Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Way of Righteousness

Scripture: Psalms 1 v 1 - 6: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
 2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
 3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 
 4  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
 5  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
 6  For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."

Walking in the way of the righteous does not come naturally the moment we are born again.  We have lived in rebellion and sin all our lives and we need to undo all those activities and find out what Jesus allows or wants to discard.  We must learn the things that please Him and do them.

His first task is to separate us from ungodly people and their counsel.  The person who successfully achieves this is called blessed.  The ungodly crowd put stumbling blocks in our way and prevent other sinners from joining us through mockery, scorn and ridicule.  They will get their just rewards.

The Lord wants us to spend time in His Word, The Holy Bible, through which He can guide us through ungodly minefields.  The enemy of our souls, the Devil, works through the ungodly people to trap us like he did Eve.  He sowed doubt through alternative opinions in her mind which caused her to question God, and eat the forbidden fruit.

There are areas in everybody's lives that are "forbidden fruit" for us.  It's the sin that we easily justify and cover up with fig leaves.  When we partake in it we feel shame but it returns disguised as acceptable and entraps us again.  If we replace that sin with quality time with Jesus reading the Word and learning His ways, distancing ourselves from those who have no conscience of ungodly behaviour, we will overcome the flesh and have peace.

Then we will be like trees planted near rivers of water, which means that Jesus will bless us with spiritual knowledge and our leaves, our growth, will be abundant, and we will prosper and not wither.  We cannot sit in a church and passively absorb its ways, we must be out in the world doing the Father's will.

This week I was shopping in the Mall and could not find the item I was looking for.  I was directed to a store I had not intended to visit.  While in there a young African man approached me to do some market research.  In our chat he said he was a heavy smoker and wished he could stop.

It was just out of the blue but I was able to share with Him the testimony of how Jesus had set me free of smoking years ago, how He had healed me and changed my life.  He handed me his personal cell phone and asked for my contact details saying he wants to know more about Jesus.  God sent me there to connect with this man.  I never did find the item I was looking for.

We have the knowledge of salvation within us.  If we don't use it, it becomes stale and withers.  Give it away and it will double in strength.  Plant a seed that sets a soul searching in the right direction and the Lord will send others across his path to confirm the word.

I am reminded of my old dentist, a lovely Jewish man who I did not see as often as I should.  However, when I did go I shared with Him about Jesus and aspects that would appeal to Jewish people.  Like how the Temple will be rebuilt, and how Jesus would rescue the Jews at the Battle of Armageddon.  This man asked me if I knew another patient of his.  I said no, never heard of him.  He said its quite remarkable because this other man also only visits his surgery occasionally, but it always seems to be on or near the days I visit.  And he and I always tell him the exact same things like we have rehearsed them!  It's just the Lord confirming His Word to this dear Jewish man.

It's those moments that give encouragement to keep telling people about Jesus.  So many of them are hungry to hear the truth about Him.  Jesus says open your mouth to speak and I will fill it with the right words to say.  He knows the heart mind and need of everyone you meet and needs you and me to be available to witness to His truth.  This is the way of righteousness that the godly people walk.  It's not just praise and worship, sitting in church hearing sermons, putting pennies in collection baskets, its reaching the lost out there who never come into the church.

The ungodly are our government in particular.  They wallow in their corruption without shame not realising their way is going to perish.  It's going to collapse and their evil deeds will be punished by God in this world or the next.  They may seem to have every luxury but their pride will bring them down.  
Obadiah v 2 - 4: "Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
 3  The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
 4  Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD."

The Lord knows the way of the righteous and as long as we are on that godly path we are under His protection in every way.  When pride wells up we think we can go it alone and we fall into the ditch of trouble, confusion and destruction.  Let us rather do things God's way and avoid the problems that come from disobedient self-will.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You that 43 years ago today I was translated into Your Kingdom and I have learnt much at the feet of Jesus by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What an amazing journey it has been.  Sometimes like a rollercoaster ride, other times a peaceful float down a stream, but always exciting.  I pray for those You are seeking that they may open their hearts for You to find with Your goodness.  For those who have walked with me on the way, and been used by God to help, thank you, you are precious and much loved.  May all be uplifted in the everlasting arms of Jesus.  Amen.