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Stephen spoke tonight about ‘the difference of a righteous man.’ Spiritual health is an essential part of our wellbeing. We were created by God to be holy and sinless and to be in relationship with Him, but Rom 3:23 reminds us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. If there were such a thing as a ‘sin scanner’ (rather like the scanners at airports which are looking for metal), we would all set them off beeping! But God has persevered with humanity and longs for us to be restored to righteousness.
Noah is described as a righteous man who was blameless among the people and who walked with God. (Gen 6:9) This enabled him to make a difference by obeying God and building an ark as commanded. When we allow God to fill our vessels, we too can make a difference in our world.
A vessel can hold many things (rather like the capacious bag owned by Mary Poppins or the delivery bags on the Deliveroo adverts!) and often this is where sin creeps in to our lives, contaminating us from within (something which is not necessarily visible to others.) Ps 15:1-5 reminds us that God is looking for those whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous. He wants to dwell in each of us so that His righteousness is given to us (Rom 3:22). James reminds us that if we want to be righteous, this involves confession of sin to each other, prayer for each other and a gentleness in bringing back those who have strayed. (James 5:16-19) He also reminds us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. We can make an enormous difference through prayer as we live in right relationship with God.