Monday, November 27, 2023
The Set Example
The Set Example
by David Brenneman
"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
1 Peter 4:10.
"But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." Ephesians 5:3-5.
"So is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “Was I not joking?”" Proverbs 26:19.
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16.
"but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6.
Wow...I certainly am not one to be able to find a path to the Scriptures as many men of God whom I have known can do or have been able to do.
So many people tend to not take the Word of God seriously. While there might be a time and place for humor...care must be taken to not tarnish the name of Jesus Christ to the world by our words, deeds, and actions.
We already have read of taking every thought captive in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 and the reasons why. We are here in this life to represent Christ to a fallen world. We're not here to promote idolatry in any fashion or form. We've been chosen by God to be children of God not to participate in the deeds of darkness.
The Scriptures tell us of the horrific abilities of the tongue. Of how it can build people up or tear them down. Yet the seriousness of that teaching gets lost when it's either convenient or when society or social pressures dictate.
Growing up there was indeed the peer pressures to conform to how to treat others and it had nothing to do with Godly teaching. In as far back as elementary school children get taught how to use words to harm others and to get others to do your bidding. There's Scripture that tells us to avoid abusive speech in Ephesians 4:31 "All bitterness, and rage, and wrath, and clamor, and abusive speech, must be removed from you, together with all wickedness.".
We are to live life in Christ in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Glorify our Father in Heaven can be read as praise our Father in Heaven.
As directed to write in other posts, so it's repeated...we justify too much in our lives to please the world around us rather than God.
Too many professing Christians are living lives that aren't much different than those in the world. You cannot tell them apart.
Which is extremely dangerous! Jesus testified that MANY will say to Him that they did many things in His name and HE will tell them to depart for He never knew them.
Do you, my Dear Reader, want to be known by the Lord Jesus Christ or be known by the world?
Are you going to be told you represented Jesus well or will you find nothing but shame on that day of review?
Course jesting...there's no place for it in Christ. Joking about hating others for any reason has no place for it in Christ. There's no joking about human lives in Christ. We are to live lives in Christ that reflect Christ. We are to speak words that edify, that lift up one another in love.
So what that the world will think us to be odd or weird. They are in darkness. They are going to. All Christians are in training to become fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus. We are to be living transformed lives. We aren't to be living conformed lives.
It's a very sore subject to me when people joke about hating other people for things as stupid as rivalries. I was subject to a lot of verbal abuse in regards to this when I was younger. As a young adult onward I have seen such verbal abuse hurt others in regards to their testimony in Christ.
When you participate in the deeds of darkness do you not realize that you are harming your own testimony in Christ?
When you justify your actions, even your purchases, to embrace idolatry, do you not think about that testimony?
Growing in Christ, because of all that He did to save us, forgiving each of us for our sins, is to be our most important priority. We're not to be conformed to the world. We're not to seek to fit in. We're aliens in this present world. The command from Jesus is firm. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
Learning how to be like Him and teach others to do the same.
The set example is Jesus Christ Himself.
It probably steps on toes...but when you get dressed are you promoting idolatry? Paul said that if he did anything to cause someone to stumble he would never do it again. Would anyone say that of you?
We're to live life in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven, period.
The deeds that we do in our bodies that were done in obedience to Jesus are the only valuable things that matter.
The set example is Jesus Christ.
Set your mind on things above and not on the things that are of this world. Doesn't say anything about when you get time, to consider it.
Are you living a life that shows Jesus to others or a life that lifts you up?
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
As I heard Dr. David Jeremiah say in his study on Romans 8. Jesus is either resident or President of your heart. Which is He? You must choose who's acceptance means more. Jesus or the world.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.