Summary: How do we recognize and pursue Godliness? 1. We stay away from evil influences. 2. We follow the teachings of scripture. 3. We anticipate divine blessing.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE GODLINESS
1. Illus. of two magazine articles
• One was on famous femal movie star. She talked about her desire to accumulate wealth, popularity, and sexual promiscuity. “I’m not happy, and I don’t even know anybody who is!”
• The other article was about Mother Teresa. She talked about her pursuit of God, and how that pursuit had led her to ghettos of Calcutta India to work with lepers and impoverished. “I am filled with an overwhelming joy!”
• Thought, “that illustrates the two places people look for happiness and satisfaction.”
2. Many people, even many Christian people, are looking for happiness in the same places as the movie starlet. These people are convinced that if they can just get that next promotion, or if they can acquire enough stuff, or if they can accumulate just a little more money, life will be filled with happiness and satisfaction and purpose. Can I tell you a secret? In and of themselves, these things will not bring you what you are looking for! There is nothing wrong with these things. Its just that without God in the picture they will not satisfy!
3. There is another way! This Psalm is about the godly man, and it begins by saying, “blessed is the man…” The Hebrew phrase could be translated, “oh how very happy!” The key to happiness is in pursuing and attaining godliness. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that the amount of happiness and satisfaction in your life will be directly proportionate to the vigor with which you pursue God!
4. Text: Psalmist talks about the common characteristics shared by all godly people.
5. Today: We can recognize godliness in ourselves and others by looking for these common characteristics.
6. What are the characteristics of a godly person?
I. A GODLY PERSON AVOIDS EVIL COMPANIONS
1. See vs 1-
Walks not in the counsel of the ungodly… Doesn’t conduct his life according to advice of those who are ungodly.
Nor stands in the path of sinners… This is a figure of speech. He doesn’t walk same path as lost people, i.e. doesn’t follow their example.
Nor sit in the seat of the scornful… He doesn’t hang out around people who mock and sneer at God.
2. A godly person realizes the tremendous impact that the people he hangs out with will have on his life. So, he chooses to surround himself with people who will help his walk with God, and not people who will hinder it!
3. Illus. of Michael
• Born and reared in the south. He could “ya’ll” with the best of us.
• Moved to upstate New York. In case you don’t know, that’s on the northern side of the Mason-Dixon line!
• This Christmas, I noticed he had begun to “youse guys!” He has started talking like a Yankee!
• It’s human nature to take on characteristics of those surrounding us.
• Spiritual realm as well! Surround yourself with godly people, will begin to pick up their godly attitudes and habits. Surround yourself with ungodly people, will pick up their ungodly attitudes and habits.
4. See I Kings 11:1-4
5. Let me make a distinction here. The Bible clearly tells us to cultivate friendships with lost pagans for the sake of carrying the Gospel to them. How do we reconcile that with this admonition to not surround ourselves with ungodly people? I want you to imagine your life is a big circle with a bulls-eye in the middle. Circle = friends, people you do stuff with and have a good relationship with. Bulls-eye = inner circle, boyfriend, close intimate friends, best friend, people you admire and whose advice you value. Fill your big circle with pagans. Fill your bulls-eye with godly people!