Devotion – June 23, 2015 – The Reward of I'll Gotten Gains

proverbs10_2Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.
—Proverbs 10:2

Have you ever been tempted to cut a few corners to make a few extra bucks or maybe not mention something negative when selling something.  A few years ago there was a man named Bernie Madoff who pretended to be a brilliant invester, but who was actually running a ponzi scheme.  He made millions while many people lost all their savings.  In Bernie’s case, he was caught and is now spending life behind bars.  Though not all dishonest people get caught.  Is it just a question of whether you get caught or not?

The Bible says no.  In fact, in the above Proverb, it doesn’t even say deceiving people to get a treasure is wrong (though it is), it says the ill-gotten treasure itself is of no value.  What the proverb is speaking to is the reality that all the treasures of the world are fleeting and will pass away.  In the end, money won’t help as you stand before God…but righteousness delivers from death.  So, what is righteousness?

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
-Romans 3:20-22

Saving righteousness is not about doing the right thing or even following God’s Law, for none of us would ever be justified before God through our works.  Our righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  It is a righteousness by faith, not by works which delivers from death.

Heavenly Father,

Help me to be honest in all my dealings, to neither steal nor deceive for personal gain.  Forgive me for the times I have sought money over honesty.  I know that by my own works I could never stand before you.  Thank you that I do not have to, that you offer forgiveness and righteousness through faith in your Son.  I know that I righteous in Your sight, not because of what I have done, but what Christ has done.

Amen.

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