Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Do You Know the Right Way? by John

Do you know the right way?
Proverbs 14:12 [Read in 2.] (Isaiah 58)

1. If I asked a stranger, "Do you know the right way? What do you think he would answer? (He might ask, "to where?")
2. Proverbs 14:12 is an old familiar verse to most Christians and other Bible students, too. It says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
3. Knowing the right way is always important, isn't it?
4. In school, we are taught to be confident, and we are told that we can be confident when we really know what we are doing.
5. Many of us are extremely confident about the work we do in this world. We've learned how it is done, right?
6. A great many of us lack confidence when it comes to the next world!
7. As a teenager I was totally amazed when I began to study electronics. I still have trouble with Ohm's law. It bothered me when teachers stopped talking about the old standard cycles per second and started calling them "Hertz!" I was flabbergasted when I discovered that light travels at 286,200 miles per second, and in order to have a working Radar machine, there had to be a switch that was so fast, it could send a signal out and receive it back in less than a milli-second! I learned how it was done, and the utter simplicity of it shocked me.
During my stint in the Navy, I learned to calibrate and operate 42 different radar machines, and I was both competent and confident. I was only in the service 2 years, 4 month and 21 days.
8. I began attending Sunday School and Worship when I was too young to remember it. I was regular in chapel services in the Navy, so I had a lot of religious experience, and I thought I was going the right way! But I wasn't! If Myron Hayter, a young man discharged from the Army, had not taken a hand in getting me turned straight around to the Lord, I would be doubtful about my eternal destination right now! "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
9. I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord.
10. People, when you depend on anything other than a personal relationship with the Lord, you are going the wrong direction, and it leads to eternal death!
11. Turn to Isaiah 58 with me, and let's read Isaiah 58:1-5

I. Religion without obedience is false!

1. God's prophet told it like it was, and a lot of people still practice false religion today.
2. People go through religious rites, ceremonies, and they pray, but God does not respond as they hope because their hearts are far from Him.
3. Many people think religion is a kind of magic. If they work it just right, God will be forced to do what they want.
4. Nothing is farther from the truth! God is not only always present, and all-powerful, but He is also all-knowing! He sees through all of of our schemes and charades!
5. He is under no obligation to do anything for us that He has not promised. Of course, He never goes back on His Word once He has given it! But we must meet His conditions!
6. We can pray all the prayers we want, we can attend all the worship services we want, we can travel great distances to hear Billy Graham or some other evangelist or motivational speaker. We can make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or to Mecca, we can tithe, or double, or triple tithe, but these things do not impress our God!
7. I quoted a line of an old song last Sunday and I have to say it again today, "Trust and obey. There's no other way!"
8. . Religion is man reaching out to God. Christianity is God reaching down to man! That means...

II. Real Religion is obedient. Let's read vv. 6,7

1. Did you notice God used "fasting" ironically here in v. 6?
2. What he wants is for people to set unjustly treated people free.
3. He wants us stop oppressing other people.
4. He wants us to feed the hungry, to provide shelter for the homeless, and to clothe the naked!
5. And at the same time, to take care of our own families, too.

III. Heart Religion determines blessings.

1. Let's read vv. 8-10.
2. Obedience to the Lord's Will results in blessing according to the Scripture we just read.
3. We have already seen that the Lord withholds His blessings to the disobedient unless they become obedient.
4. In Mt 15: 11,18, Jesus said, "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'...But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'"
5. People can control their tongues to a certain point in public, or in a court of law, but eventually each one of us will tell everyone else who we are. Our words betray us! They reveal our real character!
6. God knows our hearts! Acts 15:8 says, "God, who knows the heart showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us." (Peter was speaking).
7. The greatest blessings:
(1) To know the Lord.
(2) To inherit eternal life.
(3) To share Jesus with others.
(4) Everything else comes after that, and that includes all of the things we hold so dear today: family, friends, money, property, knowledge. None of these things come close to the spiritual blessings God bestows on those of us who put their trust in Jesus!
8. We have to wait for some of the blessings, but the most important come right now!
9. The moment we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, we have eternal life! The moment we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, we know our heavenly Father and He acknowledges us, too!
10. Outward religion is nothing when compared to the spiritual religion, heart religion, that God expects from us.


1. For some of us, it is a surprise to discover that the Old and New Testaments contain the same message.
(1) In the Old Testament is is easy to see both the love and severity of God.
(2) He demands obedience, but He is loving, and when people give Him obedience, He cares for them tenderly.
(3) In the New Testament, we see His love much more easily than we do in the Old Testament.
(4) We seem to think the line between love and God's requirement of obedience is blurred.
(5) It is not. Dr. Adrian Rogers said that Jesus is called Lord 422 times in the New Testament, and He is called Savior only 11 times. (Those numbers may be off a little. I'm going by my memory.)
(6) It is obvious that we must accept the Lordship of Jesus over us, or we cannot receive Him as Savior!
2. The whole Bible is God's Word, and we should expect to find the same truth in the Old Testament hat we do in the New Testament.
3. Paul the apostle used Old Testament truths mixed with his own eye-witness accounts to win Jews and Gentiles to Jesus. There was no New Testament written at that time!
4. Now let's get really straight here: When your lips say "Yes!" to the Lord Jesus, it doesn't mean a thing if your whole life is not given with your confession of faith!
5. Church membership, American citizenship, Christian parents, nor anything else makes any difference.
6. What does make a difference is what you have in your heart!
7. It's time to get off the road that seems right, and to get on the one that is right!
8. When Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) The word translated "way" is 'hodos." It means road, journey-way, or road. We go through Him, or we don't go at all!

Emmanuel Community Church 7


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