What Does Godliness Look Like?

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.

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Our Choices Have Consequences

2 Thessalonians 1.8 observes, with flaming fire He will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

The next verse says that God will then send to eternal punishment all of these same people. In a word Christianity defines this place of eternal separation from God and eternal suffering as hell. Hell is no longer an accepted place among people.

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Discipline and the Christian Life

Ephesians 6.4 commands fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

While this verse is geared toward fathers and their role as spiritual leaders of their home, the commands can be applied more broadly to both our personal lives and the work all Christians are to engage of disciple making.

Specifically the disciplines and instructions we are to live and teach others. What does the discipline of the Lord even mean?

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Christians Need to Stop Quitting and Start Working

Ezekiel 22.30 records, I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.

God is watching us. God is watching us to see who is working for Him and with Him to see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In the case of Israel, God looked for a man who was praying for mercy on behalf of the people and warning the people about the consequences of their disobedience in order to move increasingly more people toward obedience to God.

This work, God said, would have delayed or even thwarted His plan for punishing Jerusalem but alas, no one was found to be working on this project resulting in Jerusalem’s destruction.

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Getting God’s Help

Ezekiel 8.6 observes, son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people of Israel are practicing here, to drive Me far from My sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!

This snapshot into the life of Israel records them fasting and praying seeking God’s mercy and favor for changing their miserable situation. Difficult times has the affect of moving us to prayer. Israel was trying to market themselves to God as penitent, faithful and obedient.

Yet God sees all, not just the religious show we put on for Him.

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Another Unintended Consequence of Permissive Parenting

Proverbs 13.24 describes, the one who spares his rod hates his child, but the one who loves his child is diligent in disciplining him.

Recently I heard someone state that the constitution prohibits hate speech. Many young people would either agree with that thinking or support that amendment were someone to make such a proposal. The constitution actually prohibits the muzzling of hate speech. The constitution commands free speech.

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Bad Times and Good Times At The Same Time

Mathew 24.38 describes, in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark.

I had the recent pleasure of visiting the life size Ark built to replicate the one described in the Bible. God had Noah build an ark for saving his family and an animal remnant from God’s judgement of the entire earth for its rebellion against Him. It’s amazing the size while inside are descriptions and replications for how Noah might have housed, fed, watered and removed the waste of all the animals.

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Who is Your King?

Judges 21.25 records, in those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right.

Not much has changed in 4000 years or so. People are people with the same propensities from generation to generation and from nation to nation.

It is because our origin is from God through His creation of one man and one woman from whom all the peoples of the world have their beginning. This ideology is unique to Christianity and explains why in precept, not always in practice, Christianity stands alone in its teaching that all people are created equal regardless of gender, race, income or intelligence.

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It is Difficult to Be Faithful

Judges 14.17 describes, she cried on his shoulder until the party was almost over. Finally, on the seventh day, he told her because she had nagged him so much. Then she told the young men the solution to the riddle.

Nagging has a way of wearing us down. That explains why children use it most often because it is so effective at moving their parents to give them their way. God rewards faithfulness and even warns that only those who remain so until the end will be rewarded. Faithful until what end? Ours or the world’s I suppose.

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Christian Holy War is Still Necessary

Judges 3.2 describes, God left those nations simply because He wanted to teach the subsequent generations of Israelites, who had not experienced the earlier battles, how to conduct holy war.

The idea of holy war is not a very positive one today. While it’s quite an old concept the Muslims have made the idea immensely unpalatable. The Muslim version of holy war involves using women, children and the handicapped, in addition to men without other options for gaining heaven, through the means of suicide, for accomplishing their objectives. Their holy war is the destruction of the infidel or the conversion of the infidel through terror and fear. The god they serve is abusive, terrible and unattractive in every way. Yet holy war predates Islam.

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