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SermonDiscerning Godly Lifestyles
An all-creatures Bible Message

Discerning Godly Lifestyles
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
17 January 2016
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 36:5-10
John 2:1-11
1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Discerning Godly lifestyles is something that we all should be doing every day of our lives.
 
Most people seem content to live in the corrupt ways of this world with all its violence, corruption, indifference, injustice, pain, suffering, and death, and as we should know, none of these things are in the heavenly will of God.
 
We are to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and are filled with the Holy Spirit; and if we are, then we should be discerning Godly lifestyles in the people who are also living in the heavenly will of God, from those who live in the corrupt ways of this world.
 
And one of the easiest ways of discerning Godly lifestyles is by looking at what people eat and wear, for if they contain death they cannot be Godly lifestyles, and we should not follow them.
 
As we look at Psalm 36:5-10, a psalm of David, letís look at what he wrote in terms of discerning Godly lifestyles.

5. Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies.

When David wrote this psalm, he knew that there was no limit to Godís lovingkindness, the same spiritual lovingkindness He used to create the heavens and the earth.
 
And, this heavenly lovingkindness is not a part of this corrupt world, for the worldís love, compassion, and kindness is limited, which is something we should see when we are discerning Godly lifestyles.

6. Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Thy judgments are like a great deep.
O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast.

David understood that Godís unconditional love covers the whole of creation, and that He preserves the lives of humans and animals, yet David was also responsible for killing and sacrificing many animals, which showed that David was living in the corrupt ways of the world.
 
David had the same kind of disconnect that most people have today, when it comes to killing and eating animals.
 
Animals have the God-given right to live free of human exploitation, a fact that most people ignore, and as a result well over 100 billion land and sea animals suffer horribly and die every year for human gluttony.

7. How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.

David seemed to know the truth, but he was part of the human problem that deprives animals from taking the same refuge in the Lord that he wrote that the human children have.
 
While knowing who the Lord really is, David also showed the problem with our human society today.
 
We honor God with our words, but only in a limited fashion when it comes to animals.

8. They drink their fill of the abundance of Thy house;
And Thou dost give them to drink of the river of Thy delights.

David knew that God desires this for both humans and animals, but he excluded the animals when it came to trying to live in the heavenly will of God.
 
We are not to be following the worldly and ungodly things that David did, for they have to be rejected when we are discerning Godly lifestyles.

9. For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light we see light.

God created this for both animals and humans; itís time we all wake up to this fact, and allow the animals to enjoy the life that God created for them to have.

10. O continue Thy lovingkindness to those who know Thee,
And Thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
NASB

With few exceptions, we believe that the animals really do know God, and are more spiritually upright than most humans.
 
We should understand this if we are discerning Godly lifestyles.
 
Itís time we recognize this fact.
 
In John 2:1-11, we are told the story about the time that Jesus turned water into wine.

1. And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
 
2. and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding.
 
3. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."
 
4. And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come." 

Mary knew that Jesus was able to perform miracles, but Jesus was not prepared to begin His ministry.
 
Mary really pushed Him into beginning His ministry.
 
What we are not told is whether this came from Maryís pride in wanting to show off her son, or whether this was really a push by the Holy Spirit.
 
If it is really a push by the Holy Spirit, then it is part of a Godly lifestyle.

5. His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

So Jesus goes ahead and does as His mother wishes.

6. Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.
 
7. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.

Apparently the water in the waterpots was soiled from people washing, so Jesus asked them to fill them with clean fresh water.

8. And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter." And they took it to him.
 
9. And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom,
 
10. and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when men have drunk freely, then that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now."

The servants knew that Jesus had performed a miracle.

11. This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
NASB

Elsewhere we are told that the disciples recognized Jesus as Lord, but was there still some doubt?
 
We donít know the answer, but this miracle seems to have cemented their faith.
 
Unfortunately, even to this very day, there are many people who desire to do miracles like these, and even whole ministries have been built upon a leader claiming that he could do miracles, which donít happen the way that Jesusí did.
 
These kinds of people are living in the sin of the boastful pride of life, and not in the heavenly will of God.
 
The ďgiftsĒ that are most often ďfakedĒ are miracles of healing and speaking in tongues, and the reason that they donít work is because they are not a true gift of the Spirit.
 
In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Paul tells us about the gifts of the Spirit of God that are bestowed upon true children of God.

1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.

In other words, Paul wants us to be aware of the difference between the true gifts of the Spirit, and those that people pretend to have, which we need to understand when we are discerning Godly lifestyles.

2. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols, however you were led.
 
3. Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Paul is talking about the peacemaking children of God who truly live in the heavenly will of God, because anyone can just say these words, and that would be counter to what Paul is saying.
 
Paul is talking about true believers who live by faith in the heavenly will of God.
 
So Paul goes on and explains about the gifts of the Spirit.

4. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

In other words, all true gifts come from God and not from human beings.

5. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

And again, we are talking about true ministries of God, and not the ones that some people claim they have for reasons of pride.

6. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

God uses willing believers in specific ways that best serve His will, and will be most effective in touching others to believe, just as the disciples believed when Jesus turned the water into wine; but most often the effects of the gifts of the Spirit are much more subtle.

7. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
 
8. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
 
9. to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
 
10. and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

All these things are possible, but as Paul says, not everyone gets all of these gifts, and no group or church has everyone receiving the same gift, for different people are more easily persuaded by the manifestation of one gift more than others.
 
It is just as Paul tells us next.

11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
NASB

This is the way things should be in any ministry, and as Paul warned in the beginning, we need to be on the alert to discern the difference between the true gifts of the Spirit and those which people pretend they have.
 
And while we are on the alert discerning Godly lifestyles, we also should remember that every one of us makes mistakes from time to time; we are not perfect, but we should also have a repentant spirit, so that as soon as we make a mistake, we should also ask God and anyone else involved to forgive us, and resolve in our hearts and souls not to make the same mistake again.
 
We cannot always be discerning Godly lifestyles quickly, but we need to look at peopleís lives over the long haul.
 
If their worldly ways are consistently exhibited, then we can be fairly sure that they are not living a Godly lifestyle.
 
We should be discerning Godly lifestyles and following them, and reject the ways of this corrupt world.
 
Amen.

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