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How to Handle Discouragement

Thursday, December 05, 2013

 

Life is hard. Hardly a day goes by that we are not reminded of some disaster or tragedy, some sorry or heartache. In Job we read, "Man born of woman is short lived and full of trouble." In our worship there is a song we sing which begins, "troublesome times are here." From the failing economy, the decline in our health, prodigals in the home or who've left the home, dreams that we spent so long planning and mapping in our minds that don't come true, family struggles; it's easy to find ourselves down, lowly and discouraged. 

Jeremiah the prophet understood discouragement. He is known as the "weeping prophet." Jeremiah was given the responsibility of preaching to God's people just before their Babylonian captivity. His message was of God's displeasure with them, and how they needed to change their ways or this impending judgment would soon be upon them. Despite his pleas and cries for their repentance, they did not listen or turn from their ways. Instead they lashed out against Jeremiah. He was beaten and placed in the stocks. He is arrested, thrown in prison, and even lowered into a well, sunk in the mud. Has this ever described you? You're tried, tested and low, feeling like you're as low as you can get, sunk in the mud. 

Life if full of these moments. There are times that everything is going great, and times when we feel real down and low because of life's situations. Even Paul who said to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4) also said that he had become the scum of the world, the dregs of all things (1 Corinthians 4:13). The question is not will you face discouragement, rather the question we must ask is what will you do about it. Here are some suggestions I have for when you are feeling discouraged: 

Strengthen Yourself in the Lord - 1 Samuel 30:6. Despite how low David's situation became, he, in his distress, strengthened himself in the Lord. Take a moment and through the words of the Bible, remember your God. Remember His goodness and His faithfulness. Remember how He provides for His people. Remember His loving forgiveness. So often we allow our pains and problems to distract us. We tend to focus on the issues and dwell on the bad news, forgetting the rich blessings we have in our Lord. We sing the song, "when upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done." 

Surround Yourself with Positive People - Job 16:2. Job's 3 friends were there in his moment of grief and loss, but instead of offering prayers and words of comfort, they filled several chapters full of their thoughts as to why Job was suffering. Each of their answers were similar. They each tried to convince Job that the reason he had suffered was due to his sin. God was not pleased with his friends, nor with Job. In their efforts to try and help job, they ended up pulling him away from God. This can be us. The advice of ungodly friends or family may take us further from the Lord. What will help us when we are low is spending time with positive godly people. 2 Corinthians 7:6 the presence of someone who loves the Lord, bends frequently in prayer, and has the Scripture on their heart, can be a source of strength, comfort, and refreshment to a weary soul. 

Surrender Yourself to Prayer - Philippians 4:6-7. So often when we are suffering we worry more and pray less. God loves you and cares for you (1 Peter 5:7), and invites you to cast your burdens upon Him. Open your heart to the Lord. Cry out to God. Pour out the troubles that fill you up. There is a sweet peace which passes all comprehension, which is able to guard our weary hearts, through our Lord Jesus. Don't close yourself up, or avoid God. When you're low, pray. Pray often. Open up and pray deeply about your struggles. Pray in faith that the God who hears you is the God who can help. 

Jesus Wept

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It is difficult to find words to express the pain the heart feels in times of grief and loss. Pain, misery, woe, sadness, all take their part in those difficult times of losing a loved one. Those are the times we can feel most alone. Those are the times we need God the most. 

There is an occasion in the gospel of John when good friends of the Savior, Mary and Martha, had a brother who was very sick and died. His name was Lazarus. Jesus loved them all dearly. He and His disciples traveled to Bethany where many Jews had filled the place with their condolences for the sisters. 

When Jesus arrives He speaks with Martha first. She says what many do in difficult times: "if only." Isn't that what we say... If only you had been here... if only God had answered our prayer with yes...if only we had more time...if only the medicine would have worked. Jesus gives her words of hope by saying her brother will rise again (John 11:26). They are words of comfort and confidence. It is a promise that death is not the end in Jesus.

Jesus talks next to Mary who echoes what her sister said, "if only." What is impressive is what follows. Jesus sees how all this has touched Mary, He sees her weep, and it is here that we find the shortest verse in the Bible. John 11:36. Found in this small verse are some powerful thoughts especially considering the subject of grief and loss. 

