Posts Tagged ‘New King James Version’

imagesDon’t judge others by appearance. Remember that God looks beyond what we look like on the outside. It’s in the Bible, I Samuel 16:7, NIV. “The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Appearances can be deceiving; true character is shown by one’s life and actions. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 7:16-17, NKJV. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

The outward appearance of righteousness, is worthless if does not reflect accurately the  inner character. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 23:27-28, NKJV. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Don’t be like the world, the world focuses on what is attractive for the eyes and drawing attention to yourself. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 2:15-16, NKJV.  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Our Christian influence and witness is affected by our appearance. It’s in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:9, 10, NEB. “Woman again must dress in becoming manner, modestly and soberly, not with elaborate hairstyles, not decked out with gold or pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, as befits women who claim to be religious.”

We should avoid anything that causes confusion over what we stand for. It’s in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Being a follower of Christ will make you different from those around you. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:13-14, NKJV. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden”

We need to accessorize our inner character, not our outer attire. It’s in the Bible, 1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

The spiritual implications of our appearance include more than just the way we look and dress—the outward adornment through clothes and jewelry. Appearance includes lifestyle and the expensive homes and cars and gadgets we accumulate to impress others. These things lead to covetousness and greed. It’s in the Bible, Luke 12:15, NKJV. “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'”

dr evilAren’t friends great?! Look around you today and what do you see? Friends—lots of friends! Yes,friends are wonderful. In fact, the Bible says, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). God’sWord also reminds us that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). If we have a friend who is closer to us than a relative like a brother or a sister, then that person must be very special indeed. And some of us have friends who are just like that, don’t we? They are people in whom we trust people on whom we can always depend, and people whom we genuinely love. Good friends not only are a joy to be with, but they also help us be better people. For example, have

you ever noticed how being around friends who do what is right, who are honest, and who respect others causes us to want to do what is right, be honest, and respect others, too? The apostle Paul once wrote: “No one lives to himself, and no one dies to himself” (Romans 14:7). You may have heard the old saying “No man is an island,” which makes the same point that Paul was making: people around us have an effect on us, and we have an effect on them. But if friends who act right  can encourage us to want to act right, what might friends who act wrong cause us to do? Have you ever done something wrong because you were with someone else who was doing something wrong? It is easier for us to do something wrong, it seems, if others around us are doingsomething wrong. Moses knew that—which is why he warned the Israelites: “Do not follow a crowd to do evil!” (Exodus 23:2). Moses wanted the Israelites to realize that being around people who “do evil” could influence them to do things that were wrong, too. In fact, the Bible gives us the perfect example of a man who did not choose his companions correctly—and who paid a terrible price for his poor choices.
His name was Solomon, and he was the wisest human ever to have lived on Earth. God repeatedly warned the Israelites about becoming friends with,or marrying, people around them who “did evil.” God told Solomon, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you—because they will surely turn  away your hearts after their gods” (1 Kings 11:2). But Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s warning. Instead, he made friends with evil people, and even married some of their women. Sadly, the Bible says that
“Solomon’s wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God” (1Kings 11:4). Solomon’s pagan wives convinced him to build temples filled with idols to false gods. Eventually, the Israelites began worshiping those gods,too. Because one man chose to associate with the wrong individuals, God’s people abandoned Him—and ended up suffering horribly because of it. This is why, many years later, Paul told first-century Christians, “Do not be deceived; evil companionships
corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The New King James Version puts it like this: “Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals.” Yes, it certainly does!

What do you think would eventually happen to me if I started running around with people who smoked, drank alcohol, and used illegal drugs, and never went to church? What effect do you think it would have on me if the friends with whom I associate on a daily basis used curse words, disrespected their teachers at school, took God’s name in vain, and made fun of those who are physically or mentally handicapped in some way? Solomon learned the answers to those kinds of questions the hard way. He ignored God’s warnings to stay away from evil people, and instead chose to not only associate with them, but to marry some of them! As a result, he ended upsetting the stage for his kingdom to be split in half when he died.
God knows what is best for us because He created us! If God tells us in His Word that “bad company ruins good morals,” we need to take His warning seriously and seek to spend time with friends who are “good company” rather than “bad company.” Let’s face it: the company we keep doesaffect how we act. Let it never be said of us that “bad company”ruined our “good morals” like it did King Solomon’s because if that happens, we very likely will miss out on getting to go to heaven. And if that happens, then we will end up in hell where there will be nothing but evil people! Who would want to live there forever?

stdas0600Matthew 8:33-34 – Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. (NKJV)

If you have been living for Jesus very long you’ve experienced what Jesus and His disciples experienced on this occasion. When Jesus showed up not everyone was excited. In fact, these people wanted Jesus to leave! Don’t allow the negative response of people to keep you from praying. My responsibility is to keep praying for my city and leave the results in God’s hands. While my desire is for everyone to be a follower of Christ, I realize that people will make their own decisions. I will keep praying and believing God for a spiritual awakening to take place in my town.