Monday, May 7, 2007

Your Doctrine is Showing

Do we believe that the Bible is the inherent Word of God?

I ask this question because it is one thing to read the Word, agree with the Word, but a whole other issue to transform that information and bring it to life in our lives.

The Scriptures proclaim of the world's wickedness, of it's sheer evil and not to resist being tempted in any way, lest we be tempted ourselves and ensnared into Satan's carefully crafted web of death. We must tread carefully by how we lives our lives in light of obedience to God and the responsibility of being a light to the darkened, lost world that surrounds us. That means we must know the Word of God, that means we must stand for our convictions regardless if no one else we know is doing it. Criticism awaits the one who stands for the Lord but we are reminded that "we are not of this world" and " not to conform to this world" but instead to be like aliens in a foreign land as we see here: "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul." 1 Peter 2:11

Sometimes that means people won't understand why you do certain things that might strike them as odd or too conservative. This criticism will not only come from the unsaved but might also come from our own Christian brothers and sisters...but how will you stand, dear Christian? Will you crumble under pressure of conformity or will you stand for all that our Lord has died for?

Let me share with you an example. You believe that witchcraft is wrong. You read from the Bible that witchcraft is detestable is the Lord's sight.You've also learned from the Bible you should set your eye upon no wicked thing. You go home and watch movies with your spouse and children that practice witchcraft and laugh and enjoy it as a form of entertainment. Witchcraft, is therefore, acceptable in your home.

"Do not bring a detestable things into your house, or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction." Deuteronomy 7:25

Here's another. A father and mother learns about purity and modesty in the Bible and how that can be a stumbling block to others. Mother and father change the way they dress to become more modest. Their daughters on the other hand, enjoy wearing trendy miniskirts and shirts cut high that expose their stomachs. They give in to their daughter's desires to look immodest because they don't want to 'rock the boat' and since 'every one else doing it.'

Choose this day wo you will serve...but as for me and my household we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Our doctrine is not evidenced in what we believe, instead it is what we apply. If I truly believe that His Word is truth then we must begin to live this out in our lives. That means if I believe what God says about respecting my husband, it should reflect in my life. It means if I believe what God says about training my children, I will take that seriously and invest and sacrifice a large portion of time to raising them up in righteousness. If it says that sexual temptation is somethings that I should flee from then I shouldn't flirt with those of the opposite sex. Why do we wonder why the world views Christians as hypocrites when they do not see holiness in our lives and see us no different from themselves?

There is a verse that talks about examining our hearts at the end of the day. This is a great time to evaluate how we lived our our doctrine through the day. Does this mean we are supposed to 'have arrived' immediately in our faith? I understand that we are 'works in progress'---yes, indeed, there is so much the Lord is working on in my life alone! I am the first to admit I need strength, courage and wisdom to live out this holy life the Lord has called us to, thankfully, I don't have to do it in my own strength and I know the victory rests with Him. But, truly dear Christians, let us never make excuses for our laziness or feebleness or cowardliness in following our King. He has done too much for us to turn our backs on His righteous living just so we can live comfortably in our sin. A goal of mine is to always evaluate my doctrine in light of God's direction.

I leave you the challenge: What changes might God want you to make in your life today?

"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40


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