1. God Knows Our Tears - God is aware of our pain. God notices our tears. He is not distant from us nor unaware of the issues in our lives. Psalm 139:1-5. God heard the cries of Hezekiah when he heard he was going to die (2 Kings 20:3, 5-6). The Hebrew writer reminds us how Jesus understands our pains and feelings through coming to earth, putting on flesh, and being tempted in all things. It allowed Him to identify with the difficulties we face (Hebrews 2:17). We sing the song - Jesus knows our every weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer. It is comforting to know that we don't have to go through our struggles alone. We have a God who is fully aware of our tears, and understands our pains. 

2. God Cares for Our Tears - Jesus weeping shows that not only was He aware of Mary's tears, but that He was touched by them. When the Jews saw Jesus' tears, they recognized His heart, saying, "See how He loved them." (John 11:36). Peter reminds us to cast our anxieties on the Lord because He cares for us. 

In times of loss, grief, sorrow, pain, we may be led to asking the question, "Does Jesus care?" Especially sitting by the grave of a loved one, the words to this song can fill our heart, "Does Jesus care when I've said goodbye to the dearest on earth to me, and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks - is it aught to Him? Does He see?" Does Jesus care? What does His tears show us? What does His willingness to die on the cross for us show us? "Oh yes He cares! I Know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares." 

The smallest verse in the Bible reminds us of a powerful truth. The tears of the Savior reminds us of His love and care for us, and truly how beautiful heaven must be. 

 

Contemporary, Traditional, or Biblical

Thursday, October 10, 2013

 

What's your preference, contemporary or traditional? Which would you prefer? When you go to build a new house, the designer will ask you this question; do you want your house to be modeled traditionally, or more contemporary? Once that house is built you'll have to put some furniture in it, and the sales person will ask you if you want the more modern looking furniture or the old classics. 

Anymore today this question is being asked by preachers and by churches. Are we going to be traditional or contemporary? Some groups aspire to be both, reaching out to all that they can. Really, this brings us to asking a more important question, and that is: "What place does our preferences or our likes have in reference to what God has said in His word?" This question makes all the difference. What place do our preferences have in God's commandments? Consider those 3 words with me:

Contemporary - it comes from the Latin word tempor meaning time. A simple definition of the word is "belonging to the same period." We use this word regarding two people who live during the same era of time. Paul and Peter were contemporaries. However the definition we're considering is "current, or modern." That which is marked, or carries the characteristics of the current time, that which is new. 

Traditional - this comes from the Greek word meaning "handed over, or handed down." In fact the definition is simply, "passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation." When looking at this word, tradition, there are 3 ways it is used: 

Handed down from God - 1 Corinthians 11:2,23; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 14:37

Handed down from men (held as authoritative) - Galatians 1:14. The Jewish thinking was that only part of the Law of Moses was written; the rest was passed on orally. This oral part of the law was considered the tradition of the elders. Notice what Jesus thought of these "binding" traditions of men (Matthew 15:1-3). Jesus rejected authoritative traditions as passed down by man. So also did Paul - Colossians 2:8

Handed down from men (as customary) - this is the definition we'll use. This is not a necessity of the law, but a custom. John 18:39 - Pilot acknowledged the Jew's custom of releasing someone at the Passover. This wasn't a Roman law or something he had to do, but it was something that had been a custom of the Jews and Romans. 

Biblical - being in accord with the Bible. This is the equivalent to the word tradition in the 1st sense, which is handed down from God. Biblical means following and keeping God's words, in accord with the written words. 

Some things can be traditional and Biblical at the same time - just because something has been done for a long time and we're used to doing ti doesn't mean that it's wrong. It may also be according to the Bible. Most preachers have the custom of offering an invitation after their sermon. This is also Biblical. In Acts 2 Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. In v.36 he reached his climax, what his message was all about. V. 37 they wanted to know what they needed to do to be right with God, to be saved, and so he tells them in v. 38-39. V.40 he issued the invitation. He told them what they needed to do, and then admonished them to do so. That's what we do in an invitation. So yes, it is a tradition, but it is also Biblical. Just because something is old and has been done for a long time doesn't make it wrong. 

Now, just because something is new doesn't make it wrong either. A thing may be both contemporary and Biblical. Some groups start their services with a song before anything else is done. In that regard, it seems to be a contemporary practice, something which is fairly new and modern. Is it Biblical? Well, yes. The Scriptures tell what we need to do in our assemblies, yet they do not specify the sequence in which those practices are to be done. So, something can be new and right, contemporary and Biblical. 

