November 1, 2018

I have found that when I am interested in something that something is easier for me to learn. In high school I was just an average student. The only class that I remember that interested me was a class in agriculture. Because it interested me I made the effort to learn and study and as a result I got ‘A’s in agriculture. From then on ‘A’ was the standard that I held myself to in that class. Anything less would be a huge let down.

Welding interested me and because of that I was willing to put in the time and effort that it took to be a certified welder. I loved being able to produce welds that closely resembled machine welds. In fact that was my standard. Anything less was not acceptable to me. Consequently I developed a good eye, a steady hand and a feel for the metal that I was welding. Plus I liked being complimented on my work:)

Psalm 122:9 (NLT) — 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.

What interested the Psalmist was the reputation of God. Jerusalem was God’s city or God’s house and the Psalmist was determined to give God a good name. He was going to put forth his best effort.

The word seek = to learn, to procure, to investigate, to be responsible,  to be accountable, to hold to a high standard.

So the Psalmist is saying, “Lord, because I represent you and the city of Jerusalem,  I will take the time and make the effort to find out what your standards are for living this life and then I will hold myself accountable to those standards.

Psalm 119:5–7 (NLT) — 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!

Does giving God a good name get your juices flowing? Does becoming more like Jesus interest you? If your answer is yes to these two questions than you are probably are already learning the standards that God has set for Christian living. Now you might not always be able to live up to those standards like I couldn’t always produce machine welds; but making the effort with the help of the Holy Spirit will always go a long way to giving God a good name.

The problem that I see amongst some Christians is that they aren’t interested in giving God a good name. And because they aren’t interested they don’t make the effort. They don’t spend time searching the scriptures to find God’s standards. They settle for mediocrity which produces a mediocre lifestyle, mediocre children, and a mediocre image of God. Is our God really mediocre?

God has a standard for employers and employees, for children living at home, for recreation, for eating, for husbands, for wives, for singles, for fathers, for mothers, for sex, for speaking, for thinking, for everyday conduct, for use of time, for treating others, for use of money, for what we allow our eyes to see, for conduct when we assemble together on Sundays, for preaching, teaching, for handling arguments and enemies, for behavior towards the opposite sex, for being wronged, etc. Have you found the standards?

Titus 1:1 (NLT) — 1 This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives.

If you have lost your interest in the things of God and living up to his standards pray this:

Psalm 51:1–12 (NLT) — 1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

Now willingly begin to set the bar back up where it should be > just a little bit out of your reach:)

Philippians 3:12–16 (NLT) — 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

Be Inspired Hilltop!