A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

January 4, 2015

Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example],
 as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] 
as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us,
 a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] 
a sweet fragrance. -- Amplified Bible

     On Friday, PLW and I said good-bye to a dear friend who was truly a righteous man.  Do you know what that term means?  Do you know what it means to God?  It is more than "desiring to do the right thing".  In God's terminology, I believe that it means His standard of purity; the perfect consistency between His nature and His actions.  God is Holy, therefore He cannot tolerate sin, and His Righteousness (His standard of purity) demands Judgment. Only through Jesus can we obtain righteousness that is acceptable to God. It is Jesus’s purity that God sees in us.
     Because we are not holy and pure in God's sight, our righteousness comes through Jesus; it is the only way we can be found acceptable in His sight.  And Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us that by being imitators of God and His righteous Son, we, too, can offer a sweet fragrance to our Father in Heaven.
    My friend, Butch Keath, fits that description of being righteous.  That's not a term that I believe can be truthfully applied to very many people.  Sure, we all know "good" people, or "kind" people, or men who live exemplary lives.  But Butch truly lived out this Scripture.  He walked in love, esteeming and delighting in every person he met.  He was an imitator of God; a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.  
     The number of people who attended his funeral was a testament of how many people he had loved, and who loved him in return.  There were so many stories told of Butch's generosity in times of need; he selflessly gave of his time, energy and money -- if he heard that someone needed help, he quietly and without fanfare, worked behind the scenes to get it done.  He simply served, without asking for notice or anything in return.
     And, for many of those attending his funeral, it came as a surprise that he had quietly served his country as a Green Beret in Vietnam, and was the recipient of several medals; again offering a sweet fragrance of personal sacrifice, imitating His Lord.  He was an honorable man; seeking to see the good in people, and all the while mindful of living a life that pleased his God.  
     Often, when planning the funeral of a loved one, family will go to that person's Bible to see what was important to them, and what influenced their spiritual life.  Found in Butch's Bible, was a bookmark that read:  "Although people work very hard for money and fame, God views success as having a good reputation, moral character, and the spiritual devotion to obey Him."  Butch certainly lived out those qualities.  And I cannot help but think how much better this world would be if we all followed this recipe for success.  What a sweet fragrance would rise to God!

No comments:

Post a Comment