On the other side of things, something may be traditional and not be Biblical. It is possible that we have been doing something for a long time, but it is really not something we should be doing because it is not supported by the Bible. For example, some groups celebrate Christ's birth through pageants, gifts, and other ceremonies. That is not at all contemporary. It is a practice which has been done for centuries. But, this practice is not Biblical. There is nothing in the Bible which suggests that God wants us to have a special service or celebration of the birth of Jesus as is done today. Traditional? Yes. Biblical? No. 

This also shows that something may be contemporary and not Biblical. Some groups meet on Saturday night for services. Now, there is nothing wrong with having services on Saturday night. If we wanted to gather and worship or study on any day of the week, that'd be fine. However, it is not Biblical to do on Saturday what the Lord commanded us to do on Sunday. The Lord said that Sunday is the day we are to give of our means (1 Corinthians 16:2). Sunday is the day the saints partook of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7). It is not Biblical to do on some other day the things God said to do on Sunday. It is a contemporary practice for many groups, but it is not Biblical. 

When you look at all these examples, can't we conclude that if a thing is Biblical it really makes little difference if it is traditional or contemporary? If a thing is not Biblical, we don't have any business doing it, period, whether if it is something we've always done or something that seems like we would want to do. The real issue is not if something is new or different, or something we've done for a long time, but rather if it is Biblical - Colossians 3:17. 

Model Behavior

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Instruction is best understood and applied when accompanied by a model. This happened to my wife. She was student teaching with her choir teacher, and he was telling the students exactly what he wanted. He wanted a more "fuller sound." My wife came home frustrated because the students didn't understand what he wanted. The teacher didn't provide an illustration as to what he meant by "fuller sound." 

We can lecture till we're blue in the face, we can find eloquent words and new ways to describe different things, but something which is firmly grasped and often memorable is seeing the instruction demonstrated. When words of excellence are compounded with a person's character, they leave a profound influence, truly a lasting impression. 

There's a lot of ways this is illustrated in the Bible. 

1. Jesus is the ultimate example - as Christ's followers, we are not just given instruction on how to live, but we're given Jesus, the perfect illustration and demonstration of those instructions.

When Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39), how do we see this illustrated in His life? He touched lepers, noticed the ignored, loved the hated, died on a cross for a sinful world (Romans 5:8). 

When Jesus was asked about prayer, what do we see? We see one devoted to a close conversation with His Father. (Luke 11:2; John 17; John 11:41-42). 

Jesus set the example for baptism (Matthew 16:16; Matthew 3:16), for faithfulness through suffering (1 Peter 2:21), through His humility (Philippians 2:5). 

There's reasons we are told to imitate the example we have set forth in God (Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1). 

2. Church Leaders - The elders are to lead by example 

We see this in Peter's instruction to elders - 1 Peter 5:3. The idea of leadership we find from the Scriptures are not that of CEO's who delegate rules from a distance, but rather those who are among the people, leading by example. This shows an important point - can the elders expect something from the members, which they, themselves, have not demonstrated? 

I read once that, "Churches will reflect the personalities of their leaders." That's an important thought. Leaders who are cold, isolated, and indifferent will rub those attitudes off on the members. Yet leaders who are enthusiastic, loving, and built on convictions of the truth, will also make a difference in the congregation. 

3. Marriage - 1 Corinthians 7:14-16 - provide your spouse with a godly example. Instead of nagging or blaming, show them what is right. Give them right attitudes, show them obedience to the Lord. Are you concerned with your spouse's prayer life, or how much they are reading the Bible? Ask yourself, do they see any of that in you, of you praying or reading? Your sincere and earnest example will be much more effective than words. 

What else could we apply this to? Parents (Ephesians 6:1-4), or the elderly toward the youth (Titus 2:2-5)? How about us as Christians towards the world (Matthew 5:16)? The point is that effective instruction involves more than words. It must also demonstrate an illustration of the teaching. Some would say this as, "Practice what you preach," but quite simply it is living what you believe. What example are you setting today? 

 

Why Do We Talk So Much About Baptism

Friday, October 04, 2013

Have you ever wondered this - why do we talk so much about baptism? We mention it in almost all of our invitations, and in many of our sermons. What's the big deal with baptism?

