There are some things in the Word that are hard to read. They cause us to examine ourselves and leave us wide open like a freshly sliced fillet of fish. It hurts, cuts us to the core really. My children are growing up in a culture where sin is celebrated and immorality is being put on display. While not going into great detail here are a few verses that I am going over this morning and a few thoughts to follow them up.
Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34 NKJV)
The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten; The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O Lord, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah (Psalms 9:17-20 NKJV)
“Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? While it is yet green and not cut down, It withers before any other plant. So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider’s web. He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure. He grows green in the sun, And his branches spread out in his garden. His roots wrap around the rock heap, And look for a place in the stones. If he is destroyed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’ “Behold, this is the joy of His way, And out of the earth others will grow. Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing.” (Job 8:11-22 NKJV)
First, we must decide to lean on the side of righteousness. Not righteousness that we imagine but the right living that God has already outlined. It’s possible to live holy lives in this present world. There is no need to create a new righteousness based on popular opinion. We simply must conform to living in a way that honors God. Men and Women of faith have come before us in times past and have not settled into conforming to popular societal or cultural beliefs. They did not conform. They were standards. Standards of righteousness.
You and I may not be able to change our culture but we can allow God to change us. The change that he makes in us as individuals empowers us to employ a new standard of living within our home. That new standard of living then serves as an example to all who enter our home and all who we have contact with.
Serve God today with boldness but still show compassion and please above all else lean on the side of righteousness and keep pressing forward.