Proverbs 21:21 > What is the Single Greatest Pursuit We Can Undertake?

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Author: Sir Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Does anyone find it kind of ironic that when we set off to find happiness or joy or significance or meaning or purpose or passion, we seldom find it? Instead, when we zealously pursue opportunities to love God, to declare our love of God and then to serve others and we seemingly find ourselves zealously pursuing every opportunity for giving our whole selves wholeheartedly to the Lord and his work, it is then we find what we most need? What is this zealous pursuit?

Proverbs 21:21 New American Standard Bible

21 One who pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

What are we pursuing in life?  It is not unusual to hear someone say that they are pursuing a career in some field of endeavor.  When we hear someone say this, we know that they are putting their energies and their time into study and practice of that discipline.  It means that they have a goal in front of them and that goal is what guides them in much of what they do.  Thus, the question begs to be asked, “What exactly are we pursuing when it comes to spiritual things?”  
God points us to wisdom by telling us that there are two things that are very worthy of pursuit when it comes to spiritual matters.  These two things are righteousness and loyalty.  Today we will take a closer look at what it means to pursue these two things.  We will also see in the rewards that God says come to those to zealously follow this pursuit the reason why this is exceedingly wise.
When God says to pursue these things He uses the word, “radaph.”  This word means to chase or to follow after closely and with great effort and energy.  The idea is that one is not just to pursue – but one is to overtake these things.  

The mindset is that we will not be content with a life without righteousness and without loyalty.  These are things we absolutely must have – and thus in our pursuit we are to be passionate and totally committed.  This is not a hobby or just something to add to our resume.  This is a hot pursuit that is pleased only with the eventual ‘catching’ or ‘having’ of these things.  Nothing else will do.
We pursue righteousness – which in Hebrew is “tsedequah.”  This word means righteousness abstractly – but when applied to how we live our lives it speaks of moral rectitude – of an over-zealous desire to have our lives measure up to a standard of right and good and moral that is found in God and in His Word.  

It speaks of living a life of justice in how we relate to others and especially how we relate to the poor and unfortunate.  The word refers to a moral standard that is not set according to the world and its views.  The moral standard and ethical sentiment we embrace is that which is found only in the pages of Scripture.  

Yet the righteousness we seek is not by law.  The Scriptures which speak of this righteousness say that we obtain it by faith.  It is not a set of rules – it is a person – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, we over-zealously pursue Him for only He can transform us and make us righteous.  
We also pursue loyalty.  The Hebrew word used here is “chesed” which refers to more than just a loyalty.  This is the word that most closely relates to the New Testament word grace.  It is the word that is used to describe God’s love and commitment to His covenant people.  It is easily translated, “covenant-love.”

Apostle Paul repeatedly says to us in the New Testament to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  

What we are to pursue in life is the grace of God.  We live by the grace of God – and advance in life by the grace of God.  In pursuing grace – we are kind of pursuing the One who is waiting for us to come back to our senses.  We pursue love and we pursue commitment.  We pursue a selflessness that is evidenced by the unconditional love of God in Christ Jesus.  Kind of cool here to see that even in an Old Testament proverb we are told to pursue righteousness by faith and a God who gives us such a righteousness by His loving, matchless, selfless grace.  
What will we find when we give ourselves to such a pursuit?  

We are told of three things.  

First is that we will receive life.

“Chayim” is the word for life here – and it simply means life itself.  We are made alive when we pursue these two wonderful things.  

Consider the New Testament call to us – that when we pursue Christ, Who is the ultimate source of life – the ultimate way of life – and who is the life itself – we receive eternal life.  This is the life of our God, Who alone is eternal.  We have an unmatchable quality of life that can only be received from God Himself.  

Second in our set of three blessings is “righteousness.”  

This is the same word as was used earlier – and it simply means that in seeking and pursuing righteousness – we receive our righteousness as a gift by faith – only through the grace of God.  

This does not mean we attain righteousness by our own choice of lifestyle.  The fact is we are given righteousness by a gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  We are stunned to learn that when God gives us this gift – we are just as righteous as Jesus Himself – by God’s wonderful gift – and as a result of that – we can be transformed to reflect that righteousness in all our ways.  

The third in this list of glorious benefits is honor.  

The word for honor here is “kavod” and it is the word God uses for glory.

When we pursue the proper things – it is to the glory of God – and we receive from it the honor of His working in our hearts.  What a glorious gift is ours – to receive the glory of salvation – the glory of God’s righteousness – the glory of being at peace with God – the glory of His marvelous transformation of our lives.  This is ours when we pursue the One Who in His mercy still waits for us.
Want to know what to pursue in life?  Pursue God our Heavenly Father!  

Want to know what to pursue in life? Pursue His only Begotten Son, Jesus!

Want to know what to pursue in life? Pursue our great helper, Holy Spirit!

That is the ultimate answer when all is said and done with today’s proverb.  

It is an immeasurably wise thing to pursue God, Jesus and Holy Spirit – and to pursue His righteousness by His grace.  This is both the ultimate pursuit in life and the ultimate prize!  Oh, the glories of pursuing the One Who waits for us! Oh, the joy of hugging the One Who by grace captures all our hearts.  Pursue, ye dearest saints – pursue for you will find as you do – you are gloriously hugged by the One Who loves you more than you could ever dream of being loved by!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Father God, my Guide and Guardian, illuminate my mind so I can understand how you want me to live. Your word tells me that people of integrity who follow your instructions are joyful. You have said that those who obey your laws and search for you with all their hearts are blessed and happy. I want that joy! Holy Spirit, please guard me against allowing evil to influence what I believe and do. Help me walk only in your paths. May my daily actions consistently reflect what you have said is right and righteous, good, moral and ethical. Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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