Give Good Advice: Esteem the Lord as King

August 13, 2012 at 9:56 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 7 Comments
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Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

There was a time when subjects would go before their king. When that happened, the subjects would stand and the king would remain seated on his throne. The king was considered “sovereign.” The job of the subjects was to esteem him. When it’s time to give advice, we had better not leave this factor out of the equation: Is what you are about to do going to bring glory to your Lord? Will it reflect esteem onto your King?

Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psalm 33:8

To stand before God should cause us to tremble in fear and awe.

For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalm 33:9

Even if what you are doing is wise or good or even beneficial to others, God has the final veto power over it. If He blesses it, it will be glorious. If He curses it, it will be terrible.

The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

Psalm 33:10

I am not talking about asking God to put His stamp of approval on your own plan. He is not a cosmic bellhop, which is what the heathens think about their gods. I am talking about approaching any endeavor as though it must meet with God’s approval. To “esteem” means to make something valuable. We cannot add any value to God, but we are to make our decisions – and to give advice – with His glory at the forefront of our reasoning.

Somebody at some time is going to seek your advice. And there are going to be times when you are really not sure which path to take, and you are going to seek the advice of others. Life is full of big decisions. Our job is to learn to think Biblically and to apply God’s principles to giving and taking advice before we presume to say whatever seems best in the circumstances.

A.void sin
D.elay taking rash action
V.ow to be sincere with God
I.nquire of your own heart
C.ontent yourself with God and His plans
E.steem the Lord as King

Give Good Advice: Content Yourself with God and His Plans

July 23, 2012 at 9:50 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 12 Comments
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Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

Someone comes to you for advice. “Should I do this or should I do that?” What you have to determine – and what this person has to determine – is this: Is the reason you are contemplating doing this thing because you are not content with what God has given you? Or not content with where He has placed you? Or not content with what He is doing with you? Or not content because of what He is not doing with you? Or not content with what He is allowing to be done to you?

If you believe that God is perfect, then you must also believe His will is perfect (Romans 12:2). Some of us need to stop trusting what everyone else is doing or what “common sense” says to do, and trust in the Lord. If you don’t have a Bible reason for doing what you are thinking about doing – then don’t do it. It might feel right or it might feel wrong, but:

“Feelings come and feelings go
And feelings are deceiving.
Our warrant should be the Word of God.
Nothing else is worth believing.”

A.void sin
D.elay taking rash action
V.ow to be sincere with God
I.nquire of your own heart
C.ontent yourself with God and His plans
E.

Give Good Advice: Inquire of Your Own Heart

July 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 10 Comments
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Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

I’m not saying our hearts can be trusted to tell us what’s right – or even to lead us in the right direction. They surely can’t (Jeremiah 17:9). What I’m saying is: A person who is seeking advice must examine his or her own motives. When you lie in bed late at night, and it’s just you and your thoughts, do not leave God out of the conversation. But do not leave the deepest, most secret caverns of your heart out of it, either.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Don’t go easy on your own heart. Don’t question it lightly. Subject it to an intense, searching cross-examination:

Heart, why are you not satisfied with what God has given us?
Heart, why are you going in the same wrong direction over and over?
Heart, who is really seated on your throne? Is it me or is it our Lord?

https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/f3371-heart-in-hands-thumbnail.jpg?w=550

There is a heresy that says Christianity is “all about me.” That’s wrong. Christianity is about Christ and His Gospel. But there is also a heresy that says, “It’s not about me at all.” God so loved the world – people – that He gave His Son (John 3:16). He made your heart – and if you’ve been regenerated He made your new heart (Ezekiel 36:26; II Corinthians 5:17). He made it so that the issues of life flow out of it. Too many of us talk to God with the intellectual surface of our mind, and we too seldom really pour our heart out on the altar to be examined before God.

A.void sin
D.elay taking rash action
V.ow to be sincere with God
I.nquire of your own heart
C.
E.

Give Good Advice: Vow to be Sincere with God

June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 9 Comments
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Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

Making a vow is a dangerous thing to do. It’s better not to vow a vow than to vow a vow and not keep it (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). But we are not forbidden from making vows, and the vow to be sincere with God may be the least dangerous of any vow – because you are committing to tell God what He already knows – and what you know He knows.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Psalm 51:17-19 (emphasis added)

What are the sacrifices of righteousness? They are sacrifices that are acceptable to God only when you have come to Him with a broken and contrite heart. Good advice is to obey the Lord and serve the Lord, but we must also serve the Lord in such a way that we are not taking credit for adding something to Him or showing Him how “good” or “righteous” we think we are. Make a vow to God that you will be sincere by recognizing your own sinfulness and worthlessness apart from His Own righteousness that He imparted to you when you were broken and contrite.

A.void sin
D.elay taking rash action
V.ow to be sincere with God
I.
C.
E.

Give Good Advice: Delay Taking Rash Action

May 21, 2012 at 9:04 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 10 Comments
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Have you ever been confounded? Being confounded is like being confused, frustrated, and ashamed all at the same time. The condition of being confounded occurs when you are confronted with a problem that does not seem like it should be as tough to overcome as it is. A person who is confounded has not found within himself the answer to his problem, and he may seek advice from someone he trusts. As we look at some Biblical guidelines for giving advice, we will see that one of the biggest dangers in being confounded is the temptation to act rashly.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

The purpose for the advice to delay rash action is multifaceted. First, it gives us an opportunity to remember that the Lord is in control of our lives, and to exercise our faith in Him.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

I Peter 2:6

Second, it reminds us that we are not to bring shame to the Name of Lord by flying into a blind panic when problems seem insurmountable.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Isaiah 28:16

Third, by delaying we will overcome the most common temptations to rash action: having a short temper (Proverbs 14:17; 19:19); panic (Psalm 27:14); boredom (Psalm 130:5); greed (Proverbs 28:20).

Rash action is a symptom of not believing that God has a right path for us to take in everything, even if it means waiting for Him to show us that path. Take this advice from the Lord, and give it to others:

A.void sin
D.elay taking rash action
V.
I.
C.
E.

(I wanted to take a moment to mention Bro. Ron Faciane, one of the best youth group Sunday School teachers around today. His site, rymmr.com , is a terrific resource for youth ministry.)

Give Good Advice: Avoid Sin

May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am | Posted in Biblical Advice, Selected Psalms | 9 Comments
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In my line of work I am often in the position of giving advice. I am thankful that the Bible gives us valuable guidelines for giving, and taking, good advice. Here is a key Scripture passage on the topic of Godly advice:

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5 (emphasis added)

When someone asks you what he or she should do in a given situation, a good answer will always include the advice to: “Avoid sin.”

This advice involves more than just “not committing sin.” It goes even further: Do not go into areas where there will be a temptation to sin.

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Proverbs 4:14-15

A good Biblical example of a man who heeded this advice is Job.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job 1:1

Job did not flirt with sin. He did not simply sidestep areas where sin might be lurking. He eschewed sin. In other words, he gave it a wide berth, and tried to avoid it like the plague. Many times, the solution to a difficult situation may appear to have many different possibilities. However, when someone asks your opinion about which possibility is the best, you can immediately rule out any course of action that is sinful or that leads near sin.

A.void sin
D.
V.
I.
C.
E.


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