TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. Here at Clear View Retreat, we want to build up families so that you are better equipped to navigate the ‘norms’ and ‘storms’ of life. Drawing families closer by focusing on the hope, connection, and strength that God and His word provide is our goal. Because of that goal we started this radio spot that has now become an easy five-minute podcast that can be found on most of the podcast platforms you have access to. Whether you send a comment on fb or via one of our other contact forms, please let us know if there is a topic you would be interested in having us explore after we finish this current series - Key Truths for Families. So far in this series we have discussed that our families need to have Christ esteem, know the battle before us, stand firm, and be held together with the belt of truth.
Now continuing through our journey in Ephesians chapter 6 we come to the second piece of armor mentioned - the breastplate of righteousness. Verse fourteen says, “Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
Righteousness - defined as the quality of being morally right or justifiable - is mentioned throughout the Bible. Those two parts of the definition - morally right or justifiable - can be seen in how the Bible handles the concept of righteousness. In Ephesians 4:24 Paul explains how our newness in Christ is based in righteousness and holiness of truth, which is the imputed, justifiable part of righteousness. Additionally, Ephesians 5:9 prompts us to be fruitful in goodness, righteousness, and truth; thus, due to the Holy Spirit, we now have the ability to be morally right.
Oi, imputed righteousness, holiness of truth, behaving morally right, all of that can seem overwhelming. But, truly, once we realize that we already have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ, we can now focus on learning more about God’s Truth and how to live and relate to others in His goodness.
So, how do we do that in our families?
1. First, “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” Put on. That is a call to action. “Put on.” The breastplate is a defensive piece of armor; you have to choose to put it on. Romans 13:14 says to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh and its lusts.” To not intentionally choose Christ’s righteousness is to simply go defenseless and vulnerable to the misleading of the flesh.
2. Second, remember that the breastplate of righteousness is for our protection. The defensive breastplate in armor protects the vital organs; righteousness protects the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “[w]atch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
3. Third, we must recognize the position we hold in the kingdom of God, with fellow armor-bearers. According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, we have become the righteousness of God. We are capable of making morally right choices BECAUSE of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ even if our past is majorly flawed.
4. Fourth, we must delight in the promises and possibilities that the righteousness of God gives us. Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” How many would like peace in their homes and families?
5. And, fifth, five minute families, we must apply the knowledge of the armor of God to our parenting. As Proverbs 20:7 states, “A righteous person who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him.” We have the opportunity to establish an amazing legacy of righteousness that comes with blessings.
We hope your heart is towards your family and your desire is for their good - not just blessed physically but also spiritually. Our hearts must demonstrate righteous truths - if we seek His kingdom and allow Him to guide us in the paths of His righteousness, He will provide all that we need, whether we are in moments of triumph or trial. He will show us the way.
Life is difficult and crushing at times. The world seems against you, family relationships are stressed, and your connection to God doesn’t feel worthy of His grace. We hear you. God hears you. He stands open-armed, ready to meet you where you are. We hear this in Psalm 23:1-3, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me besides the still waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Meditate on those words and allow Him to guide you in His righteousness. Be blessed.