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Who are The Faithful?

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Loyal
Wednesday, May 31, 2017, 6:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 101 (Select vv. ESV).

Far from Me (vv. 1-4)

I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.​

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should walk with integrity. What this means is that we should conduct our daily lives with honesty, uprightness, honor, decency, and morality. We should not even look (gaze) at anything which might cause us to stumble or to lead us into sin. We should keep our minds pure and free from all thoughts and attitudes which are contrary to God and to his Word. So, how do we do this? In the power of God’s Spirit, we have to train ourselves, our minds, our ears and our eyes to not entertain what is unholy, impure, immoral, unrighteous, unjust, untrue, dishonorable, unkind and/or hateful, etc. And, we have to fill our minds and hearts with all that is godly, upright, holy, righteous and pure, etc. And, this takes self-discipline.

We also have to hate sinful practices, i.e. the practices of those who fall away from God and from what is right and honest and just. We have to avoid getting involved in gossip, for instance, by walking away from it, and/or by saying good things about people, instead. This is not to say we should never confront sin in sinful humans, but that we need to go to the people, if possible, and not complain about them behind their backs to other people, especially while putting on a front (a false face) to the people in question. This is also not to say that we can never address sinful practices in the church, in general, in the appropriate manner, and call for repentance, but that we should not go around spreading rumors about people, while lacking the courage to speak the truth in love to them. Sinful rebellious practices and lifestyles should have no place in our lives whatsoever!

Practitioners of Deceit (vv. 5, 7)

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.

No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.​

We are not to be participants with those who practice what is evil. We are not supposed to even associate with those who call themselves Christians and yet are involved in evil (sinful) practices, as a way of life. We should never console those who practice sinning, in their sin, or be accepting of or entertain (accommodate or invite) their sinful lifestyles, either.

Some of these sinful practices the Lord is pointing out to me this morning, that others are involved in, and which all of us should guard against, are what follows here. For one, there are those who habitually gossip about and slander others. It is what occupies their minds, their thinking. They practice insulting and contemptuous speech and conduct, and they revel in revealing secrets to others, and disclosing private information that can injure others’ reputations, their jobs, their relationships, and their emotional well-being. They will utilize whatever means possible, at their disposal, too, including social media sites, texting, tweeting, chatting, etc., and sometimes to exact revenge on those they think have wronged them in some way or another. And, they have no qualms about making it up as they go along, either.

Then, there are those who bottle up hatred, contempt, unforgiveness and bitterness in their hearts, while on the outside they act as if everything is normal, and there are no issues. They hide their true thoughts and feelings, not out of fear of being hurt, though, but in order to deceive; to give a false impression. But, they are storing up anger to use later against those for whom they feel contempt and hatred. And, they will use what they have stored up inside in order to manipulate, exploit and take advantage of others. They act calm and cool on the outside, but inside they are a raging inferno just waiting to explode. This is part of the game they play, which includes hiding secret sins and acting as though all is good. They believe Satan’s lies, they lie to themselves, and they accept the lies as truth. And, this is often cyclical, repeating the same patterns over and over again.

These types of individuals usually lack self-discipline, they are arrogant, and they will not listen to sound counsel and godly wisdom and instruction. They seem bent on continuing their cyclical patterns of behavior despite everything to the contrary. If these people want to continue in their sinful ways (patterns) of life, no one will be able to convince them otherwise. If they don’t want to hear the advice, although they may pretend they are listening, their addictive patterns of behavior will soon reveal the truth. They didn’t really listen, because they didn’t really want to hear the counsel, and they don’t really want to change, because they don’t think they need to change. These types of people are self-focused and self-absorbed, and they think about themselves above all else. But, God can change them! Amen?

Favor on the Faithful (v. 6)

I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.​

The faithful are those who are walking in the Spirit and no longer are they practicing sinful lifestyles. They are listening to the Lord, seeking his face, and doing what he says, not with absolute sinless perfection, but with persistence, submission, humility, and consistency. They love their Lord, and their desire is for him, to please him in all they do. They walk with integrity of heart, and, by the Spirit, they have trained (or are training) their eyes, ears, mouths and minds to focus on what has eternal value, and to not allow the things of this sinful world to take hold in their lives. They shall minister to God and to his servants, because they walk humbly before their God and they honor his name.

