One Road to Follow
Isaiah 41:10. Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.’ (A Faithful Version)
I was reflecting on the events of this past year recently and one thing was quite evident, everyone’s life has been changed by the events of 2020. It has certainly been a test for us. Covid, riots, business closings, rampant voter fraud, signs of a major economic “slump” on the horizon, to name a few, are all wearing on us.
I used to take long rides on my motorcycle. I would leave home and just ride. Riding and driving have always been a means of escape for me. Some of my most productive times have been while I was riding. I find that time better for sorting things out, so to speak.
It was a ride on State Road 80 between Labelle and Clewiston, Florida about 18 years ago that set me on this journey to seek out and know God more. I thought I was looking for Him but I now know He was calling me. Through His guidance I have grown more in His truth and knowledge than I ever thought possible. I can look back and see His hand leading and guiding me throughout my life. He has guided my steps to bring me to this point. As the song says, He gives me everything.
The events of this past year seem to have had a polarizing effect on so many people. Mask, no mask, election fraud, no fraud just sore losers, rampant racism, media hype, fake news, Marxists, Fascists. I know, you don’t need to hear it anymore. Neither do I.
The most important thing we can do during all of this chaos is to strengthen our relationship with God and care for and help each other. Part of that is through our fellowship on Sabbath when we get together and learn from our Creator God during this weekly appointment with Him. Individually we need to study His written Word daily, pray and fast.
During our personal time we need to take a critical look at our relationship with God. Are we slipping back into the world? Do we set time aside for study and prayer? Do we allow unimportant things to get between us and our relationship with Him? We can fool others and even ourselves through self-deception, but we cannot fool or hide anything from God.
When we are baptized we are to put off the old man and put on the new man.
That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts;
And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24).
We need to constantly review our conduct, repent of our sins and renew our mind and our relationship with God. We need to make sure we are living up to the commitment we made at Baptism.
Unlike many Church of God groups no one in our fellowship grew up in God’s Truth. Most of us have spent decades in Satan’s world and its influence molding our behavior to conform to those influences. We have learned different and false “Christian” beliefs from the churches we attended. Through them we learned a false sense of righteousness and ridding ourselves of this is not an easy process.
But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6).
But we must rid ourselves of these false teachings. Just about everything we thought we knew about God’s Word has to be purged and re-learned according to His Truth, not mans. Not an easy process but the rewards are so great.
Because we are now learning God’s Truth and His Way of doing things we can see Satan’s influence and hold on this present world. We can more easily see how we were led down this path of self-worship and importance and correct it.
As we strive to renew our lives to conform to God’s will most of us can identify with the Apostle Paul when he describes his constant struggle with sin in Romans 7.
Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good. For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find.
For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing.
But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me.
Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. (vs 18-21).
As we study the Bible every day we learn the struggles and trials we are having is no different than what others have experienced throughout history. As we progress in our study we can plan on more trials and temptations. They are God’s way of perfecting us and strengthening us.
No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind. For God, Who is faithful, will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear; but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 13-14).
God also provides an additional benefit for trials and temptations we endure. He provides these so we may be better equipped to help the brethren through similar situations they experience.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For to the degree that the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
The relationship we have with
1. I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service.
2. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God.
3. For I say through the grace that was given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think with sound-mindedness, as God has divided to each one a measure of faith.
(A Faithful Version)
7. Yet the things that were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8. But then truly, I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung; that I may gain Christ
9. And may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is derived from law, but that righteousness which is by the faith of Christ—the righteousness of God that is based on faith;
(A Faithful Version)
9. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds,
10. And have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him;
(A Faithful Version)
Remember, we may be in the world but we are not of the world.