21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
Proverbs 21:21 (ESV)
Tim Duncan had a great nickname – "The Big Fundamental." Everything he did as a basketball player expressed itself in soundness. He mastered the basics.
It was never style over substance with Tim. Duncan's commitment to mastering the fundamentals made him powerful, legendary, transcendent for 20, winning-marked seasons.
God brings fundamentals too – big, epic ones. They appear all over Scripture, span milleniums and show up in the life of Jesus transcendently. He wants us to have Tim Duncan-like soundness and enjoy a massive career of victories in life. Here's one fundamental for today:
When we pursue righteousness and kindness, we find life, righteousness and honor.
Let's break down this fundamental:
PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS: This means pursuing the Righteous One, asking Him to give you some of His, to make you fully righteous too. It means a commitment to follow Him well, to imitate His moves and obey His commands. It simply means to aim to play and be like Jesus.
PURSUE KINDNESS: This means letting love, mercy and grace dominate your life, bringing those things consistently to the way you relate to others. To be kind means you touch people with love, mercy and grace every day. It means you love people and use things, not the other way around.
RECEIVE REWARD: God promises good reward for those who pursue righteousness and kindness. It comes in three big buckets: life, righteousness, honor.
LIFE comes to the one who pursues righteousness and kindness. This means qualitative life, an abundant life – one that's truly rich, rewarding and satisfying.
RIGHTEOUSNESS comes to the one who pursues righteousness and kindness. This means right standing before God is lifetime-guaranteed when I pursue the Righteous One. Jesus' righteousness gets applied to me.
HONOR comes to the one who pursues righteousness and kindness. That means honor will come after me. I won't have to chase it down. My Heavenly Father will see to it. How comforting and satisfying is that?
Reflect: Have you got a good grasp of life's fundamentals? Are you confident in your reward? Which fundamental – righteousness or kindness – needs a little more work in you? Ask God for His coaching help with the fundamentals, and get to work.
A prayer to consider: LORD, help me to be about the fundamentals, Your fundamentals. Thank you for Jesus, the Big Fundamental, who marks the way and offers rich reward. Through Your Spirit in me, I'm going to practice the fundamentals and live by them each day for You. Amen.