Lessons To Change Your Behavior
A Prayer to Open Our Study
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the power that You have invested in us. We pray that You will strengthen us daily. Lord we cry out to You and ask that You will deliver us from all of our troubles. Praying that You will be a fence of protection around us. Help us to stand firm at all times, and that the strongholds within our lives will be no more and that they will no longer be a stumbling block.
We pray this in Jesus name’, Amen.
Lesson Four Part Three: Effective Lessons Lead to Changes in Behavior.
In part two we looked at how God uses adversity to lead us to make a self-examination about who we really are. How we should take a long hard look at our behaviors and hearts to see if we are ridding out the rubbish. You may never have heard the word ‘ridding’ but in PA. where I come from your mother would say ‘Have you rid up your room’ to which we would answer ‘I am ridding it up now’. I choose this word because it is a visual for me of the continual mess that we make of our lives. We can never stop purging out the garbage that we collect. Past hurts from friends, current desires for worldly things, and all number of other sins and foibles. These things can and do get in the way, they block God from entering our heart. Just like a messy room can keep your mother from getting the door open into your room. Sometimes our adversity forces us to see that although we know in our mind that God has forgiven every sin we confess to Him, we hold on to that sin and keep it lying around like a stinky sock forgotten on wash day. When we face our sins and give them to Jesus, we need to accept forgiveness. But that is not all we need to do; we need to change. Mr. Stanley said “if you are willing to change what needs to be changed in your life, you emerge from adversity closer to Christ, more mature as a child of God, and with far greater potential to reflect the love of God to the world around you.”
Read Psalm 1:1-2
After we interpret this psalm Mr. Stanley poses question six as “Walk, Stand and Sit, what does this suggest about the process of sinful habits”? If are walking with ungodly people, and we stand with them and their beliefs, and if we sit by and do nothing, we can not say we are living as a child of God. Notice the scripture doesn’t say if you walked the path of the ungodly, or stood, or sat with them in agreement, but It’s about what you are doing today.
Just like my friend who has not changed wanted me to feel unworthy because of my past indiscretions, I can take the blessing that comes from not walking or standing or sitting with them anymore. It’s ok to listen to what people say about you. But are they expressing positive comments, or they disappointed that you have been growing away from them? Refer to lesson two and our checklist, are they practicing godly or ungodly behaviors, then you can decide if their counsel is from the Lord.
Read Romans 8:31 and Hebrews 10:17
7. Mr. Stanley asks how can self-examination lead you to delight in the law of the LORD, and what role might adversity play in this? My adversity came this week from my old friend, she hurt me profoundly, and caused me to look deeply at myself. I had to ask myself some hard questions, like is it right for me to lead this bible study, is it right for me to be a blogger about my life and how God plays a part in it? Should the things I did and my past opinions make me the wrong person to speak about God’s love? Am I the person I think I am or just a pretender?
That self-examination led me to find my delight! It brought to my mind all of the things that I have changed for the better, it led to Joe’s sermon this past Sunday, and was evidence that God uses adversity to build His kingdom, because I needed this lesson so I could share it with all of you. But, most importantly it reminded me that I am forgiven, and if you are a child of God so are you. Paul changed more than just his name when he saw the error of his way, and he said in Galatians that “The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Let me ask you this, when was the last time you looked at your walk, stand and sit for the Lord?
Read Galatians 5:22-23
Are you walking in the fruits of the Spirit? “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” If you are, delight in the Lord and how He has saved you for Himself! If you still have things that need work, have faith because “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
In Part Four, we will learn how Our Continual Growth Is The LORD’S Desire.
More to come…