Tag Archives: identification
Today’s Challenge: Watched any late night comedy TV? Have you noticed how they will often mock the things of God? Don’t laugh with them! Pray for them.
My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.
We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.
Let’s think about this first verse just a bit more this morning.
1. In our verse the believer is to choose not to walk in step with the wicked, not to stand in the way that sinners take, and not to sit in the company of those who mock God’s truth. There are negatives associated with the Christian life.
2. “Stand in the way that sinners take” is rendered as “nor standeth in the way of sinners” in the King James Bible. But the meaning is not that we shouldn’t try to impede evil doers when they set out to do evil! The idea is that we don’t identify with or join forces with sinners in their evil course.
You may have heard the story about the man who had just arrived in heaven and he was being interviewed by St. Peter. “What good deed have you done to allow you into heaven?”, asked St. Peter. “Well,” said the man, “I saw a big, scary member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club trying to steal a purse from an old lady. And I intervened!” “Wow,” said St. Peter. “You defended her? That’s was quite heroic. When did this happened?” The man said, “Oh, about 5 seconds ago.”
Today’s Challenge: The way that sinners take is away from the Lord and the truth of the gospel. Don’t physically or emotionally or intellectually side with sinners against God. You’ll lose. And you won’t be blessed!
Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #44 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 16
Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 12 each day this week.I count 24 injunctions or commands or imperatives for the believer here in Romans 12. I’m aware that the expression “critical imperative” is redundant, but I think it’s useful for what we see here in this great chapter.
We’ve seen that the believer is to offer his body as a living sacrifice, not to conform to the pattern of this world, to be transformed by the renewing of his mind, to think of himself with sober judgment, to use his gifts to build up the body of Christ, to hate as God hates, to be devoted to the body in love, to honor one another beyond yourselves, to keep one’s spiritual fervor, to be joyful in hope, to be patient in affliction, to be faithful in prayer, to share with the Lord’s people who are in need, to practice hospitality, and to bless those who persecute them.
Let’s continue our multipart study by looking at verse 15.
The sixteenth critical imperative is —
“Feelings, nothing more than feelings . . .” A popular song reminds us that we are often victims of our own emotions. “You can’t help how you feel!”, I’ve heard Christians say. No? We can’t?
The emotional life of the believer is very important. The Lord Jesus displayed various emotions in His earthly life — and we are to model every aspect of our lives after Him. Perhaps we can’t help our initial emotional response to something, but we are to have control over continuing emotions. And we can choose to identify with other believers in their joy and sorrow. This assumes that we are attentive to their emotional state and that we want to encourage them in their circumstance, whether that circumstance is joyful or mournful.
What control do we have over our emotions? From this critical imperative we must conclude that we can identify with those who are rejoicing — and join them in their pleasure. We can empathize with those who are grieving — and join them in their sorrow.
Today’s Challenge: Think of a specific believer that you know right now who is going through either joy or sorrow. How might you express your identification with that person?
Identifying with other members of the family of God might be challenging at times! Your comments?
Here’s a great Southwest Airlines commercial.
Every Sunday morning an old man walked several blocks to the church in his neighborhood. He was deaf, so he couldn’t hear the sermon, the music of the choir, or the congregational singing. “Why do you spend your Sundays in that church when you can’t hear a word?” a neighbor asked. “I want people around here to know which side I’m on,” he replied. (George W. Knight)