15 May 2011

True Joy In Found In Making Right Choices


Phil 4:8-9


When you get up in the morning do you exam your present life (where you’re at today) according to the Scriptures? Or do you just rely upon the world to mold and shape your life today? These are serious questions that each and every one of us needs to ask on a daily basis! See! True joy and peace flows out of a life that seeks the LORD for direction and understanding to how we are to live according to God’s perfect will. So how important is it to examine my life according to the Scriptures? EVERYTHING...............What separates us from the rest of this fallen world?

Ø  Is it where we are born or live?
Ø  Is it who are parents are?
Ø  Is it how much money we have?
Ø  Is it the people we associate with?
Ø  Is it the car we drive or the house we live in?
Ø  Is it the jewellery we wear?
Ø  Is it my vocation or school?
The answer is: NO! The only thing that separates us from the rest of this fallen world is the saving grace through Jesus Christ and the abiding Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said to His disciples “apart from Me you can do nothing” Apart from His saving grace and sustaining love to sinners like us....we are incapable of making right decisions. Our wills want to do what the flesh desires that’s why John said.............For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:16. Jesus said “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38. This is why we need to be extra careful each and every day.......especially in today’s hustle and bustle world. Why? Because we are more accepting and open to the evil that once was shunned by the early church and the puritans of old. This is why the Proverb says “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Prov 4:23. Every single one of us is prone to fall and fail if we do thing according to me and you! This is very evident in the scriptures that I just read! The Lord has made this known to us through His holy Word so that we can better prepare to make right choices in life. LET ME ASK YOU! What is supposed to flow out of our hearts? THE ANSWER: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut 6:5. The Hebrew word for heart is ‘lebab’ this means “inner man or mind, or will” Keeping in mind the heart is a muscle that pumps blood and it has no emotions or feelings. Our love towards God is an active will that we do every day....it’s an active choice we make! We love the Lord with our active minds with our soul and strength! Our active will each day is to display Christ as our greatest treasure. Our active will is to constantly display Christ as extremely valuable and worth dying for. So let me go back to my original question! When you get up in the morning do you exam your present life (where you’re at today) according to the Scriptures? Or do you rely upon the world to mold and shape the person you’re today? See we come to another juicy nugget of information for the Christian life in this portion of Paul’s letter as he addresses the issues of unity and the Christian walk. Remember the resent events in the church that have been taking place here in Philippi (v1-6). Now! Paul moves on to another important aspect or foundation of important information for the Christian life. He addresses the very question I asked at the beginning of my message! Everything we do should never be considered until we consult the Lord first. Seeking His wisdom and strength for what is right and His perfect will for our lives. Sadly though we tend to let the world dictate our actions and influence our active wills on a daily basis!
Things like:
Ø  Sports
Ø  MTV
Ø  Computers and video games
Ø  Much Music
Ø  I Phones and I Pads and I Pods
Ø  Facebook
Ø  YouTube
Ø  Movies and Television
Ø  Twitter
Ø  Farming
Ø  Friends
Ø  School, University or the work place
Ø  Unsaved family and friends
Ø  Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres
Ø  Even the doubt in your own heart (which is you active will)

Sadly many Christians treat their lives like the story I read a while back about the carriage driver position for the Kings Son. Remember that story about the group of coach drivers applying for a job! One of them would be chosen to carry the king’s children up and down a narrow, winding road leading up to the king’s mountain-top castle. With dozens of steep drop-offs and no guardrails, it was a daunting assignment. The king’s chief supervisor asked each candidate this question: HOW CLOSE CAN YOU GET TO THE EDGE WITHOUT GOING OVER? The applicants offered various responses indicating their confidence in skill! One man boasted he could drive the horses at nearly full speed for the entire length of the road, always keeping within 6 inches from the edge. The interviewer was unimpressed. Finally, one driver stepped forward and responded, “Sir, if it’s the king’s children, I want to stay as far from the edge as I possibly can.” This man was hired for the job....HOW CLOSE DO YOU WANT TO THE EDGE BEFORE FALLING OVER THE CLIFF? This is where we need to put up the Yield Sign or the Stop sign and enter with caution! Do you realize that society teaches us (men and women...boys and girls)?
  •  God is a fairy tale and myth for people to feel good about themselves.
  • There is no such thing as absolute truth; and that all truth is equal to all men.
  • Viagra is where it’s at for men over 40
  •  Lady Gaga is a wonderful role model for children (because she expresses herself)
  • There is nothing wrong with Harry Potter movies or books (especially if you don’t mind Witchcraft)
  • Beer promote that this is where the fun happens.
  • Sow your wild oats before you get the ball and chain.
  • Casual sex is lots of fun ...........everybody is doing it.
  • Abortion is safe and there will be no side effects.
  • If it feels good!  How can it be wrong?
  • It won 10 Day Time Emmy Awards.
  • The Twilight Series is what everybody is watching these days so it must be ok.
  • It’s your time to shine...because it’s all about me.
  • Go ahead! Your one click away from experiencing paradise
  • This is the number one best selling Christian book at Hull’s Bookstore.
  • It won’t hurt.....Nobody will ever know!
Look what Paul writes to the church as he sits in a Roman prison cell! Keeping in mind! Paul is talking to believers not the unsaved world! Why? Because Satan already owns them and they are still bound in there chains. Paul gives the Christian some guidelines to follow so that you actively obey God’s commands whether you like them or not! These are active steps to walking in holiness.....something that we are actively to pursue each and every day. but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,” 1 Peter 1:15.........And Peter goes on to say “since it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16