My Jesus, I Love Thee
William R. Featherstone / Adoniram J. Gordon

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I'll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
 
Loyal
As followers of Jesus Christ, we should walk with integrity. What this means is that we should conduct our daily lives with honesty, uprightness, honor, decency, and morality. We should not even look (gaze) at anything which might cause us to stumble or to lead us into sin.
We also have to hate sinful practices, i.e. the practices of those who fall away from God and from what is right and honest and just.
Sinful rebellious practices and lifestyles should have no place in our lives whatsoever!
As usual, a good post. I agree with everything you've said here, but I do have two questions.
If you don't mind me asking this.... for sake of discussion here.

1. Do you have any examples of the things that would be "unholy, impure, immoral, unrighteous, unjust, untrue, dishonorable,"
It may seem obvious to some of us, but for those who aren't familiar with what this means, what are some of the things you
would consider "these things".

2. What is the penalty for continuing to do "these things"? Does God just slap us on the wrist and say "Don't do that anymore"
and it's really all we get, so it doesn't really matter if we continue doing them?

I am just being devil's advocate here, I am pretty sure I would agree with your answer, but I'm just asking for clarification here.
 
Administrator
Staff Member
So, how do we do this? In the power of God’s Spirit, we have to train ourselves, our minds, our ears and our eyes to not entertain what is unholy, impure, immoral, unrighteous, unjust, untrue, dishonorable, unkind and/or hateful, etc. And, we have to fill our minds and hearts with all that is godly, upright, holy, righteous and pure, etc. And, this takes self-discipline.
Very true. I'd like to point out to all believers reading this that although God has the power to transform us overnight, He chooses to be patient and longsuffering. He allows us to miss the mark. However, this process is a lifelong process of sanctification. That's the keyword.

We wake up each morning solely by His loving grace, irrelevant of our performance.
 
Loyal
We wake up each morning solely by His loving grace, irrelevant of our performance.
True, but even the unsaved wake up every morning by His grace.
There are people in the church who didn't wake up "the next morning" in the Bible...

Acts 5:5; And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it.
Acts 5:6; The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
Acts 5:10; And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Acts 5:11; And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.
 
Loyal
@Chad - The Lord Jesus brought to mind these three scriptures:

John 3:19-21: And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does (literally doing) wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does (literally practicing) what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

John 1:3-5: “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The word “sin” literally means to “miss the mark.”

Miss the Mark: to fail to achieve the result that was intended. To be slightly or somewhat mistaken, incorrect, or inaccurate. To fail to hit the target. (Wiktionary; thefreedictionary)

“Fall Short” (miss the mark)

5302 hysteréō (from 5306 /hýsteros, "last") – properly, at "the end," i.e. coming behind (to "be posterior, late"); (figuratively) coming behind and therefore left out; left wanting (falling short). 5302 /hysteréō ("failing to fulfill a goal") means to be in lack and hence, unable to meet the need at hand because depleted ("all run out"). This state of lack (insufficiency, privation) naturally results when a person misses out on what is vital (biblehub.com).

“Of the glory of God” – his divine favor, praise and approval.

After I read your response to the OP, the Lord gave me an allegory to describe what these scriptures mean. The picture the Lord Jesus gave me was of someone who saw a light on the ground, so he went down to search for the light, but he was unable to locate it. First his shadow (darkness, sin) covered the light, so he changed his approach, and then the light was visible again, although he couldn’t see it. Then he poked around (digging, browsing, searching) in the dirt, but he could not find the light. He kept missing it, even though he came close. Eventually, as he was browsing in the dirt, he ended up entirely covering the light with the dirt, and then the light was no longer visible. It could no longer be found. Even though he had seen the light, and he went to search for it, yet because he was browsing in the dirt, the light always eluded him.

