was right. “King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper” (Daniel 4:27 New Living Translation). But he didn’t obey and the dream came to pass. The kingdom was taken away from him; he was driven from human society, lost his sanity, and lived like an animal in the wilderness for seven years.
Do what is right. “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11 New Living Translation). Also, Proverbs 21:3 says, “The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices” (New Living Translation).
Do what is right, not evil. Don’t join those who do not do what is right. Exodus 23:2a says not to follow the crowd in doing wrong. You are a child of God and He expects you to do what is right. “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 New Living Translation).
Do what is right, not by your power but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do what God has commanded you to do in His Word.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to do what is right in the eyes of God. I shall not follow the crowd in doing evil in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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