218. Kingdom culture of righteousness.
'For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.' ( Romans 14:17) Every nation has a culture that is unique to that nation. (The unique culture of the nation of Israel has been shaped mostly by the Laws of God and to some extent by the traditions of men.) The Kingdom of God also has an unique culture but it is not a matter of what we eat, drink or wear but about 'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit'. Righteousness is one of the distinct cultures of heaven because 'righteousness and justice are the foundations of God's throne'. ( Psalm 89:14) The hosts of heaven are robed in righteousness and their mission is to establish righteousness, wherever heaven rules! Now that the kingdom of heaven has colonised earth, all who have become subjects of the kingdom are required to clothe themselves with righteousness and are expected to do what is right and just. 'Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ...' ( Colossians 3:12) The King wants righteousness to prevail throughout his realm, both in heaven and on earth, because 'righteousness is the Sceptre of his Kingdom'. ( Hebrews 1:8, Psalm 45:6). Those who seek to enter his kingdom, just to get their needs met, are admonished to seek righteousness over resources: "Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' ... But seek first ( to enter) his kingdom and ( to wear) his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." ( Matthew 6:31-33) Having believed the Gospel, we were credited with the righteousness of Christ, so that we in turn, may do what is right and just in the eyes of God and men. But there are those who don't care to do what is right and just, inspite of knowing the righteous standards of God. The day is coming when God's kingdom will be purged of all unrighteousness. "The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." ( Matthew 13:41-43) As 'ambassadors of Christ' ( 2 Corinthians 5:20), we have been called to represent the Kingdom of heaven on earth and exhibit its culture of righteousness. Amen.