7 words about my will

Accept: There are many many things that happen that I do not initiate and do not approve. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and loved ones may make choices of which I do not agree. Yet I can love them. Love does not mean approval or support. I'm laboring to find a verse or two to support this principle. But in general we live in in a fallen world, among sinful and fallen men (of which I am one!). Bad choices are made. Evil exists. Yet God is sovereign.

Ephesians 1:11, "[God] works all things according to the counsel of His will"

1 Corinthians 6:7, "Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?"

Approve: I hope to live in harmony with the revealed will of God. Obviously I am not perfect and I make mistakes and sin every day! Regardless I will only endeavor to approve actions and initiatives that true and holy! A key verse on the principle of approval is:

Philippians 1:9-11, "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God"

Submit: I submit to the Lordship of Christ. I submit to governmental authority that does not conflict with Christ's Lordship. I submit the eldership of my local church.

James 4:7, "Therefore submit to God."

Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."

Hebrews 13:7, "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct"

Resist: I am to resist evil, error, and the devil. If the government forbids something that I am to do, I am to obey God rather than men.

1 Peter 5:8,9, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world"

Acts 5:29, "But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'"

Support / Participate: Because I am a steward of all that God has given me (this includes my limited time on the earth, my limited abilities, and the material things God has provided), I must not use my time, abilities and finances to support activities and initiatives contrary to the will of God. If may be the dream and hope of someone close to me, but if I cannot approve it, I must not support it! I believe that marriage is something sacred and that God has some parameters about who should be married and under what circumstances. The marriage of a believe with an unbeliever or a Christian to a Muslim are outside of those boundaries. I cannot celebrate or have joy in such marriages.

1 Corinthians 4:2, "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful"

1 Peter 4:10, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"

Speak: While this makes some uncomfortable, I will speak truth. Will tell someone who is living in error the error of his way. I hope to be tactful but sometimes truth itself is offensive. The greatest truth is the truth of the Gospel. The exclusiveness of Christ itself is offensive to the perishing! Some verses about truth and speaking truth

John 4:24, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth"

John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"

John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness"

Romans 9:1, "I tell the truth in Christ"

Galatians 4:16, "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?"

Ephesians 4:15, "speaking the truth in love"

Ephesians 4:25, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor"

2 Corinthians 4:13, "according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak"

2 Corinthians 12:6, "I will speak the truth"

Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted"

James 5:20, "let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death"

Do:: Do pertains to my energies and efforts. I am to love hurting people in fallen world. I am to be the heart hands and feet of my Savior on the earth. I cite the salt and light verses:

Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."

Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Some miscellaneous applications of the above:

  • If someone I love asks me how I feel about couples living together without the benefit of marriage, I will tell them that in God's view it is sin. (Seems I have been asked this a lot!)
  • If someone whom I love, even if I love that person very much, undertakes an endeavor of which I cannot approve, I will not support that endeavor. This means I may not even attend certain events pertaining to that endeavor.  This means my pocketbook will not be open to that endeavor.
  • I will not tell lost people that there are many paths to God or that the path to heaven is by "living a good life".
  • This principle goes way back in my home. As a matter of fact we've had a plaque on our wall for decades: Joshua 24:15, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD"
    • In my house we will pray in Christ's name
    • In my house, Christmas is about the incarnation not about the presents and the holiday foo
    • In my house, Easter is about Christ's resurrection not about the ham dinner!
    • In my house, I am not ashamed of an open Bible

What never to ask a Christian: Call good evil ... evil good! Won't do it!

Isaiah 5:20, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

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