Encouragement from the Word

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth"
III John 1:4

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Bible: Lesson Plan for Life

The Bible is an inherently practical book. It gives us instructions on relationships, attitudes, priorities and facing adversity. It tells us how to live. When we read the Bible we are not left questioning what we need to do to please God. It's right there in black and white.

 Some of my favorite verses are those that summarize concisely how to live a godly life. For example, Micah 6:8, which is the theme verse for my blog, says, "He has shown thee, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." My prayer each day is that I would, in the power of the Holy Spirit, be able to live this verse out.

Another passage of scripture that is full of practical advice for living is Romans 12:9-13. "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."  To me this reads like a lesson plan for living. Could it be any more clear and direct? I don't think so. When you get a minute, take the time to read the entire 12th chapter of Romans. It is filled with wisdom and direction on how to live a life that pleases God.

Ephesians 4 is a chapter that talks about putting off the old self and putting on the new self, created in Christ Jesus. It says we are to live as children of the light for we are no longer in darkness. Verses 29-32 speak specifically about our tongue, which tends to get us in so much trouble! It says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God for whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:29-32

And then, there is another of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:8. It says "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." I don't want to ruin all your fun, but, how about thinking about this verse the next time you are sitting in front of the T.V., reading the latest celebrity magazine or watching your favorite movie. It may just change the way you spend your free time.

There is a beautiful passage in Colossians that I have highlighted, underlined and marked with a star in my Bible. I think it so eloquently describes what the life of a true "Christ follower" should look like. It goes like this, "Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtus, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

And finally, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 is a short passage that contains a wealth of wisdom. It says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

In summary, be joyful, patient, kind, forgiving, loving, prayerful, compassionate, faithful, fervent, thankful, humble, kind, gentle, pure, encouraging and holy. Seem like an impossible task? It certainly would be if we relied on our own strength, for we are sinful and fallen people. However, there is victory in Christ Jesus and we are infused with Holy Spirit power. He will give us the ability to live lives that are a fragrant aroma to him and to those around us. Go forward and be salt and light in your corner of the world today.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Beth! You're right. It is right there in black and white, isn't it. So why do we make it so complicated? Or worse yet, ignore it or behave as though it isn't really there? "Did God really say...surely not..."


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