Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to be a Man or Woman Who is Blessed of God

The Blessed Man Loves the Lord’s Truth  AND  Avoids Trouble

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly….

Eve walked in the counsel of the ungodly.  She went near the forbidden tree where the wily serpent awaited her. 

nor standeth in the way of sinners…….

Eve stood in the way of sinners.  She stopped walking and stood there and listened to the devil’s arguments.  Oh, the devil spoke cunningly.  He didn’t come out and say, ‘I hate you and want you to turn from God and worship me.’  He asked her questions that acted as though God was not entirely truthful with Eve, and that God was keeping good things from her. 

nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful……

Eve sat down and joined the counsel of the ungodly.  She fell under the devil’s evil spell and believed the his cunningly devised fable.

In short, Eve walked by a place where the ungodly lived.  She should have avoided that place all together once she knew it was forbidden,

Eve not only walked by the forbidden place, she stood there to listen to the snake question and call God a liar.  Why didn’t she stand up and defend God’s truth instead of allowing Satan to question God’s truth?  Probably she was just to weak to do anything.  The devil and cohorts are powerful.  It was utterly stupid or arrogant of Eve to go anywhere near the forbidden place.  For whatever reason, Eve listened so long that she was convinced.  She ate the fruit, and then set out to convince her husband to eat of the fruit as well.   (Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  Psalm 1:1)

 In short, Eve was drawn into sin.  She became a servant of the snake, and she went to her husband and drew him into sin.  Then, their children were born in sin, and so has the world been ever since.

 It is sort of like a Hollywood horror movie where the vampires or zombies take over the world.  (I watched a few of those movies on black and white TV when I was a kid.  I absolutely do not watch them now.  I shudder to think how bad they are on the big screen and in color.)

 Eve’s story gives us a history of the actual events that happened and an example of disobedience that brought sorrow and suffering to all humanity.  When we hear of the ‘world that perished’, we think of the world that was drowned in the global flood in Noah’s day.  But, we could also think of the world that perished when Eve sinned.  The world of perfection was gone. 

 The devil has not changed his tactics.  He is still a liar.  He still uses the same strategy. 

He entices people to walk in the council of the ungodly.  ‘Just walk by and take a peek,’ he says.  ‘What harm can there be in that?  If you don’t really know what is going on, who are you to judge it as wrong?  And, with your life and work schedule, you cannot afford to miss out on something that will give you pleasure and help you forget your troubles and cares for just a little while.’ 

Another despicable but effective tactic the devil uses is coveting, also called jealousy.  Today class-war-fare is global.  The poor hate the rich and look to the government to equal things out.  To the poor I would say this.  Forget the rich.  Forget the government.  Remember God.  God is the one who created you, and God is the One who will care for you.  Don’t let demanding a pittance from the government take up the time you could be spending growing as a Christian.  Don’t be like the one named ‘Foolish Heart’

 Foolish Heart walks by acquaintances who are indulging in something worldly.  The next thing Foolish Heart knows he is standing there gawking at something ungodly.  ‘Looks like fun doesn’t it?’  says the devil.  Or, he says, ‘That looks interesting and you might learn something.’  Or, he says, ‘Those are the right people for you to get to know.  It could really help your career or job prospects.’  Soon, Foolish Heart is drawn in to the point that it sits and relaxes in the situation.  ‘This isn’t so bad,’ Foolish Heart tells himself.  He relaxes.  He listens.  Sooner than he ever thought possible, Foolish Heart has joined the ranks of the ungodly.  He may have found a source of undeserved income either from the government or illegal activity.  He may have found an immoral activity that brings him pleasure for a season.  Like Lot, Foolish Heart would still be a saved man if ever he was saved to begin with, but he is still sitting in a seat by those who reject Gods teachings and boundaries with every thought in their hearts and minds.  Some reject Him openly.  Others reject more subtly, simply questioning God’s word here and there, His authority another place, and His mercy other places. 

 The beginning of walking in the counsel of the ungodly begins in the mind.  Every Christian who wants to avoid walking in the counsel of the ungodly must begin by delighting themselves in the law of Lord.  This delight comes and is maintained by meditating day and night on the things God has told us in His word.

 There truly is a battle for the minds of all people.  For the lost, the battle is to keep them from even considering the Bible and its teachings as the way of redemption and reconciliation between God and the individual human being.  For the Christian the battle for the mind is to at least distract them from some of the Bible truths and instructions for living.  They may be saved, but perhaps the devil and the world will be able to distract them from the importance of conforming to the image of Christ.  After all, a Christian who walks like the world, talks like the world, and acts the world will not be an example of the differences between the saved and the lost.  Walking, sitting, or standing in the counsel of the ungodly all decrease a Christians personal witness to the world.  It makes trivializing the salvation message much easier to the people of the world.  It makes for a watered down version of Christianity.  It allows the devil to gain a stronghold in the youngest generation.  Lot escaped with his life from the destruction of the city, but I suppose he would have rather perished than faced what happened afterward.  The thought that probably ran through his mind like a video on repeat was, ‘If only I had never walked by Sodom to see what was going on…….   Take heed from Eve.  She strolled by the forbidden tree and look what happened.  Take heed from Lot.  He strolled down to Sodom to look the place over.  The next thing he probably knew he was a powerful man sitting in judgment at the gates of the city.  The next thing he knew he was a homeless man with immoral daughters.

 There is no forbidden place by which a Christian can safely walk.  Evil is like the tide going out.  When you wade in the water you may get sucked out with the tide.  When you get close to evil you will be sucked into it.  Keep your feet on the stable land of obedience to God and faithfulness to His instructions.

 If you want to change the world for the better, the change begins with yourself.  Take the Bible seriously.  If the Bible says we are to do something, then that is what we are to do.  If says we are not to do something, then it is important that we do not do it!  Make it a constant goal to let your own heart be changed to be more like Christ.

Know the Gospel.

Preach the gospel by how you live.

 Take these things to heart:

 God is Truth

God communicated the truth to us in the Bible.

 Christians are to

Know the Truth – which is to know God and what He says in His book.

Conform to the image of God

Communicate the truth of God’s word to others

 The constant goal of a committed Christian should be to walk closer to Jesus.  Christians who seek to set the pace of their own steps to match the pace of the steps of Jesus will have a better Christian walk.  You want to be in step with Christ on the days your life is going fast and furious, and on the days it is slow and boring.  Whatever is happening in your life now, do your best to get in step with Jesus and stay there.  It is human nature to want to run through the rough times, and linger in the times of joy.  The correct pace or speed with which you pass through something, good or bad, is the pace that Christ sets for you.  Commit yourself to a regime of Bible study and meditation.  Any spare thought should be on Christ and His word, and not to forget scheduled time for Bible study. 

 Christians need to strive to:

Stay away from temptation – don’t think about it and don’t even walk near things that might tempt you

Stay in step with Christ – let Him set the pace for what is happening in your life today – and cast the cares of tomorrow upon Him.  Remember, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew 6:34

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

I am weak, but Thou art strong;

 Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

 I’ll be satisfied as long

 As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.


Just a closer walk with Thee,

 Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,

 Daily walking close to Thee,

 Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,

 If I falter, Lord, who cares?

 Who with me my burden shares?

 None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.


When my feeble life is o’er,

 Time for me will be no more;

 Guide me gently, safely o’er

 To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.