Saturday, February 1, 2020

You are what You Eat

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 
It is possible to spend your whole life knowing about the truths of God and never experiencing any of them. Simply knowing about them does not mean that they have become a part of your life. Here is the important question: What are you doing with the word of God? Some people allow themselves to come under the influence of ungodly thinking to the point that God's Word makes no difference to them. If you seek your counsel from ungodly persons, you will find yourself moving away from the direction God's Word commands. If you intentionally seek out sinners as your companions, they will lead you down paths that take you far from God. If you choose to join those who are scornful, you will eventually become cynical. The righteous man does not find encouragement in the opinions of others but in God's Word. He is not content with a surface knowledge of Scripture but meditates on it day and night until he is satisfied that what he reads reflects his own experience. He becomes like a fruit tree standing firmly on the bank of the river. The tree is well nourished and produces delicious fruit and bountiful leaves. People come from miles around to sit in its shade and eat its fruit. If you allow God to implement His Word in your life, others will draw encouragement from you. The more you grow in God's righteousness, the stronger you will become. A constant stream of people will seek you out because they know that your life will be a blessing. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Many of you have heard it. But if you haven't,  here it is:  Garbage in garbage out.  Blackaby accurately points it out about our lives.  Whom you choose to surround yourself with will inevitably impact the person you become. 

It really doesn't apply to our going to public schools but certainly does for what the world calls higher education.  We choose,  or have the opportunity to choose, the place that will influence our thinking.  The layman's term is education but the reality is we are interested in intentionally altering our thinking along a specific path.

Within that scope throughout that time our minds are willingly shaped to the desired outcome.  We go to school for Medical knowledge and through work and perseverance obtain a degree and title.  
Within that scope we developed relationships that strengthened us and stretched us. 

Even if you didn't go to a school for a degree you went to school...the school of life.  You developed relationships.  

The full picture is that those relationships developed you too. 

If you choose less that stellar people to be around you will find it exactly like Blackaby said.  Scripture has warnings along these lines.  

Realistically when you look at the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees you see a group of misguided people encouraging one another in wrong thinking. But as always happens around Jesus a few had doubts as to the way of thinking they were taught.  They sought Him out...remember Nicodemus?

Among those Pharisees was a young man named Saul.  We don't read of him by name in the four Gospels but by his own admission of his former life and training he was there when Jesus did what we read.  Remember too that he says he had seen Jesus...and yes he was on the wrong side of the fence...but he was there throughout the ministry of Jesus.  Just as is required to be called an Apostle. 

Be careful of who you associate with.  It may seem like you have all the right intentions in befriending them but if you aren't wearing the whole armor of God they might truly cause you to stumble. 

We aren't to avoid the world.  We are to reach out to those in it.  But we are also warned that people can be dangerous. 

It's still called Spiritual Warfare for a reason.  People who can turn on you can hurt you.  We are warned but at the same time encouraged to reach out to a lost world with the Gospel news that Christ came to save sinners like them and us.

If your mindset isn't good as a Christian then sit down and look at who and what is influencing you. If you have anger issues as a Christian then ask yourself why.  Are you angry for a Biblical reason or a personal reason? Is it because you are sulking because you asked and God said no? Or He said to wait?  Christians are no different than the rest of the world in throwing tantrums with God.  We hold onto being angry and, my friend, all it does is hurt us.

Cultivating good relationships brings about healthy wellbeing.  You seek happy people for a reason.  Be honest, you avoid unhappy people for the same reason. 

Show those around you the light of Christ.  Some will like it some will not.  It depends on how you do it.  What does that mean?

My friend the optical world is expressed in gradients. Look at this example.  You awake from a deep sleep.  If it's abrupt as in someone turning on a slew of lights an you have no real way to shield your eyes it's both painful and annoying.  If you are allowed time to adjust then it's pleasant. 

Sharing the Gospel through our relationships is much the same thing. 

But also consider some you will share with will try to insist on you covering your light up.  In which case YOU are the one who will get used to the diminished light and YOU will be the one negatively impacted by it. 

Prayer goes where we cannot in a relationship.  You shine your light in what you do and in what you think.  But as the Disciples were told there will be times when fervent prayers are required to go farther in a situation or relationship. 
God the Spirit can go places we can't. 

Take a look at the people you surround yourself with.  How are they influencing you? How are you influencing them?

Because, whether or not you realize it, influencing is happening.  What you take in is what comes out. 

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