We talk a lot about baptism because the Bible has a lot to say about it. Jesus talked about baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16). Paul talked about baptism (Romans 6:4). Peter talked about baptism (1 Peter 3:21). The Hebrew writer talked about baptism (Hebrews 10:22). If something is mentioned this often, it ought to show us that this is important. 

The act of baptism is simply immersion in the water. One is put under or submerged in the water, such as Acts 8:38-39. Paul uses the language of burial, in that we are burried in baptism (water) just as one is buried in death (ground), (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). But it is more than just the water. 1 Peter 3:21 reminds us that baptism is the soul's appeal to God for a clean conscience, a forgiven soul. It is a soul coming to God seeking forgiveness, turning from sins, wanting to be right with Him. 

We talk a lot about baptism because of what one is baptized for. Here's some verses which teaches why one is baptized: 

  • Acts 2:38 - for the forgiveness of sins
  • Acts 22:16 - wash away your sins
  • Romans 6:3-4 - baptized into His death - how one is connected to the death (blood) of Jesus is through baptism
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 - baptized into one body - access into the body of Christ is through baptism
  • Galatians 3:21 - through baptism we are clothed with Christ
  • Colossians 2:11-12 - baptism is the spiritual circumcision, removal of sins 
  • 1 Peter 3:21 - baptism now saves us

Much is accomplished through baptism. We also talk a lot about baptism in that it is commanded from God. Jesus commanded it (Mark 16:16). Peter commanded it (Acts 10:48). Annanias commanded it (Acts 22:16). The teaching of Jesus included baptism (Acts 8:35-36). The teachings of Paul included baptism (Acts 16:15, 32-33). 

To be honest, the command to be baptized is no more important than any other command. It is just as important to repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), or to love your neighbor as your self (Matthew 22:39). We do our best not to place emphasis on one command over another. We just say a lot about baptism because it is a command from God, because we want all people to be saved, and to be committed followers of Jesus. So if you hear us preach or teach about baptism, or hear us using the word regularly, we wanted you to know why. It is important to God, and is important to us. 

Do you have any questions about baptism? We'd love to discuss them with you, looking together at what the Bible has to say!

 

God Sees

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your sickness'". Luke 13:11-12

This story has always impressed me. We find a woman who has suffered for 18 long years with a difficult health issue - she was bent over. She could not stand straight. Think about what that meant for this woman. She was forced to look at all the things we ignore - the ground, the mud, feet. Being bent double she would have easily overlooked, unnoticed. She couldn't look people eye to eye. She likely had issues sitting, walking - all the things we do without thinking. This poor woman suffered with this lifestyle for 18 long years. 

 

What is impressive to me is not only that Jesus healed her, but in verse 12 it says He saw her. While others passed by unaware or unconcerned with this woman, Jesus noticed her. He saw her in her condition, and touched with compassion sought to heal her from her affliction. 

This ought to remind us of an important thought - God sees you. Jesus notices you. He knows what you're going through. He is aware of your pain. He knows each time you cry.  There may be occasions when we feel all alone, with no one to sympathize and offer there love and support in our times or heartache and grief, but remember that our Lord is the One who stopped to notice this bent over woman, and notices you too. You are not alone. There is a God who loves you, cares for you, is with you (Hebrews 13:5). He wants you to be cleansed from your sins, to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). God sees your struggles with sin and temptation, and wants you to be healed, forgiven. Won't you come to Jesus? He sees you, cares for you, and wants to help, restore, comfort, and save you. Jesus sees you, do you see that?

Exclusive

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

 

We don't like this word, or the idea behind it. Exclusive carries the idea of limited or restricted. It is not all accepting. There are some places that only members can gain access. There are some restaurants that are open only on certain days or for certain hours. We get the idea behind exclusive. What we want is all access. We want the freedom to go and do what we want to do when we want it. 

This attitude trickles down to our relationship with God, and salvation. The world wants to believe that all people will be saved no matter what they believe in, or how they live. However, if someone wants to be saved, the Bible teaches that there is an exclusive means by which to be saved - exclusive in that there is salvation only through one way - following Jesus. 

