Seeking After Godliness

Isaiah l:l8..”Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.  “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”  NIV

 In the pursuit of godliness, we become more like Christ.  That, my friends, is our become more like Christ with each passing day.  

 How do I know that I am becoming more like Christ?  Well, I can tell you that I feel that I'm more like Christ now then I was before, whether last year, or last month, or 43 years ago.  I can testify that I'm more like Christ then I was when I accepted Him into my heart in the Spring of l972. In fact, if I live yet another year by the grace of God, I hope to be more like Christ next year then I am this year.

 I heard a saying many years ago that has stuck with me,* 'More of Christ and less of me.'  I believe that is a rendering from the words that John spoke as he mentioned, 'I must become less and Christ more.'

 How can this happen?  By letting more and more of God's Word fill me and taking over my life, by dying a little more each day to self and allowing the Holy Spirit of God to flow, live, and have His being through me, to allow His type of true agape love to shine out of me to a lost and dying world more everyday.

 By allowing the Word of God to dwell in me, the Word of God will hold me accountable for my actions, words, and deeds throughout my life.  I want the Word of God to reflect reality, what really is expected of my life, not what I just want it to be, but to be what He has ordained my life to be, to come with its truth so that I will not be deceived by any new wind of doctrine but only by the rock of my salvation in which I stand so others will not be deceived by my testimony as well.

  Psalm ll9:9 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to God's Word.” And, let's look further at Psalm ll9 verse ll...”I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)

  I heard a quote some time ago and it was this, “Either the Word of God will keep you from sinning or sinning will keep you from the Word of God.”*

  Let's look at another scripture...Matthew 5:8...'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

  You see, by the Word of God dwelling within, it purifies our hearts, opens our eyes to see God.  We may want to perceive Him our way but He wants us to perceive Him as He really is...not by what we feel He should be and look create Him in our own image, the way we would want to think of Him.  But, He wills us to see Him as He is, to rise up to that deeper dimension, and feel that abundant life that He has offered us in the here and now.

  Titus l:l6 goes on to say...”They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. (NIV)  People say they have faith. They say they know God; but, by their very lives, they deny Him by their actions, words, and deeds.

  Who is this verse speaking of?  It is speaking about anyone who uses their claim of being a Christian  to deceive people. And, that deception can be not unlike a slithering snake who enters quietly and yet it inevitably can coil and strike.  Satan, the snake, is so subtle. My friends, Satan has been infiltrating our minds, deceiving us through many ways for many centuries clear through to our modern the Word states, 'even the elect will be deceived', and I believe that it is already happening today.  He has infiltrated not only our church traditions, our homes, our businesses, marriages, thoughts and deeds also. He has been quietly, stealthfully, keeping us from godliness. He keeps us busy on looking and demanding some worship style preference. He causes us to stand up and come against one another, causing hatreds and divisions instead of continuing in unity and the agape love of the Father toward our fellow believers to shine for the lost and dying world to see.  Many things have infiltrated the church, my friends...Have you seen it? Without a shadow of a doubt, I know many of the unsaved have and turned away in disgust. And, we wonder why we aren't making a big impact on the community when in actuality, we have.

 For example, he causes us to think more of television, sports, the internet, cell phones, texting, you name it, other than wanting to take equal time to read the Word of God.  We can spend three or four hours at a ball game and yet if church is five minutes over, we start looking at our watches. Well, haven't we? I know there were times that I certainly did throughout the years.  And, we are more upset over our favorite team losing than people around us who are going to hell. Isn't that truth? He is leading us into the dust instead of to the glory that we could behold through a deeper walk with our Master.

  My friends, I wish to close with this...'Our actions speak much louder then our words!'

        Look into a mirror...What do you see looking back?  Yourself or Jesus? Amen? Amen.

*Scriptures taken from the NIV Bible

*Certain quotes...Pastor Michael Youssef, as marked.