If There Is Any Virtue…

If There Is Any Virtue

If there is any virtue are words that we find in the bible…that I believe to be one of the most thought-provoking passages of scripture found in the word of God.

Maybe you already know which verse I’m speaking of?

But, for the sake of those who don’t… please bear with me as I tell you.

The verse of scripture that I am talking about is none other than Philippians 4:8…I refer to this verse as the “Whatever Things” verse of the bible.

You know the one that starts out admonishing us to think on things like…whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is honest and so on…

No doubt…these are great thoughts to think on, and truly these are the type of thoughts that can transform our lives and also shape the way that we view the world around us.

These are thoughts that will help us to develop the mind of Christ within us…

help us to think more godly thoughts and also strengthen our walk with the Lord.

 

But what about virtue?

What is virtue from a biblical perspective?

The word virtue from a biblical perspective means to possess moral integrity or to have moral excellence about oneself.

Moral excellence is for one to be able to freely and voluntarily submit to and obey the law and commandments of our God.

 

If You Are Willing.

It’s pretty amazing to me that we are more than willing to do a lot of the things that God ask us to do in and from his word.

I heard someone say that the parts of the bible that we are not highlighting are the ones that we should be highlighting and participating in most of all.

That my friend makes for a good sermon…

I mean think about this for a moment with me if you will.

If I was one to place bets… I would be willing to bet that one of the most highlighted verses in the bible would be Romans 8:28. And rightly so… It should be.

But what about this one…

Follow after love… We find that admonition in 1 Corinthians 14:1 and as I say if I was one to place a bet… I would be willing to bet that not many of us as Christians would even know where to find it or that it would be highlighted in our Bible’s.

Love is the most important thing that we are to pursue as the children of God.

Yet most of us are willing to do everything else that God wants us to do besides loving our neighbor and the putting of the needs of others above ourselves.

Let’s take a look at what God spoke through the prophet Isaiah… We find these words in Isaiah 1:19.

If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land…

You see my friend if we are going to walk well pleasing in the sight of our God and be fruitful unto every good work… We must first have a willingness in our hearts to do so.

 

If You Are Obedient.

It is important to know that without a willingness in our hearts…it is impossible to be obedient to God.

In 1 Samuel 15:22 we read the words… Obedience is better than sacrifice… Now, of course, the verse goes on to tell us a few other things that we should earnestly take heed to…

But I want us to focus on the “obedience is better than sacrifice” part for the time being.

Why is that you might ask?

Well, beloved, it’s because obeying God is of the utmost importance… Let’s explore a few of the reasons why?

1… When we obey God we honor Him.

2… Obedience conforms us into the image of Christ.

3… We get what God promises us in the scriptures as we obey him and do things his way.

4… And lastly… Well, beloved our obedience proves our trust in the Lord.

Now let me leave you with this quote concerning obedience to God.

“Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.”

That my beloved friend is one of my favorite quotes. And if you are familiar with Dr. Charles Stanley you have probably heard him say it several times.

But you say how do I get there?

And the answer is that you and I… can’t. That is not on our own… Or should I say that you or I… can’t get there in our own human ability.

And here is what we all have to wrap our hearts and minds around as believers and followers of Christ…

And it is that…

God Works In Us and He Works Through Us.

 

Without The Lord, We Can Do Nothing.

I have rehearsed on my tongue and in my mind over and over again the scripture that tells me that without the Lord I can do nothing. We find that extraordinary verse in John 15:5.

You see most of us take for granted the things that the Lord so graciously allows us to do.

And a lot of the things that we do…we do without thinking about doing them.  it’s because they are so much of our daily routines it’s just so easy and natural for most of us to do them.

You know what I mean… the stuff like being able to brush your own teeth.

 Or like, having a face to face conversation with your friends.

…enjoying your favorite tv program, riding a bicycle or even read a good book.

All of these things that we could not do if not for the Lord, we tend to think that we do them in our own strength… And the sad part about it…is that I’m talking about us as Christians.

Yes, we do this as followers of Christ.

Why do you think this is?

I’ll tell you why…

It’s because of a human flaw that all of us come into existence with.

Self-Centeredness and Pridefulness

These are what I believe to be the most destructive and deceitful sins that we have to contend with as Christ followers.

 

Dying To Self Ain’t Easy.

One of my close friends and teachers is always reminding me that…

It’s me, that God is trying to get me… away from.

In other words, if God can get me away from myself… then he can do something in me and through me.

Beloved… the same just may apply to you as well.

Present your body as a living sacrifice unto God… That’s what the bible tells us as followers of Christ to do.

This my beloved friend is the first step toward being free from ourselves.

Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed… This is the second step toward freedom.

But how shall we be transformed?

That’s a good question… And I’m glad that you asked.

Here’s the answer…

The Bible tells us that we are transformed by renewing our minds by the word of God.

The Bible is the only book that I know of that claims to be alive. And might I add that I am totally convinced that the claim is the absolute truth.

There’s no other book on God’s green earth that can speak to us and show us who we really are within us and without as the bible can.

I’m a bit ashamed to admit this but… It took me a long time to realize that God is right and I’m not.

