Summary: A detailed look at how "the steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord;" how God guides our lives, and what the final outcome will be.
STEPS ORDERED BY GOD
A. HUMOR: QUIZ FOR THE DAY
1. Say "silk" five times. Now, spell "silk." What do cows drink? If you said "milk", please do not attempt the next question. Cows drink water. Your brain is obviously over- stressed and may even overheat. If you said "water," then proceed to the next question.
2. Q: Twenty years ago, a plane was flying at 20,000 feet over Germany. If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing. Unfortunately, the engine fails before he has time and the plane crashes smack in the middle of "no-man's-land" between East Germany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors - East Germany or West Germany or in "no-man's-land?"
3. A: You don't, of course, bury the survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
1. We’re going to look at what these verses mean, and see the special way God guides our lives – especially believers – and what the final outcome will be.
2. The title of tonight’s message is “Steps Ordered By God.”
I. The STEPS of a Good Person
A. STEPS IMPLIES PROGRESS
1. Steps (def.) – “a movement made by lifting your foot and putting it down in a different place.
2. “advance, progress.” When God says ‘He will order our steps,’ this implies that we’re advancing in Christ, that we’re attempting to make forward progress.
3. “You can’t steer a parked car,” someone said. The only way to progress spiritually is to attempt to put the Word of God into practice in some area of our lives, that we haven’t done yet.
4. Prayer, reading the Word, witnessing, giving, etc.
B. STEPS IMPLIES A SMALL DISTANCE
1. Step = “the distance covered in one step.” “Steps” refers to small movements.
2. Jets go hundreds of miles per hour, cars can fly down the road 70 mph, but humans on foot have to take one small step at a time.
3. If you’ve ever had to walk from a broken-down car, you know how incredibly long it takes to walk, just from the church to Walmart! 30-45 minutes!
4. It’s slow-going spiritually too. We usually want to know the end at the beginning, but only God knows that. He usually leads us one small step at a time. This requires trust.
5. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.” A lamp or flashlight can’t illuminate the whole journey ahead, but only one small area right in front of the feet. God doesn’t usually illumine the entire path.
1. There once was an elderly lady named Betty who went to a famous “walking therapy” Doctor because she was so bent over when she walked.
2. The doctor’s waiting room was packed with patients when she arrived. At last her name was called. She slowly made her way -- completely bent over – to the inner offices, leaning heavily on her walking stick.
3. When she returned to the waiting room 15 minutes later -- to everyone’s surprise -- she came briskly out walking almost upright. She was holding her head high and had a smile on her face.
4. A woman friend in the waiting room exclaimed, “Betty, it's unbelievable. You walk in bent over double and now you walk out erect. That doctor must have worked a miracle!”
5. Betty said, "Miracle, shmiracle! He just gave me a longer walking stick!"
II. The Steps of a GOOD Person
What makes a person qualify as a “good” person?
A. WHAT BEING GOOD IS NOT:
1. A person isn’t ‘good’ just because they don’t use drugs, get drunk on alcohol, or act promiscuously.
2. Nor are we good because we are property owners or Law-abiding citizens or have an educational pedigree. Jesus Himself, when addressed as “Good Master,” replied, “Who is good but God alone?” In Him is no sin! But us – that’s another matter.
3. “There is none righteous; no, not one” Rom. 3:10. Our best righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa. 64:6), so how can WE be good?
B. HOW WE CAN BE MADE GOOD
1. Rom. 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”