Representing Our Creator
Ask yourself: How do my decisions at home and at school and on the street and in business testify and reflect upon the name of the God I worship?
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? This your good friend, Dr. Cook and I’m back once again to talk with you about the truths that are found in God’s blessed holy Word. We try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
Come with me then to Psalm 23, we’re looking at verse three, “Restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”. Paths of righteousness. A path is not a highway, it’s a narrow way. Jesus said, “Narrow, straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life everlasting. Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction”. “There is a way that seemeth right unto man, a way there at the end, thereof are the ways of death”, said the wise man. God always points out that His way is not the broad, easy, smorgasbord kind of religion, that so many would like to have it be. God’s Truth is a narrow Truth, and when people accuse me of being narrow, I feel complimented because a compass is narrow, and mathematics is narrow, and science is narrow. All of these different things that are so important in life, turn out to be quite narrow in terms of exactness. The paths of righteousness, there isn’t any way to say both yes and no to the will of God. Either it is or it isn’t, and you’ll find very clear directions in His Word. God always leads in conformity to His blessed Word, the Bible. You’ll never be guided divinely, to do anything that isn’t in agreement with the written Word of God. Second, you’ll never be guided divinely, to do anything that isn’t in agreement with the indwelling Holy Spirit. If you’re a believer on the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God dwells within you, and He witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God, and He helps us pray according to the will of God. “We know not”, says Paul in Romans eight, “what we should pray for, as we ought but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered and He that search the heart”, (that’s God the Father,) “knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because He, the Spirit, maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God”. When you are praying and the Spirit of God is leading you beloved, you’re praying according to God’s will, and He’ll never lead you to do anything that isn’t in agreement with the blessed indwelling Spirit of God. God always agrees with Himself, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness”. God’s path is a narrow path. It’s a path that is in conformity with His revealed will, it’s a path that is in conformity with Himself and His blessed Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer, and God’s path is a path that leads to results that are in agreement with God’s plan and purpose. God will never lead you to do something that would harm someone else or diminish your effectiveness as a Gospel witness. He will never lead you to do something that would frustrate the purposes of Almighty God. When He leads you, it is in conformity with His word with Himself, with the His Holy Spirit, and with His purpose for the world. These are the paths that we’re talking about.
Now, it’s paths of righteousness. Righteousness is the quality of being and doing right. And so, you gauge all of your decisions by the simple question, ‘Is it right in the sight of God and in the direction of the Word of God?’ Does it agree with the Word, is it right? Oftentimes those of you in management know this so well, oftentimes in management, you’ll be confronted with the need to make a decision that involves people and people’s feelings, and the tendency is to compromise somewhere along the line, and to say, “Well now let’s do it this way, so that so and so doesn’t get upset, and it’ll work out Alright”, and so on. Well, oftentimes I’ve found myself stopping in the midst of a meeting and saying, “Now, wait just a minute folks, let’s ask this question, is this right?” What we have to do is the right thing, not the convenient thing, not the compromising thing, not the profitable thing, not the thing that will keep us from getting into some kind of problem area, but what’s the right thing to do under God, and let’s seek Him. And so I will call sometimes, call a prayer meeting right in the middle of a of a business session, say, “Let’s seek God about this”, and we pray about it and we’ll end up doing something that we may not have intended to do, but which turns out to have been the right thing, the paths of righteousness. When you’re confronted with a decision, always ask God, what is the right thing–do right.
Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to lecture his students and I can hear his stentorian tones still saying, “Do right! Though the stars fall, do the right thing”. That was pretty good advice then and it’s surely is now. Can you think of some of the situations that you beloved, are facing, where you could solve your uncertainty simply by asking that question, and by praying along that line? Lord help me do the right thing, what’s the right thing in your sight? The paths of righteousness. Now, not only that, but we have a righteousness that is given to us, the righteousness of God apart from the laws revealed, even the righteousness of God by faith unto and upon all them that believe. See God gives His righteousness. It’s imputed to us that means reckoned, reckoned to out to our account, God gives us His righteousness through the Lord Jesus Christ. He reckons us righteous. So, the paths of righteousness for the New Testament believer, have to do not only with the question, is it right in God’s sight, but the question, is it in conformity with the Divine righteousness that God has reckoned to me? Is this going to reflect God and His righteousness? You see what I mean? Is this going to reflect God and His righteousness, or will it rather, reflect my own desires. The paths of righteousness. Would you think about that the next time you have to make a decision? How will this decision reflect upon though blessed Lord who gave me His righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Now, notice he says, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”. I’ve reminded you now and again of what my father said to me when I was a teenage boy going out for some evening occasion or other, and I’d have the keys to the old car the we had, I’d fixed it up, overhauled it. It ran pretty well. It was an old ‘91 Willys-Overland, the baby Overland, they called it. Had a little dinner bucket engine, scarcely big enough to see, but powerful little engine, with a lot of torque, and it was the first of numbers of cars that independent front springing. As some of you old-timers remember, it had a sort of a cow catcher a pan out in front, on which were mounted two sets of a semi-elliptical springs, and each set of springs was connected then to one of the front wheels, so that you had independent front springing. It road pretty comfortably, and it was quite a car. He literally drove the wheels off of it, after I went away to school. He told me sadly one day, he said, “You know boy, the wooden spokes in those wheels finally came loose, I didn’t have any more wheels, so I had to trade it in. (laughs) Well, it ran pretty well. I’d be taking that car out for some occasion, a date or whatever, and as I went out the door of the little rented room that we called home, there in East Toledo, and was about to make my way down the steps to start the little old Overland, to go my way, he would look at me over the top of his glasses and he would say, “Remember my boy, you bear my name. Take good care of it. Remember my boy, you bear my name. Take good care of it”. Well you don’t get away from advice like that and I daresay that that advice kept me from doing some foolish things that I might otherwise have done. You bear the name of your blessed Lord. We are called Christian’s, that although it was applied probably as a term of derision, little Christ’s, is what it really meant, still you have His name upon you, and the purpose of God’s working in this age is to take out a people for His name, it says. God has put His name on you, beloved, and so He’s going to take care of you because of His name. What you and I do affect how people perceive God, and so it says, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”, God has an investment in you and it directly affects how people perceive Him, and the name of God. We read when God was reproving someone says, The the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”. God’s name, through our foolishness, can be dragged in the dust. God’s name through our obedience, can be exalted and praised. So he says, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”.
What about God’s name in relationship to your character, your lifestyle, your conduct, and your decisions? This is an area of thought that I think might be very helpful if we just spend little time, each of us, thinking and praying about it. What does my character say about the God whom I profess to worship? How does the kind of person I am, in other words, affect people’s perception of the God I say I worship? What does my lifestyle say about the God whom I worship? How do people perceive God, when they watch the way I live? How do my decisions, at home and at school and on the street and in business, how do my decisions testify and reflect upon the name of the God I worship? Now one of the sensitive areas of course, or two sensitive areas really, one is at home the other is work, and a third close beside it is school. The sensitive areas are at home: people know you so well, they know what will get you impatient, they know what will please you, they know exactly how you live because they live with you. Now what does your lifestyle testify about the God whom you say you love, before the people who know you so well? You can’t put anything over on them. You can’t show a kind of a phony piety and hope that they’ll be impressed, because they know you better than that. How does your lifestyle talk to people about God, and in business, the same thing is true. You make business decisions every day, buying decision, production method decisions, efficiency decisions, cost-cutting decisions, profit-making decisions, personnel decisions, where you transfer or promote or whatever. Now those decisions that you’re making, business executive, man or woman, those decisions that you’re making do in a very real sense, reflect the kind of God you serve. Oh, to be so full of the Spirit of God and to be so yielded to do God’s will, that the decisions I make on the job, reflect the love and righteousness and holiness of God. You know, people don’t always have to agree with you but they will always respect you if they know that you have made your decisions based upon what God told you when you’re on your knees. I have not always had boards of trustees or deacons agree with me through 50 years, but there has never been a time beloved, when I came from my knees with the knowledge that God had spoken to my heart, but that other people respected that point of view and very frequently agreed with it. Be sure that you’re right with God, be sure that He’s leading, be sure that you are protecting the blessed name of the Lord whom you bear, by your lifestyle, by your character, by your decisions, by all of the reflexive purposes of your life.
Father God today, lead us for Thy namesake, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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