Of course, dirt is another word for sin, immorality, and moral filth. And, the light is Jesus, truth, righteousness, the Word of God, holiness, and godliness, etc. Yet, the light was not in the dirt. Something on the ground was reflecting the light, which was from above. The light was shining in the darkness, and the light came into the world, but the light was not of the world and could not be found in the world (of sin, i.e. in the dirt).

The point here, I believe, is that God does not permit (give permission) or consent or concede to us sinning. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with him to sin and we are raised with him to new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. If we walk in darkness, while claiming to be in fellowship with God, we are liars. If we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. If we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, we will die in our sins. But, if we lose our lives for the sake of Christ, i.e. if we die with him to sin, we have the promise of eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 2:24).

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

Performance, if it is truly an act, a show, is irrelevant. It serves no valuable purpose. However, obedience, submission, repentance, and what we practice is RELEVANT to God and to our eternal destiny. If we practice sinning, we will die in our sins. If we practice Christ’s righteousness, i.e. if we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to our flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. Again, this is not to say that we will live in absolute sinless perfection once we believe in Jesus, but it does mean that we don’t make a repetition (habit, custom) of willfully committing the same sins over and over and over again, and especially that we don’t excuse them away. Yet, if, by the Spirit, we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Ro. 8:1-14).
 
Active
I think we need to keep looking to Jesus and whenever someone tries to dig up dirt on anyone just tell them stop.
I had this friend who watched the news everyday and would always be going on about awful things that happened in the world to people i dont even know. Why is she telling me this?! I dont wantt to hear it and why isnt she spending time reading the bible everyday instead. Turn off the tv and spend half an hour everyday reading Gods word and meditating on Good NEWs instead.

I think you need to stop gossips on their tracks and confront them. People think that just cos its on the news media its ok to talk about it. But news is the biggest gossip machine there is! They news outlets especiLly newspapers are not always a trusted source of information they print copy because its space to sell advertising! If you look in their classifieds half their revenue comes from the sex industry!!! They dont even have decency to say no we wont accept ads from prostitution rings.

Its not just womens magazines that are gossips. Its the daily news and men do it too.
 
Loyal
@B-A-C and @Lanolin - Thank you both for responding to this thread. I have read your replies, and I will get back with you as soon as I have the time. I just wanted you to know that I am intending to respond, but I am on limited time for the moment, but I will get back to you, Lord willing. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 
Loyal
As usual, a good post. I agree with everything you've said here, but I do have two questions.
If you don't mind me asking this.... for sake of discussion here.

1. Do you have any examples of the things that would be "unholy, impure, immoral, unrighteous, unjust, untrue, dishonorable,"
It may seem obvious to some of us, but for those who aren't familiar with what this means, what are some of the things you
would consider "these things".

2. What is the penalty for continuing to do "these things"? Does God just slap us on the wrist and say "Don't do that anymore"
and it's really all we get, so it doesn't really matter if we continue doing them?

I am just being devil's advocate here, I am pretty sure I would agree with your answer, but I'm just asking for clarification here.
First, all glory to God. I just write what he teaches me from his Word each day.

As far as examples go, there are many, such as lies, hatred, meanness, gossip, slander, gluttony, lust, complaining, fighting, giving way to fear, stealing, cheating, contempt, and deceiving. Also, viewing pornography or TV shows, movies, videos or still pictures, or reading books or magazines with sexually suggestive or with sexually explicit content. Also, being entertained by the sins of others via movies, TV, videos, books or magazines, such as ones which glorify and entertain you with what is pure evil, killing, mocking of others different from you, disobedience, disrespect, treating people with disdain, using God's name as a curse word, adultery, romantic affairs, fornication, sexually suggestive content, stealing, cheating, lying, and taking advantage of others, etc. The Bible speaks not only against practicing sinning against God, but also against approving of others who are sinning, which is what we do when we allow ourselves to be entertained by others' sins.

With regard to the result of continuing in sinful practices, the Bible says that if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, even if we proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. If we profess to be in fellowship with God, but we walk in the darkness (sin), we don't live by the truth. If we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, we will lose them for eternity. If we practice sinning against God, we don't have the hope of eternal life with God. Yet, it says that if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. It says if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. It says if we lose our lives for the sake of Christ, meaning we die with him to sin, we will gain eternal life (Ro. 8:1-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21).
 
