Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Higher Standard

A Higher Standard 
by David Brenneman 

"But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you." ‭1 Timothy 6:20-21.
Our world wants people to embrace their own standards. We even have a cliche "to each his own". We have slogans "be all you can be", "why settle for less?". 

There are supposed churches that do not preach or remotely teach the whole counsel of God in pointing the people away from their sinful lifestyles. Various forms of idolatry are actually encouraged although they are disguised. 

Twisting the word of God to keep people from the truth of God. Focusing on feelings and emotions rather than the truth of God that says there are consequences to a life that doesn't turn away from evil. 

In Jeremiah 26, he was brought before the King to be put to death because he spoke as the Lord commanded him to speak against the city because of the evil ways in which they lived.  

Our time in the world today is filled with evils on every side. We are fools if we believe otherwise. We cannot even go shopping or walking in a park without hearing the evidence for ourselves. Headlines are full, daily, of the evils of this world. Evils that are easily seen as such as well as the candy coated evils that the schemes of the Devil are presenting to this lost world.

Stirring people up towards anything but love and good deeds. Stirring people up towards selfish living and desires. 

Those in the name it and claim it camp would have people believe it's whatever you desire. It's really desiring whatever is right in God's eyes and the Spirit's teaching that is what's right, pure and true.

Quite truthfully...if God honestly gave me the desires of my heart in this here this life would probably be a disaster. I firmly believe in the passage that we need the Spirit's help in learning how to pray. Because we really do need guidance in how to do that in a fully acceptable manner towards our Holy God. 

My desires in my heart would radically change my world in ways that I could never fathom concerning the consequences thereof. So would yours. Science fiction has for years delved into the possibilities of alternate futures. 

If God gave us the desires of our hearts as it stands...we wouldn't sew the return of Jesus Christ for an exceedingly long time. We would be too full of ourselves and our pursuit of personal happiness and joy regardless of the impact on others. 

Jesus taught His Disciples, and by extension us, to prefer one another above ourselves. To set aside our desires and replace them with whatever God wants of us. It's a life lived that glorifies Jesus Christ in us. 

In his closing words of that letter to Timothy Paul told him to guard what he's been taught. This isn't the only place Paul teaches people to guard what they've been taught. 

True members of the body of Christ are to hold a higher standard of living. Holiness is that standard. 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. Forgive others as I have forgiven you. If you do not forgive others of their sins neither will I forgive you of yours. Prefer one another above ourselves. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Put on the full armor of God. Be holy as I am holy. The standard is for all who truly believe. 

Do you consider any of those things that I just wrote in your daily life?

Do you seek what it is that Jesus has you still in this life to be doing for Him?

We were bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, He died for us...we are to be living for Him. 

This Easter is a time to reflect on how life in Christ came to get started. How the standard of life began and begins in the lives of Believers.

In concluding the inauguration of what's called Communion...the bread and cup, the footwashing, the supper together with the saints...Jesus said we are blessed if we do these things. I believe that He's also referring to His time of teaching them all that He has...because it was shortly thereafter He was betrayed. 

We are indeed blessed when we observe and do all that He's commanded. When we take up our own cross and follow Him as well as when we partake of the three parts of Communion and everything else we are taught to observe and obey in.

Do you seek the higher standard that's only found in a life lived in Christ Jesus?
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation

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