The word for this week actually places emphasis on 2 words--FOLLOW and FIND.
Both are used in the book of Proverbs, chapter 21:21 to communicate an important reminder. The word of God reads this way--"He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor."
Follow and find are two words that can change the course of your life as well as the condition of your life. In these two words we discover an extremely important principle on how to live the life that God produces in us and provides for us. It is simply this--'what we follow determines what we find.'
The principles of the word of God and the preferences of the world system that desires to separate you from God are polar opposites. You can't follow one and find the other. It is fundamentally impossible to live righteously and follow the world system that Satan rules. It is fundamentally impossible to practice ungodliness and follow the word of God.
Many in this world today desire to be honored by the world we live in. They will sacrifice much, if not all that is important for that one moment of personal recognition for earthly achievement. Always following after something that can't fully satisfy and never finding what can. And the pressure to keep pace often robs our spirit of peace.
On the other hand, the God of the word says, he/she who follows righteousness and mercy finds not only life, but the righteousness and honor that make life worth living. The righteousness that God speaks of in this verse does not come from the world. It cannot because it is not sourced in the world. Only God can provide that benefit for us and only as we are willing to seek after Him with our whole heart. Matthew 6:33
The path of righteousness, mercy and honor is the path God chooses for those who deny themselves and take up the cross to follow Christ. It is the only path that leads to a life of enduring peace and fulfillment. Sadly, however, most in the world and many in the church choose a much different path. The alternative path is chosen because many truly believe it is a better way to live. It's the path they prefer because it leads to a more 'desirable' destination.
On the authority of God's word it does not work that way. In fact, it cannot. Most in their right mind desire to go to heaven yet many live as though there is no hell. A growing number of human beings are misguided in thinking they can get to heaven by living like the world chooses to live. Nothing could be more incorrect, yet many are deceived by the devil today in what they choose to follow. And what they find they won't like.
For some, however (maybe even some reading this) a decision to repent and turn away from Satan's system that leads to sin, suffering and ultimate separation from all that is holy and righteous will result in that individual following the path that God chooses for them. A path of righteousness and mercy. A path that is honorable. A path that leads to life, both here and hereafter.
No one realizes honor and heaven on the road that leads to hell and hopelessness; no one.
In the words of Dr. Jim Perdue, Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins, GA--
"Your direction determines your destination."
What you choose to follow you eventually find?
Will it be salvation or separation?
Will it be heaven or hell?
Will it be righteousness or wickedness?
Will it be worthwhile or worthless, WHEN you get where you're going!
May the message of the cross be lived powerfully in our lives this week!
1 Corinthians 15:58