That is to say that I am not right unless I am adhering to the instructions that God gives me from his word.

This my dear friend takes dying to one’s self… And none of us will see things the way God wants us to see them unless we die to ourselves.

The way I see it… is that being able to die to oneself is truly a gift from God.

And the reason that I say this is… because no man, woman, boy or girl will die to themselves except they receive a little personal persuasion from our Heavenly Father.

This is what we as believers and followers of Christ know as the breaking process.

Only God knows exactly what is needed for each of us to surrender to his will and give up our way of thinking and our way of doing our own thing.

You see my friend… then and only then will we be able to live a life of virtue or moral excellence the way our Lord purposes for us.

 

Who is like unto the Lord?

God is excellent in all of his ways.

This is what we should meditate on.

Yes, I believe if we can only understand that no one is more virtuous than the Lord our God.

There is nothing or no one that can come close to his majesty and excellent virtue.

During this week of our Transformation Meditation adventures… let us earnestly contemplate on the magnificent virtues of our Holy and gracious heavenly Father.

If there’s anyone that we should admire and wish to imitate it should be God.

He is the only one who is exceedingly excellent in all of his ways.

Whatever God does is right and whatever he does is pure and just.

As a matter of fact, let me lay it out for you.

It’s amazing how I am just seeing this. But nevertheless, here it is.

Do you remember when I mentioned that only the Holy Spirit could illustrate… and line up a thought process like the one that we find in Philippians 4:8?

And do you also remember how I said that the process works?

I’m sure you do. But, if not you should go back and listen to the lecture on “Whatever things are of good report.”

But for now, let me show you an even more profound way to study the “Whatever Things.” of Philippians 4:8.

So, when meditating on whatever is true… our thoughts should immediately turn to Jesus, our Lord and our God.

When Jesus was asked by his disciple Thomas to show them the way…

Jesus proclaimed to be the way, the truth, and the life. See John 14:6.

Whatever is true begins with our Lord Jesus who also told us that if we continued in his word, that we being his disciples… would know the truth, and the truth would make us free.

Wow!

Our God is an awesome God.

fruit of the spirit meditation

And will not the God and Creator of all things do whatever is just?

The patriarch Abraham asked God a similar question that we find in Genesis 18:25.

This is when God disclosed to Abraham that he was about to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That’s also another fascinating story of the bible.

But, for now, here are the words that Abraham spoke to God…

“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

That my beloved is a really deep question.

Think about it with me for a little while.

Do notice how the question was posed?

If you will notice that Abraham did not ask God shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is right? But he asked shall not he do right?

So, you may be asking why does that make a difference?

Well, this is how I see it…  The do what is right is insinuating that one can pick and choose what one wishes to do the right thing by… 

Meaning that one has a choice whether or not what one is going to do when it comes to doing that which is right for this thing or for that circumstance.

But the “Shall not he do right” means that everything that one does has to be right.

I mean there’s no shadow of turning…there’s not a hint of injustice involved in any decision or judgment that is made.

I really pray that you get what I’m saying here.

Shall not he do right?

Meditate on that one for a while… That’s after you finish hearing this lecture… or reading it… whichever you are doing.

How can that which is true and just not be honest?

Whatever is honest remind me of the verse of scripture that tells us that God is not like a man… and he (God) cannot tell a lie.

The first time we see that truth is found in Numbers 23:19 where we read these words…

“God is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

What an awesome truth to meditate on…

I suggest that you also take notice of the following verses as well.

1 Samuel 15:29, James 1:17, Romans 3:3, Titus 2:13 and Titus 1:2

These are verses that we should preach to ourselves when doubt arises and attempts to hinder our trust in the promises of God our Savior.

 

Pure Truth, Justice, and Honesty.

Previously we talked about whatever is pure… The verses of scripture that we used for our Transformation Meditation were Psalms 19:8 which reads…

The commandment of the LORD is pure enlightening the eyes.

We also studied and meditated on Matthew 5:8… Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

The words and the ways of God are untainted… His words and his ways are the purest of the pure.

Everything about God is pure.

His truth is pure and all truth is of Him.

His justice is pure… again I say, and as I quote Genesis 18:25… Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

The answer is yes…

God is the only one that does all things right and he does all with absolute honesty from a pure heart.

The Loveliness of a true, a just, honest and pure God.

Let us worship the Lord our God in the beauty of His Holiness.

The thought process that is given to us by the Holy Spirit that we find in Philippians 4:8 allows us to do just that.

Although it hadn’t dawned on me until recently… What I mean is that this thought process should first and foremost point us to God.

When we really think about whatever is lovely… Who my friend is more lovely than God himself?

So, as we meditate on the virtues of life in this week of transformation meditations, we should always keep in our mind… that if there is any moral excellence or virtue…

Our thoughts should begin with and our thoughts should also end with Jesus… the author and finisher of our faith.

Thank you for listening to this lecture on Transformation Meditation… If there’s any virtue.

Beloved…

If you would like to learn more about New Day Meditation please visit the website at

New Day Meditation.com

And as always…

Keep up the good practice…

And discover the power of God working to give you a new life…

through meditation.

 

FeltonT
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