Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Approving What is Excellent

 Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Some material taken from Living Worthy Of The Gospel

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…  Philippians 1:9-10

Approving What is Excellent and Staying Pure and Blameless

The very best way to approve what is excellent so we can remain pure and blameless for the day of Christ is the same principal we use to love with knowledge and discernment - to completely line our lives up with the Word of God. He gave us His Word to guide us. If we filter everything we do and say through His word, and prayer for guidance, it will be easier to approve what is excellent and keep ourselves pure and blameless. It won’t be easy, but easier. Satan will not make it easy for us. He loves for Christians to stumble.

What does it mean to approve what is excellent? 

The idea is to be able to set a proper value on things. To know what is valuable and what is not. To know what is more and most valuable. To know what is worthwhile and what is vital. To know what is excellent, what really matters. - Sam Nobles

This speaks to how we use our time. This one kind of hurts in the age of Netflix and social media. We can watste a lot of time binge watching one series after the other, and scrolling through social media. We can fill our minds with a whole lot of information that is not excellent. Through the past year and a half, we got really good at making ourselves comfortable with this while quarantined and shut down. One part of this is idleness, which the Bible warns about in Proverbs:  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. Proverbs 16:27 TLB  I chose this translation becaue it speaks to the danger we are in if we have free time and the devil puts the wrong thought in our minds. He knows our weaknesses and he will try over and over again to entice us away from the things that are excellent to what is not. It is often during the “down” times or what I like to call the “in between” times that get us. It is the time in between one task and another. The time inbetween one appointment and another. It is the “I have an hour to kill so I will just pop into this shop and see what I can find…” or “I will just watch my show on Netfix,” or worse. If we aren’t disciplined when no one is looking (God is always looking), and filtering everything in our lives through our Heavenly Father, we can get into trouble with free time. 

Fill your time with work for Him. Volunteer with your free time. If you have free time and you need help staying disciplined, find an accountability partner and meet with them. Ask for prayer. We all struggle with discipline as humans. If staying home is a problem for you, get out and go for a walk. Never underestimate the power of the family of God and their love and support. 

Follow the sequence; love, controlled by biblical truth and practical insight, leads to the pursuit of excellence, which now produces purity or integrity. - Sam Nobles

If we properly approve what is excellent it will directly lead to remaining pure and blameless. It is a building block on the foundation of a life in Christ. If we don’t align our lives with Him, we can easily get involved in things that are not according to His Word and that will directly lead us to actions that are not pure or blameless. 

Sam gave the illustration Sunday of the potters and how they tried to coneal cracks in their pots to make people think they were perfect. 

In Paul’s time, a potter who was making a vessel of some kind, would turn it on his wheel and place it in a fire. Impurities in the clay would cause the vessel to crack and become useless. Dishonest potters would cover up cracks by filling them with wax and painting over them. One buying pottery would typically hold the pottery up to the sunlight because the sunlight could shine through the crack and expose the wax filling.

This certainly happens to us as Christians. We may try to hide our flaws, but time and pressure will expose them. We don’t have to pretend to be perfect in Christ. We are never perfect. It is His love and His blood that will perfect us in Him. 

Staying in His Word, a daily (and more often!) prayer time, and time spent with Him in meditation will keep us where we need to be. It will help us live a life that glorifies Him in every way, in every area - sincere, pure, without flaw, real, genuine, and honest. 

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