Loyal
I think we need to keep looking to Jesus and whenever someone tries to dig up dirt on anyone just tell them stop.
I had this friend who watched the news everyday and would always be going on about awful things that happened in the world to people i dont even know. Why is she telling me this?! I dont wantt to hear it and why isnt she spending time reading the bible everyday instead. Turn off the tv and spend half an hour everyday reading Gods word and meditating on Good NEWs instead.

I think you need to stop gossips on their tracks and confront them. People think that just cos its on the news media its ok to talk about it. But news is the biggest gossip machine there is! They news outlets especiLly newspapers are not always a trusted source of information they print copy because its space to sell advertising! If you look in their classifieds half their revenue comes from the sex industry!!! They dont even have decency to say no we wont accept ads from prostitution rings.

Its not just womens magazines that are gossips. Its the daily news and men do it too.
@Lanolin,

I agree that newspapers, news magazines, and news sites on the internet and on TV cannot be trusted to tell the truth, probably more often than we might realize or be willing to accept. And, yes, a lot of them, partly through advertising, are in the business of selling sex - some more than others. I also agree that a lot of what is on the news is not worthwhile to watch, even if it was true, because it exploits people and their situations in order to make money. They are in the business of entertaining, selling products, and sensationalism, often at the cost of truth, justice, propriety or compassion. They (some are) also in the business of distracting, manipulating, mind-controlling, hypnotizing, and reprogramming people's thinking, beliefs and attitudes. So, if anyone does read or watch the news, he or she should do so with much prayer and spiritual discernment, asking God what is true and what is false, and what is worthwhile and what is pure trash, and then to obey the Lord.

Sometimes, though, God does want us to read the news, not because it is true, but because he wants us to be aware of what they are saying, what they are promoting, and of the lies they are leading the people to believe. If we bathe this in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit to make us aware of these things, I believe He will help us to discern truth from error and to see the manipulations, the lies and the deceptions. When he does, he may also have us tell others so that they are not led astray by these false shepherds of the people. This is not gossip. Gossip is just telling people stuff about others because we want others to know bad stuff about someone, and sometimes because those who gossip want to hurt people they gossip about, and they want to ruin their reputations, or because people want to just gripe and complain so others will share with them in their misery. Not the same with exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness and false shepherds and false messages and manipulations for the purpose to rescue people from what is leading them astray. Just saying that sometimes we have to talk about these things but it isn't gossip, but sometimes it is.

Regarding those who gossip, if they are not Christians, I am not sure that the approach should be the same if they are professing Christ as Savior. We should talk with a brother or sister in Christ, in a godly and loving and prayerful manner (approach) if we see they are involved in gossip on a regular basis, and we should share with them kindly what the Bible teaches on this subject. But, if they don't listen, and they continue, I believe we should just walk away or we should try to steer the conversation in another direction by countering the negative with the positive. I believe the Bible says we shouldn't hang out with those who practice gossiping, especially if we have talked with them about it, and they continue, but I believe we should try to help them change, if they are willing. Sometimes, depending upon the setting, we can't avoid such situations, but if we can, we should walk away when those who know not to do this continue doing it. We shouldn't get caught up in it or participate in it, so we need to avoid these situations and not make a practice of being around those who make it their practice. We should look to Jesus, yes, and pray for his wisdom.
 
Active
There is a book on this for christians struggling with gossip called 'keep it shut' by Karen Ehman. Written by a former gossip, now christian.

As for being on the receiving end yea just cut the conversation short or change the topic. Let that person know that you not interested, its none of your business or that whoever they are gossiping about has their own reasons for doing whatever they are doing nothing surprises God and to bless them instead.

Dont hang round them and just say you are busy if they call you.
With news I would say a lot of it is gossip these days. its often just a way of whinging, which is ingrained in some cultures, which is why its better to talk about the weather and praise the Lord than whatever public figure has made a spectacle of themselves again. Jesus never told his followets they had to be aware of what hypocrites were saying he just rebuked the hypocrites directly and told his disciples to listen to Him.
 
