Matthew 23.8-10 warns, don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
Ezra 9.10-12 says, and now, our God, after all this what can we say for ourselves? For we have thrown your commands to the wind…Whatever you do, don’t cultivate their good opinion; don’t make over them and get them to like you so you can make a lot of money and build up a tidy estate to hand down to your children.
We should want to cultivate the good opinion of men but for the singular purpose of glorifying God. Our lifestyle, our morals, values and behavior, should reflect the character, nature and ways of God Himself for we are His adopted children and we call God our Father.
John 17.17 asks, set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.
The Christian is not to live, look, speak, or work like others who do not know the One true God. Christians are to live as Jesus did for they too are children of God.
John 3.3 records Jesus replying, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he
cannot see the kingdom of God.”
In the 1970’s the evangelical Christian Church spoke much about being born again. So much, that those words began to create negative emotions toward the Church and it’s Christ. Yet, being born again or born from above or being born of the Spirit is what God in human form, Jesus, stated was required for entering into His eternal dwelling place. Why?
2 Chronicles 12.14 observes, he did evil because he was not determined to follow the LORD.
This past weekend I noticed some friends on Facebook taking a quiz that determined whether or not they would get to heaven. They all succeeded to earn their hoped for destination having their good deeds outstrip their sins by more than ten fold. No doubt this quiz was meant to be fun but it reinforces a couple of subtle but widely held beliefs.
1 Peter 4.2 observes, he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.
The focus of the Christian is to be the same focus as Jesus Christ the Lord. That focus is upon doing the will of God regardless of result or cost.
As humans we begin our lives self-focused. Everything is about us from infancy. The child portrays this truth early and often. We never evolve from this focus if we do not lose our lives by giving them over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is why He observes that, unless we lose our lives for Him and His mission, we cannot keep them for eternal life.
Almost daily we are bombarded with tragic news. Senseless killings. Natural disasters. Awful accidents. The world is broken. The obviousness that something is terribly wrong is overwhelming. We want solutions but are we looking in the right place for the answers?
Titus 1.1 records, Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness.
In this opening sentence in Paul’s letter to his friend Titus, he gives an insight into the true meaning of godliness. When most people think of godliness they think of people like Mother Theresa or Billy Graham. They also think of character associated with godliness like goodness, honesty, kindness, love, generosity.
I suppose everyone has their own list. No doubt most of us would consider ourselves somewhat godly.
2 Timothy 2.25-26 encourages, perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.
The world is going crazy because people are increasingly doing crazier things. Granted, 24-hour negative news brings to our attention more crime, more violence and more human atrocity than we ever had before but still, does it seem like the world is running amok at a greater rate than ever?
The world has been in tough places before. It would have been hard times to be on the wrong side of Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan. It would have been hard times during the black plague. It was hard times during both world wars. It is hard times for those living wherever ISIS rules or seeks to rule.
2 Kings 6.33 observes, the LORD is responsible for this disaster! Why should I continue to wait for the LORD to help?
On the eve of his deliverance the king of Israel loses his hope and gives up on God. The king had faith as long as he could but he finally reached his breaking point. All of his praying, all of his fasting, all of his trying to do the right thing culminated in nothing in his mind.