Notice John 14:6 - no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. You cannot gain access to the Father, to Heaven, to eternal life unless you follow Jesus. Notice also Isaiah 43:11 and Acts 4:12 - Salvation is only through God. That's how Jesus illustrated the path to eternal life - it is a narrow path (Matthew 7:13-14). You can't just run through the narrow path carrying all the baggage of sin and strife. That's why so many travel down the broad way - come as you are and stay as you are. But to take the path which leads to life, you must change who you are, shed the weight and burden of sin, and follow the path of sacrifice, the path of Christ. 

So how about you - which path are you on? Are you following Jesus? Have you obeyed His commands? 

Jesus said: 

  • To believe in Him - John 3:16
  • To repent from your sins - Luke 13:3
  • To confess Him before men - Matthew 10:32
  • To be baptized - Mark 16:16
  • To bear good fruit - John 15:8
  • To love one another - John 13:35
  • To deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him - Luke 9:23
  • To be faithful to Him till the day you die - Revelation 2:10

How about you? Salvation may be exclusively in Jesus, but it is offered to all who would follow Him - even you! Why not start today?

 

Love

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 

"...and in your brotherly-kindness, love." 2 Peter 1:7

The final quality that Peter mentions is love. Our world needs more love. Our churches need members who show more love. Our families need to spend more time sharing love with each other. Love is so very important. It defines who God is (1 John 4:16). All you could say about this agape love, you can say about God. Love is what God's law was all about (Romans 13:10). When Jesus was asked which of the commandments were the greatest, the answer was love (Matthew 22:37, 39). Paul wrote about love (1 Corinthians 13), Peter wrote about love (1 Peter 1:22), John wrote about love (1 John 3:11) - it is fitting that the concluding quality we must be diligent to add to our faith is love. 

Isn't it interesting how something so important can be so easily forgotten? The church in Ephesus left their first love (Revelation 2:4). The Hebrew writer reminded the brethren that their love for one another must continue (Hebrews 13:1). When we begin to fight and bicker and complain, it is likely because we've forgotten about love. Marriages which struggle and fall apart are likely due to the neglect of love towards one another. The church which fights, complains, and splits is likely due to the members forgetting to love each other. The Christian who turns his back on the Lord and gives into sin is likely due to a lack of love towards God. 

We need love. We need to develop a true, strong, fervent, deep, passionate love within our hearts for our God, for His church, and for souls in need of the Savior. So maybe this is where you struggle. Perhaps you realize that you haven't been loving others, or the Lord, as you ought to. How can we grow in love? I have two suggestions:

1. Learn from God - 1 Thessalonians 4:9 - God teaches us to love one another. It is a wonderful practice to love others as God loves. He loves unconditionally. He loves when others are unlovable (Romans 5:8). He demonstrates His love through deeds of kindness, mercy, and sacrifice. God is patient even when we don't deserve it. God is good and gracious. He is generous is thoughtful. Think on these things. Let this higher, nobler way of loving shape the way you love others. Be patient towards your brethren, towards your mate and your children. Be good and kind toward others even when they may not be in return. Consider how to give of yourself to others. We can learn a lot about love through the love of our Father. 

2. Go and Do - 1 John 3:18 - love can be declared through words, but it is demonstrated through deeds. God demonstrated His love to us through Jesus (1 John 3:16). Don't just say you love the Lord, or your family, or your brethren; challenge yourself to prove it. Do kind things. Extend complements often. Sacrifice your time and energy to help another. Be gracious and forgive someone who has offended you. Lovingly pursue others with this fervent compassion. And zealously pursue your God - be devoted to Him. Read His Word, think on it, live it, and share it. Pray to Him often, opening your heart. Bear good fruit for Him. Trust in Him. Lean on Him. Thank Him and praise Him. How can you grow in love? Go and do - let your love be known through what you do, not just what you say. 

Jesus said that men will know that we are disciples of Jesus if we love one another (John 13:35). By the way you walk and speak, the way you treat your family, your brethren, would others know you are a disciple? The best life lived which makes a lasting difference in the lives of others is the life devoted to love. Why not show your love to another today?

 

 

 

Brotherly Kindness

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

 

"and in your godliness, brotherly kindness..." 2 Peter 1:7

 

The seventh quality is brotherly kindness. It is the warm affection towards the brethren. Kindness is demonstrated through words and deeds which are loving, good, sweet, thoughtful, genuine and sincere. The Hebrew writer would state in a simple reminder that we need to let the love of the brethren continue (Hebrews 13:1). In his first letter, Peter mentioned a "sincere" or "unfeigned" love of the brethren (1 Peter 1:22). Paul stated that we are to be kindly affectionate with brotherly love (Romans 12:10). In fact, the love we have for our brethren indicates that he also loves the Lord (1 John 4:20-21). 