Active
My sheep hear my voice, to a stranger they will not listen.

There is also verses about busybodies that put them in the same category as murderers. Keep away from them. It says in revelation in the last chapter one abomination is whosover loveth and maketh a lie.

I think ask God for discernment . If something is not a true story it will be fiction. Dont confuse fiction with non fiction...thats why libraries categorise them that way and have whole sections on fantasy..so I know not to bother going there lol. If you know the truth it will set you free and I think the more you walk with God the less you tolerate lies.
 
Loyal
Jesus never told his followers they had to be aware of what hypocrites were saying he just rebuked the hypocrites directly and told his disciples to listen to Him.
Yes, he did. Read Matthew 23, Matthew 16:5-12. He warned his followers against false teachers and false teaching, as did his NT apostles. And, they did tell what the false teachers were doing and saying so that they would know WHAT not to listen to, as well as WHO not to listen to. They warned against wolves in sheep's clothing who would lead God's people astray. They warned against hypocritical liars, deceivers and false shepherds of the people, as did the prophets of old. They named names, told of what these hypocritical liars were doing and saying, and then told the people what was true so that they would not follow the lies. And, they warned of a day, which has now come upon us, though at what stage I am not exactly certain, when a "beast" (global rule) would do all the things described in Revelation 13, and we are warned against this so we don't take its mark (character, influence) upon our lives. And, so it is important to know what this "beast" is saying, too, and to ask God for discernment to know what is truth and what are lies, and to warn others not to believe the lies but to seek God for the truth, and to follow after what is true.
 
Loyal
@Lanolin - There are also many warnings about antichrists -

1 John 2:18

[ Warning Concerning Antichrists ] Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations


1 John 2:22

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations


1 John 4:3

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations


2 John 1:7

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
 
Loyal
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:40
 
Active
Oh sorry yes Jesus did warn people but he didnt say to stay or keep listening to them.
He said to come out of babylon or egypt.

My dad worked in the newspapers for 25 years. Just as a layout person, not a journalist, but back in those days everyone read the paper everyday but we all know that yesterdays news is todays fish and chip paper

There is absolutely no rule yhat says you have to keep up with the (bad) news everyday.
 
Active
People will Say cos they got nothing better to talk about did you hear on the news blah blah blah...really its just gossip. It will usually be something tragic or negative.

Just say no i dont listen the news and its nothing to do with me sorry, i cant do anything about it. I dont know them. Wow isnt it a lovely day and God is good.
 
Active
If Jesus is really our Lord and saviour as we profess we are not to concern outrselves with the world and their leaders. If its causing anxiety, well just know we have a true King. And we are citizens of heaven, not the world.

Jesus said give to God what is Gods and to caesar what is caesars. I dont think he concerned himself with whatever caesar was doing. He went about His Fathers business.
 
Active
i mean..you dont have to keep up with the kardashians (or the white house, or buckingham palace, or the beehive) unless you actually work for them...our business is in the courts of heaven. We ought to be keeping up with those heavenly developments, and boldly going into His throne room, not earthly ones.
 
Active
Sue your OP said it I will know nothing of evil.

Bible says be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil.

Phillipians says whatever is true, whatever is lovely..whatever is of good and noble report think on these things.

For us christians, God doesnt tell us we have to even entertain a bad thought. We dont need to read crime novels or keep up with the police reports of the latest crime. Or the govt press releases. We can put these in the junk category, and put up a NO JUNK MAIL sign on our letterbox. To stop it coming in.
 
Loyal
There is absolutely no rule yhat says you have to keep up with the (bad) news everyday.
I agree, but it is good to know what is going on in the world around us, though most of what is in the news is not the truth, but even that tells us a lot. Mostly I only go to the news when God directs me to, because he has something he wants to show me/teach me about what is truly going on in the world and how that relates to the teachings of his Word. Sometimes I just skim the headlines (when I go on my own) just to see if anything big happened, or purportedly happened. We don't have a TV, so I don't watch TV news. I think that is mostly a waste of time, at least it was for us.
 
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