1. PAUL SAYS ACTIVELY SEEK WHAT IS TRUE!
What does this mean? Seeking what is true in the broadest sense as it refers to the Bible..... Truth for the believer begins and ends with the Word of God, anything else is worthy of discernment and caution. Everything that is true is from God because all truth is God’s truth “thy word is truth”. Whatever God tells us to do we should do it because it’s trustworthy and reliable for the Christian life....If the word says don’t do this (whatever your situation might be)! You, don’t do it.......If the word says flee or stand firm or wait in this area of life..........As Christian’s we obey Him because what He says is for our benefit and instruction. His truth isn’t a book of maybe’s or when you get a chance! It’s for our benefit. As Kent Hughes says “whatever is true in every avenue of life, from faith to science to relationships to public life to business.”......................Why? Because He is truth!

2. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHAT IS HONOURABLE!
“Honourable” means......whatever is dignifying...this means a personal moral excellence that is worthy of honor, it’s a careful regard to integrity, righteous character! This is a character that the unsaved world really needs to see desperately in the church of Jesus Christ today! It’s not a character that seeks the approval of man, but of God. The reason being we are His representatives on the earth. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us....” 2Cor 5:20. It’s as if God is speaking through you and me to a lost and fallen world, which is the Gospel truth. Living a life pleasing to God that is displayed in our outward Behaviour because you have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus!
3. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS JUST!
Just” is defined by the character of God......it’s a right thought or action” Basically doing the right thing according to God’s perfect character.
·         If God hates sin! I must hate sin as well.
·         If God is love! I must hate what is unloving.
·         If God is holy.....I must hate what is ungodliness.
·         If God is just! I must hate what is wicked and wrong.
·         If God is true! I must hate what is untrue.
·         It’s saying no! When the world is saying yes!
Prov 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity (moral, innocent); His children are blessed after him. Making right choices not only benefits the Christian, but our family....and that could permeate into the church. The conduct of good men proclaims their sound principles.......You do this God says “his (your) children are blessed” . Good things pass on to the children by making godly right choices.


4. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS PURE!

“Pure” means to properly clean, that is, (figuratively), to be innocent, modest, uncorrupted. This is behaviour is not limited to your sexual purity, but in all areas of your moral life! From your sexuality..... to your actions...... and to your speech. This is your whole being! From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. We are to focus on what is not tainted with evil! (Rom 13:13-14) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry (wild parties, sexual orgies, brawls, riots) and drunkenness, not in lewdness (sexual immorality) and lust, not in strife and envy (jealousy, zeal). But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Rom 13:13-14

5. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS LOVELY!

“Lovely” means what is pleasing, agreeable, kind.....deeds that spring from love and inspires love in others. Paul is speaking of things that put others first over themselves.........it’s a selfless love! 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent love (means to be stretched to the limit, to be laboured) for one another, for "LOVE WILL COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS." It’s the same kind of love Jesus displayed for you and I.............found in CHAPTER 2. Always ready to forgive a brother or sister of insults or unkindness by showing a passionate love toward the body of Christ. Why? Genuine active, wilful love, will always cover a multitude of his or hers sin and your own sin.

6. PAUL SAYS TO ACTIVELY SEEK WHATEVER IS COMMENDABLE!

"Commendable” means worthy of approval, trustworthy, courtesy, deserving of praise, well spoken of, that is, reputable, good report. This is a kind of conduct that is spoken of highly by others about you and me! We as Christians need to be an example to others by living a life consistent to the gospel of peace. Again this goes back to CHAPTER 1 when Paul said “only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel” Each and every one of us is a gospel message, so we are to handle it with care by conducting ourselves in a manner that is worthy of exulting Christ! When people see you...... they think! What a trustworthy person you are.....you’re reputation speaks for itself.

Our active wills are to demonstrate a life that is TRUE....HONOURABLE....JUST......PURE.......LOVELY .........and COMMENDABLE. We are to actively apply these things to our lives .......Look what Paul says in (v9) This is why this portion of scripture is so important to the Christian life! Meditate (means) to attend, practice, to be diligent in, a habitual discipline. This should be our common practice every day! This is where we are to examine our lives according to God’s word. This is where we find unity in the church......and most of all peace of mind and holy conduct. The evidence_______________! The Apostle Paul (v9b). We have him as a testimony for the church. We have his life before our very eyes to see that it can be done. Remember what Paul said earlier? Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” Phil 3:17. You too can make right choices in life.......You too can make holiness more evident in your life.......You too can find victory, unity and peace by following the steps that God has laid out for you and me! As John MacArthur says “Believers must be disciplined to add to their faith the proper attitudes, thoughts, and actions described in this passage. Only then will they develop spiritual stability in their lives.” As Christians all our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God. Yet the enjoyment of them depends on our active will for holy conduct! The Sunday question is: How is your walk doing according to these 6 truths? Are you actively living and displaying these truths in our Life?

1 comment:

JT said...

We all try to follow these rules. I want to live as God wishes me to live. God Bless You.