Sermon shared by Gary Moore
Summary: Delighting one’s self in God is the first priority of the Chrisitan
Audience: General adults
There is a myth abroad that the best things in life come to a person by way of natural selection (birth). For example, it is often said that leaders are born and not made. This is not true. Leaders are made. Similarly, character, which is the most important part of a person’s life, is formed most effectively by those who resolve to do what is right. It does not come easily nor is it something you have forever once you possess it. Rather, it has to be worked at to be maintained. If you have good looks, physical prowess, some native abilities, all the better, but what matters most in life is the formation of your character. It is essential to know right from wrong and have the courage to do what is good even when one is tempted to do what is wrong. Being smart is helpful, but being good is profitable in everything. And it is always better to be good than to be clever. The earlier one sets his bearings in life the less likely he is to stray off course. As a teenager Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank (Daniel 1.8). It is important to focus one’s affections on matters of eternal value: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12.1-2; cp. Micah 7.7).
Understanding right from wrong can be difficult in a culture that claims right and wrong has no grounding in absolute truth. The assumption that truth is relative is the philosophical basis upon which this society labels as good what the Bible identifies as evil (e.g., defiance of authority, tolerance of excessive alcoholic consumption, homosexuality and abortion), while the things that the Bible declares to be good are often declared to be evil or prudish (e.g., sexual purity, personal piety, abstinence). Scripture reminds us: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! (Isaiah 5.20-23). The Bible teaches us that present actions have future consequences. Ultimately, there is more to this life than first meets the eye: Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4.16b-18; cp. 1 Corinthians 15.12-19). However, future judgment does not negate the more immediate
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