Where Do You Go for Advice?

  • August 28, 2016
Sunday 28

1 Timothy 4:4-10

Because thinking shapes beliefs, and beliefs in turn determine our lifestyle, a biblical mindset is vitally important in our sanctification. Each day we choose to let either the world or God’s Word shape our thoughts and actions. Although most of us are quick to say we believe the Bible, sometimes our actions do not match our words.

Where do you go when you want advice about a big decision or lifestyle choice? Websites, blogs, and the media offer a wealth of information that can be either beneficial or harmful. Coworkers, family, and friends are also readily available sources of counsel, but do they speak with worldly reasoning or godly wisdom? Our only sure resource for true and wise guidance is Scripture. Yet sadly, we do not always seek direction in its pages but instead often rely on human intelligence and personal preferences.

Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword,” which pierces into the deepest parts of the soul. Those who refuse to surrender to its penetrating work essentially dethrone God from His rightful place in their life. But those who are willing to be nourished by Scripture, accepting its reproof and correction, will discover the riches of a life of faith.

Letting the Word be your guide requires costly changes in thought, attitude, and behavior. Yet any lifestyle adjustments or disciplines that produce godliness also result in eternal profit. A solid foundation of faith and wisdom starts with going to Scripture for direction.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 4-6

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The New You I

If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must love ourselves first. At salvation, each of us became a new creation and were given a new life. We now have much to love about who we are as children of the King. We can also look at others and love them too because God loves them, and we can see all that Christ has done for them.

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4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;

5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

1 Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem.

2 Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise up a ramp, pitch camps and place battering rams against it all around.

3 Then get yourself an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.

4 As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it.

5 For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.

6 When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.

7 Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it.

8 Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

9 But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.

10 Your food which you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; you shall eat it from time to time.

11 The water you drink shall be the sixth part of a hin by measure; you shall drink it from time to time.

12 You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung."

13 Then the LORD said, Thus will the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I will banish them."

14 But I said, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth."

15 Then He said to me, See, I will give you cow's dung in place of human dung over which you will prepare your bread."

16 Moreover, He said to me, Son of man, behold, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they will eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and drink water by measure and in horror,

17 because bread and water will be scarce; and they will be appalled with one another and waste away in their iniquity.

1 As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber's razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair.

2 One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

3 Take also a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes.

4 Take again some of them and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.

5 Thus says the Lord GOD, `This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.

6 `But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.'

7 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, `Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,'

8 therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, `Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations.

9 `And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again.

10 `Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind.

11 `So as I live,' declares the Lord GOD, `surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare.

12 `One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

13 `Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know that I, the LORD, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them.

14 `Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by.

15 `So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken.

16 `When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread.

17 `Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the LORD, have spoken.'"

1 And the word of the LORD came to me saying,

2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them

3 and say, `Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places.

4 So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols.

5 I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars.

6 In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out.

7 The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the LORD.

8 However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries.

9 Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations.

10 Then they will know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them."'

11 Thus says the Lord GOD, `Clap your hand, stamp your foot and say, Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, famine and plague!

12 He who is far off will die by the plague, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine. Thus will I spend My wrath on them.

13 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree and under every leafy oak--the places where they offered soothing aroma to all their idols.

14 So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate and waste than the wilderness toward Diblah; thus they will know that I am the LORD."'"

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Publish Date August 28, 2016
Where Do You Go for Advice?

Ask yourself: Where do I go when I want advice about a big decision or lifestyle choice?

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