Let me ask you, how do you treat the brethren? What words do you use in talking about your brethren? When was the last time you went out of your way to ensure that a certain brother or sister knew that you really cared for them? It is amazing how we often struggle with this. We can argue and complain, disagree and bicker; this quality can be a real task for some. At times it may be remembering difficult moments in the past. We can become fixated on when a brother or sister let me down, said something which stung, acted in a way which hurt my feelings, and I dwell upon it, and allow those hurt and angry feelings to keep me from reconciling with my brother or sister. It may just be a difference in personality. In a church comprised of many members from a variety of backgrounds we will have some who are strong willed and some who are quite passive; there are those who are stubborn and some who are easy going, some who are very opinionated and some who just couldn't care less. Those attitudes can clash at times, and we can allow those differences to deter us from drawing closer to one another. 

Perhaps this is something you need to work on - loving your brethren. Remember firstly, that they are your brethren. They are fellow Christians. You have a special bond in Christ. You are working towards a similar goal. You are worshipping and seeking after the same God. One day, you may be together in heaven. Remember that all people are human. We make mistakes. We shouldn't, and it's not right, but we do. We say things we shouldn't say, and act rudely when we need to act kind. Don't let a person's mistakes in the past keep you from showing love and kindness in the present. Let me challenge you this week. If you have some of your brethren who you know that things are not exactly good between you two. Perhaps there's some tension or conflict that needs to be resolved. This week I challenge you to love them fiercely. Pray for them often. Send them kind notes. Go up and talk with them at services, giving them good words and compliments. We are brethren, belonging to God and one another; so we need to act like it, and love each other! 

I'm reminded of how the story of the prodigal son ends. The prodigal has come home. The party has started, but the older brother is outside. He's upset at his father, and his brother, to the point that he wouldn't even call him his brother. Once he is done stating all of his grievances, his father reminds him why they celebrated. But he also reminds him that this boy who came home was his brother (Luke 15:32). Perhaps that's what we need - God to remind us that the imperfect people who fill up the pews are our brethren, who deserve our loving-kindness. 

 

Godliness

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"and in your perseverance, godliness.." 2 Peter 1:6

The sixth quality Peter mentions is godliness. Have you ever considered what this word means? At first glance, it seems to suggest "God-likeness," one who shapes and forms his life and behavior after the will of God. However, there is more to this word than becoming more like God. The Greek word here is Eusebeia which can be translated in English as "piety." Piety carries the idea of reverence and respect. It describes the person who has a deep admiration for God, respect for who He is and what He says. I think of Isaiah in Isaiah 6. In his vision, he stood in the presence of God, and was reminded of who God is - holy, powerful, King. He was also reminded as to his own condition. In the presence of God's light, Isaiah's darkness was revealed. He was reminded of his sinfulness, and found forgiveness from the Lord. That's reverence. It is a right perspective of God and self, and will demonstrate itself through how we speak, act, and think. It will reveal itself through our prayers, our worship, and even our daily devotion to God. 

So what does it mean to add godliness?  Such people don't think of themselves too highly, rather they always remember that God is on the throne, and it is His will which must  be done. They remember that they are forgiven sinners by a loving and merciful God. Such a person makes the right and noble decisions because it is what pleases his God. Someone who has piety or reverence will not take the Bible for granted. They will not allow worship to become a casual occasion, or for God to become just another friend. To revere is to have great awe and admiration. I remember His majesty. I laud His divinity, His wisdom and strength. I stand in awe of His great love. Someone who reveres God is one who will take His Word seriously. 

Perhaps you need more godliness. There are many today who do! God is our Father and Friend, but also is Lord. We must guard against becoming casual with the Almighty. We must guard against treating the Holy things of God as if they are ordinary (such as worship). How can I work on my godliness? Spend some time reading through the book of Psalms. The writers were able to express their hearts emotions, while remaining reverent before God. They express words of praise about the many incredible attributes of the Lord, many of which we overlook or forget. Read them. Be impressed with them. Be reminded of the God you serve, that He is a mighty and awesome God who deserves our love, our respect, and our all. 

 

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