“So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.
The life to which the Lord calls us is a particular kind of life. There are principles, commandments, and standards we are commanded to obey. As it says in the verse above, we are called to “walk in the way of the good.” To drive the point home even further, the proverb adds “keep to the paths of the righteous.”
The New Testament communicates the same message: “Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippian 1.27)
As I have emphasized this week, our salvation is a matter of faith through grace. Once we have trusted in Christ, however, the next step of faith is to walk in the good way and obey his commands. Jesus says in the gospel of John that our obedience to him is a reflection of our love for him. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14.15)
In the world, many people seek their identity in how they perform and what they achieve. If they do well and achieve much, they feel good about themselves. If they do poorly and achieve less than expected, they feel bad about themselves.
Jesus calls us to a different way of living and working. In God’s design, our identity is not found in how we perform or what we achieve; rather, it is found in our relationship with him. In God’s kingdom, we work and perform and achieve, but we do so because of who we are in Christ. We do not work to create our identity; we work to express our identity.
May we have the ears to hear the words of Jesus:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing … By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15.4-5, 8)
Abide in Christ, walk in the way of the good, and bear fruit.