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Stabilize Your Walk with Jesus - Ron & Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Christians today seem very willing to compromise God's truth. It's often surprising to discover that someone we have met claims to be a Christian because their manner of speech, the way they dress, their habits, and many other factors point to a secular way of living. Christians aren't perfect, but each of us must strive to become more like Jesus and less like the world. When we truly accept Christ there should be a change that takes place, and we should begin to move towards God and away from the world. "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:8. The Greek word “dipsychos” is translated "double minded" and means "wavering, uncertain, doubting; divided in interest". According to Vine's Expository Dictionary it literally means "two-souled". If we don't give ourselves totally to Jesus there will always be conflict in our life. Instead of walking steadily in a Christian path, we will be pulled by secular habits and friends to move away from God. There will also be conflict because we can't tell the difference between false doctrine and God's truth. If we don't listen to Jesus then we listen to Satan. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7. Submission to Christ will bring you into a right relationship with Him and it will reflect in your life.
Jesus made it clear that a person cannot serve two masters. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Luke 16:13. This is a truth that every Christian needs to grab hold of. If you are trying to live your life married to the world with all of its wild ways and worldly riches, you cannot serve Jesus. If you love wild parties, fast women (or men), and all the things money can buy, you might want to take a hard look at who you truly serve. Do you serve the god of this world, or do you serve God Almighty? We are saved by our faith in Christ, but if you can continue to covet worldly mammon then perhaps you haven't truly accepted Christ or turned from your sin. "... Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Those are Jesus' words.
Our feelings and senses cannot be trusted to lead us in God's ways and stabilize our walk with Him. Christians must study God's word every day and apply His truth to our life. Christianity isn't a list of rules and regulations, but it is a relationship with Jesus and a way of life. As in every relationship in our life, it has to be nurtured and pursued. When a man and woman are courting they desire to spend time together, to learn about each other, to talk with each other, and grow closer. That desire will only grow stronger in a marriage that is nurtured. It is no different with God. Learn about Him and talk to Him. Learn what pleases Him, then make it your goal to please Him in all things. Your walk with God will stabilize and grow more precious as you come to know Him better. The inerrant word of God is our guide and our strength.
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” James 1:8. The word "unstable" comes from the Greek word “akatastatos” which means "unstable, inconstant, restless". If you are trying to live your life by two standards - the world standard and God's standard - you are going to be pulled in two. Yet, it isn't only the way we conduct our life that makes us unstable and restless, but also being swayed by false doctrine. Strange teachings which are unbiblical will appeal to those who aren’t familiar with Scripture; they may sound profound and Biblical but are pure lies. If you aren't grounded by God's word you will be confused and try to make every fad work. You will be pulled from a New Age lie to an Emerging Church falsehood and back again, but never stabilized on God's truth. An unstable person isn’t grounded in any particular doctrinal idea, but is tempted by a melting pot of them all. Do you believe, as many false teachers say, that all roads lead to heaven? What does Jesus say? "I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. Both cannot be true, so you need to be sure of God's word and not be tossed about in your understanding.
Too many Christians say that we cannot understand the Bible. Poppycock. The Holy Spirit gives understanding. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14. Most Christians belong to a denomination...Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, etc. Each denomination teaches their own ideas and many are not Biblically grounded. Instead of standing firm on what the Bible says they stand firm on what they want it to say. This causes confusion and many Christians have come to the wrong conclusion that we just can't understand the Bible. Let go of denominational teachings and pray that the Holy Spirit will open your understanding of Scripture. Then, study the Bible for yourself. God wants you to know His truth and draw closer to Him.
Anyone who is double minded on doctrine and doesn't stand firm on God's inerrant word isn’t fit to serve God as a pastor, teacher, evangelist, or any leadership position. The believer’s foundation is Jesus the Christ, yet that Foundation is being replaced by false doctrines taught by teachers who are themselves deceived, and those listening to them are allowing the word of man to supplant the word of God. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” 2 Timothy 3:13. Instead of taking a stand on God's truth these charlatans spew an attractive but deceptive message. They teach that any lifestyle is acceptable, that if you're a nice person you will go to Heaven, and they allow many other false teachings to poison the congregations they shepherd. Gullible Christians who have not read the Bible, much less studied it, are willing to embrace any lie that makes life easy. Ground yourself in God's word so as not to be deceived.
Here's a little test for you. Suppose you were in a Bible class and the class leader was teaching from the Gospel of John. He said "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a God". Should someone in the class stand up and correct the teacher? Would anyone in the class even realize the mistake the teacher made? Was that teacher being deceptive in the subtle change of the first verse of John’s Gospel? Perhaps the students didn’t hear the mistake or maybe no one in the class has a clue of what the first verse in John’s Gospel says. The latter seems to be the case. So, what is the answer? According to the false teaching of the Jehovah Witness organization, Jesus is "a god", but not God Almighty. If you don't know your Scripture, you might find this as acceptable. If you aren't deceived by false teachings then you will know that "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." John 1:1. Jesus is the Word and He is God. He isn't "a god", but He "is God". There are many other examples where God's word has been twisted by men with an agenda of false teachings and people just "take their word for it" without a second thought. Don't be fooled through ignorance of Scripture. Know God's truth, let go of denominational teaching, stand on God's inerrant word.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" 2 Timothy 3:16. If you don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word, then you have already been deceived. If you only believe what you have been told by man then you may easily be deceived. Have you read three or four commentaries on a subject and they all differ in their interpretation? Does that mean it's just too difficult to understand? No. It means you need to get into God's word and study. The answer is there. Most commentators put Scripture references in their writings. Have these Scriptures been taken out of context? Check the Hebrew and Greek words in the Scripture to gain a deeper understanding and if the commentator is wrong, disregard that commentary and don't let it confuse you. If you don't know what you believe, then, what do you have faith in?
God wants you to be certain We believers in Christ have a sure word, a truth that can’t be disputed or denied and it comes from God. We aren’t to take man’s word for what the Bible says or doesn’t say, but we are to search the Scripture (Old and New Testaments) for our self. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11. The Bereans weren't double minded, unstable, or carried away by false teachings. They searched the Scriptures and learned God's truth. They were single minded and well grounded, not double minded and unstable.
If you have accepted Christ and claim He saved you from sin, do you understand what that means? If you don't know what things are opposed to God, then how will you know what you need to repent of (change your mind about)? The answer is in God's word. Once you understand about sin you will understand that only God's shed blood can take that sin away. Once you understand that, you need to pray and ask God to help you stop living your life in opposition to Him...change your lifestyle and attitude and submit to Him. Unless you study His word for yourself you can only take someone else's ideas about right and wrong and you run the risk of being deceived. Stabilize yourself in God's truth and don't be tossed and turned by every false teaching that comes along.
My Brethren, the end is near. That has been said for many years, but today we very likely are the generation who will see the Rapture (another subject you need to ground yourself in). If you haven't truly accepted Christ as your Saviour, or are unsure of what that means or if you really meant it when you mouthed the words, then you need to make that commitment t right now. Contrary to popular belief, all roads do not lead to Heaven and all lifestyles are not acceptable. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8. Salvation is through faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross, but if you don't understand why you need Jesus then you will be unstable in your faith. Don't be tossed about on the waves of confusion. Study God's word and change yourself to be like Him.
Stabilize your walk with Jesus and don't be deceived.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
Previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham
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