How should a Christian live? Some believe the Christian life is rules & regulations. Just don’t do the wrong stuff & you are living the Christian life. For example, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t gamble, etc. I’m not suggesting we do those things but, the Christian life is more than just not doing something. The apostle Paul said living the Christian life is what you do as opposed to what you don’t do. Paul wrote “…the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Our lives should be filled with goodness, peace & joy. Think about the last one….joy…is your life marked by joy? Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. But, you wouldn’t know that by observing most Christians. Someone has said that if we are happy, we might want to tell our face. :)
So, today, instead of focusing on “do’s & don’ts,” focus on goodness, joy & peace. If you do that, that takes care of the rules & regulations.
It’s when got the devil kicked out of heaven. He decided he wanted to be God and God kicked him out.
Many historians say if Richard Nixon had simply admitted he made a mistake, the American people would likely have forgiven him. He didn’t and he resigned.
Pride can prevent someone from admitting a mistake…. asking for help…. being teachable…
The Bible says of King Uzziah, “But when he had become powerful, he also became proud..” (II Chronicles 26:16). And, when King Uzziah became prideful, he burned incense in the temple that was meant for the priest to do. And, Uzziah was punished.
And, the sad thing with pride, is when a person has pride, their pride often won’t let them admit they are too prideful. It can’t be very difficult to talk to… get through to… reason with.. a person filled with pride.
We all need to do, on a daily basis, ask the Lord to convict if pride is becoming an issue in our lives. We don’t want to let pride ruin our lives. Instead, Jesus said Christians should be filled with humility.
At times, when a person begins to think too highly of themselves, someone may say “Don’t get too big for your britches.” That’s a warning we all need to heed. Don’t let pride be your downfall.
Have you ever smelled something and it almost took your breath away? Maybe you smelled something and it was so bad, it affected your appetite. Over the summer school holiday, Holli and I walked at Dellinger Park early in the morning. Last week, as we were walking one morning, I experienced three different types of smell.
The first was a smell that brought back memories for me but, it wasn’t necessarily a good smell. It was the smell of cows. There is a pasture adjacent to Dellinger and as we walked I could smell… well… you have an idea what I could smell. For most people, that was a “yukkkk smell.” But this smell brought back some memories for me. Memories of what we called “the barn smell.”
Then, I had an another “smell” experience. As we walked, a lady passed Holli and me. As she walked past, I could smell her perfume. I have no idea what kind it was but, this lady most definitely smelled better than the cow smell.
Then, I had another “smell” experience. As we finished our walk, I smelled hamburgers being grilled and they smelled GOOD. Someone was grilling burgers for a ballgame.
So, I experienced three types of smell. Paul said in II Corinthians 2:15, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…” Think about that… “we a fragrance of Christ…” What type of smell radiates from your body?
I love a fall smell. When I go to the hospital in Cartersville, they have some type of air freshener at the main entrance that smells GREAT!! I could just stand there and take in that smell. What smell radiates from your body? Do people want to hang around you because the smell your Christian life is producing is great or, are people repelled by the foul smell of your Christian life.
Let’s walk closely enough with the Lord that our lives smell beautiful and are a blessing others.
The other night, I watched the movie “Pale Rider” for about the one-jillionth time. In the movie, a Preacher (Clint Eastwood) shows up out of nowhere and begins helping some people take on a powerful sheriff and his deputites. This Preacher is different because he knows how to fight and is quick with a gun. The Preacher has stayed with one family and has gotten to know them. Toward the end of the movie, there is a scene where a lady looks at the Preacher and asks, “Who are you?”
The Preacher responds, “It really doesn’t matter, does it?”
The question the lady asked the Preacher is a good question for us; “Who are you?”
You may say, “Oh, I know EXACTLY who I am.”
But do you? Or, are you trying to be someone that you really aren’t. Lots of people go through life trying to be something they aren’t and when they do that, they are never happy.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul said, “God has appointed me as the apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul knew his purpose and mission in life.
God has a purpose for you as well.
Today, are you trying to be something or someone that you aren’t? God made you with a special gift-set. God knows who you are. Be yourself. As one man put it, “Be yourself… everyone else is taken.”
What are your goals today?
If you are like most people, some of them are to go to work, maybe you have a project or two to get started on, you need to pay some bills, since school is about to start, maybe you need to purchase some school supplies etc….
But what, is the most important thing to you? For all of us, it should be to seek and glorify God. In the book of II Chronicles 19:3, the Bible says of King Jehoshaphat, that he had “committed himself to seeking God.” I love that verse! Jehoshaphat was hungry for God.
In Psalm 1, the Psalmist says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners nor sit in the seat of scoffers. His pleasure, is the in the law of Lord” (Psalm 1:1-3).
What is your pleasure in today? Like Jehoshphat, are you seeking God? Ok, you might ask, “what do I need to do to seek God?” First, commit yourself to the Lord. Second, read God’s word. Third, get involved in a local church.
I encourage you today… put God first. Make seeking God the priority of your life.
Years ago, I was talking with a Minister that I greatly admire. We were talking about an issue and he said, “A fighting man always has to have a fight.” He was right.
I have known some people that just always seem to be upset about something. They always seem to be protesting something. And, while there are times to take a stand on something, we shouldn’t be arguing, protesting constantly.
Proverbs 20:3 says, “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”
Notice the verse says “Only fools insist on quarreling.” Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples if we love one another. Let’s take a stand when we need to do but, let’s focus more on loving one another.
Today, each one of us will have thoughts & will say things. Hopefully, most of our thoughts will be good but, because we are human, some of them may not be as good as they should be.
We also will say things. Hopefully, most of those will be good but we may slip & be critical of someone that we shouldn’t be. And, some may even let a profane word fly & immediately regret it.
The Psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength & my redeemer” ( Psalm 19:14).
Today, let’s ask the Lord to guard our words & thoughts.