Here’s an important clarification in the land of lone-rangers. Jesus is the perfect, sinless God-man — and during his earthly ministry was able to go at it alone if needed — but even he always seemed to have his disciples with him. How much more do we need a team, to go at our evangelistic efforts with a solid brother or sister or two who will not let us be dragged down by the sin around us, and in us, but keep us on mission, intentional to engage and rescue sinners with the gospel of Jesus.
Deadly disease. The biblical example are the Pharisees. They criticized Jesus about defying the Law and the Prophets and ignored His assertion: “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17).
They criticized Jesus for healing on the day of rest, or the Sabbath. Grieved by the hardness of their hearts, Jesus challenged them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:4).
When Jesus intended to do good, His critics intended to derail Him. In response, Jesus confronted their legalism and went back to the heart of bringing glory to God. my read should do the same.
“You must confront them at times, just as Jesus did, and speak truth to them in the loving authority of the Holy Spirit.”
Good and bad criticism: it’s not about which one makes you feel good. It’s about which one points you to Jesus.
“You must never let [critics] distract you or divert your attention from your relationship with God and His purpose for you.
When we walk in divine wisdom, we can rest assured that the Lord is with us always. He won’t allow us to enter into any situation that He has not anticipated, nor will He permit a circumstance unless He intends it for our good.
God’s Divine Protection
Wisdom protects us from various sources of wickedness, including:
1. Evil in such forms as dangerous situations, harmful substances, and destructive circumstances. We are to reject evil and flee from it whenever possible.
- What attitude gets a “fool” (unwise person) into trouble with regard to evil (Prov. 14:16)?
2. People who entice us to do evil: Any person who tempts you to sin is not a friend. He or she wants to lead you into a situation that will ultimately cause you loss or harm (Prov. 2:10-18).
- Why should we not be close friends with those who have ungodly lifestyles (Prov. 24:1-2, 1 Cor. 15:33)?
3. Misleading emotions: Many people live according to the whims of their emotions. But “what feels good” isn’t always beneficial for us. Instead, we are called to trust the Holy Spirit for guidance rather than our desires, impulses, and feelings.
- Why should we not trust our hearts (Prov. 28:26)?
- Briefly describe a choice you made based on what “felt good” rather than what the Lord wanted you to do. What did you learn from that experience?
A Good Self-Image
You are extremely important to God. The Father loves you, values you, and desires a close relationship with you. He has a specific plan for your life. These facts should give you confidence and a strong self-image.
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