The Two Ways And Their Consequences

Psalm 1
1 How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

When you read Psalm 1 it is clear there are two ways or paths we can walk. As a believer we can follow God’s word and receive the blessings of the Lord or we can walk in the ways of the wicked. God gives us a choice but what we do with that choice has consequences.

As in Psalm 1 above it states “his delight is in the Lord’s instruction” and “whatever he does prospers”. When we study the bible and live our lives accordingly, the Lord watches over us and we prosper.

However, if you live your life like an unbeliever “you will not stand up in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous” and “the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” God’s word is clear on the consequences of our choices.

Take time today and seek the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Worship Him with everything that is within you. The consequence of that choice results in “whatever he does prospers.” Remember, God is true to His word. He will do what He says He will do. Guaranteed.

Are You A Good Example Of Being A Christian?

Ephesians 4:22-32

When we become Christians, saved by the blood of our redeemer Jesus Christ, we have an obligation to conduct ourselves accordingly. I know that can be difficult in these days and times. It is now more critical than ever that we show the world that living in the darkness of despair and rebellion is not the way to go.

Unbelievers watch us as we go about our daily lives. For some they are just looking for an excuse to justify their worldly behavior when they see a believer acting the same worldly way. Our walk with the Lord is probably the only exposure they will have to God and Jesus Christ.

So, what steps can we take to provide unbelievers with a view of life that is modeled after Jesus? The following is a brief outline of the Christian walk, which can be found in Ephesians 4:22-32. If you don’t want to explore these passages in the scriptures, you can always print out this email message and use as a road map for your daily living.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the courage, stamina, and strength to walk in love like Jesus—Steps to walking, talking and acting like a Christian:

1. Lay aside the old self which is corrupt with lusts and deceit.
2. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
3. Put on the new self which is in the likeness of God.
4. Lay aside all falsehood, speaking the truth with your neighbor.
5.Whoever steals must steal no more but rather labor instead.
6. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification.
7. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
8. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you along with all malice.
9. Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you.

Have Questions About The Great White Throne of Judgment?—Read this!

Every Christian is answerable to Jesus for how she or he chooses to live. But we will not stand before the great white throne of Revelation 20:11—that is where unbelievers will be judged. Instead, we will go before Christ’s judgment seat and give an account of ourselves.

If it seems like a contradiction to say believers won’t be judged but will stand before Christ’s judgment seat, look at 2 Corinthians 5:10. The Greek word used there for “judgment seat” is béma, which means “a place where justice is administered.” Those who believe in the Savior won’t be condemned to death, because they are saved. They will live and be accountable to Him.

Do not confuse accountability with giving a defense. We won’t defend our ungodly actions—those things we said and did that brought no honor to the Lord or His name. God likens our selfish works to wood, hay, and stubble, which are items fit only for the fire (1 Corinthians 3:13). The valuable thoughts, words, and deeds that serve the Lord are exchanged for rewards in heaven.

What we’ll be judged on is the quality of our work. God has given every believer an individual purpose, along with the personality, talents, and spiritual gifts needed to fulfill it. The question that will be answered at Christ’s judgment seat is, Did I live out my purpose to honor and glorify God?

Standing before Christ’s judgment seat is something to look forward to. We need not fear, since believers are co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17; Rom. 8:34). Because of His sacrifice, we have a right to the treasures of heaven. And the Lord is eager to bestow them as a reward for faithfulness and obedience.

A Scriptural Guide To Proper Thinking

There are many things we take for granted, and prominent among them are our thoughts. After all, they are always with us, yet we rarely stop to consider whether we are thinking correctly. Furthermore, how would we even know? What is the gauge for evaluating them?

The only sure way to know if we are thinking correctly is to align our thoughts as closely as possible with absolute truth, and that is found in the Bible.

If we’re making decisions based on lies or faulty reasoning, every aspect of our lives is affected. Since the day we were born, our minds have been programmed by what we’ve experienced and been taught. Some of it is good, but we may have developed thought patterns that are hampering our lives because they are not based on truth.

Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Then He continued by explaining that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (v. 34). Since the human race is born with a sin nature that is hostile toward God, our minds have been corrupted, and that in turn affects every other area of our lives. We can no longer trust our reasoning. Therefore, let’s consider what the Bible says about the mind.

First, the minds of the unbelieving are darkened. This doesn’t mean they lack intelligence, but they can’t understand the things of God since these are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). All those who suppress the truth about God, which He has made evident within them and through His creation, become futile in their speculations and reasoning even though they claim to be wise (Rom. 1:18-22).

In addition, those without Christ have no power over sin. Although most people are not as bad as they could be, their sin nature contaminates their motives, making all their good deeds like filthy rags in God’s eyes. To make matters worse, Satan is constantly tempting and deceiving them with worldly pleasures and pursuits, and they have no defense. However, there is hope in Christ.

Second, believers become new creations in Christ with a new mind (2 Cor. 5:17). When we believe in Jesus, repent of sin, and receive Him as Lord and Savior, we are given a new nature that is bent toward God. We will never be the person we once were because we have the Holy Spirit living within us. Although we will still continue to struggle with sin, now we have the power to obey God instead of yielding to our natural inclinations.

Being a new creation in Christ also applies to our minds (1 Cor. 2:15-16). We are now able to understand the things of God; however, He doesn’t instantaneously change how we think. It’s a process, and we have a role in it. After salvation we may still be encumbered by wrong thought patterns, old habits, a worldly perspective, and bad attitudes, but God has provided what we need to be transformed—His Word. It’s when we continue in the Word, as Christ said, that we’ll know the truth and be set free from faulty thinking as well as sinful behaviors.

Third, without a renewed mind, a Christian will think like the world. Some believers are worn out with their efforts to overcome sin. The problem is that they are working on the externals but have failed to address the internal problem—their thinking. The only way to overcome destructive thought patterns and deceptions is to think biblically.

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Christ calls us to stop adopting the culture’s values, philosophies, and ideas because He’s working to conform us into His image, not that of the world, and it all begins in the mind (Rom. 8:29).

Every time you read the Bible, God is reprogramming your mind with truth so you can be set free from old thought patterns and begin to think rightly. The result is a life filled with trust in the Lord and victory over sin.

Engagement with Scripture is a personal essential. It’s also a crucial function of the church. Not only must pastors faithfully teach God’s Word (2 Tim. 2:15), but believers should constantly remind each other of its life-giving contents: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). When you store up God’s Word in your heart and speak it into the lives of others, powerful transformation is possible.

If you’ll continue in Scripture, you’ll discover that it not only sets you free but brings delight to your soul, wisdom to your mind, and blessings to those with whom you share it.

(Reprinted with permission | Charles Stanley | In Touch)