The story of the fiery furnace came to mind as I thought about this recharge. King Nebuchadnezzar was full of himself, to say the least. He loved himself so much that he had a self-portrait, 90 ft. tall and 9 ft. wide, erected in his country. Worse, he told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “No god can save you from me” (Daniel 3:15, New Living Translation). After such bold defiance and disrespect, it’s a miracle that King Nebuchadnezzar lived to learn about our fire-quenching GOD.
Sadly, the disposition displayed by King Nebuchadnezzar is a rising trend. Actors and athletes take credit for their award-winning success; musicians claim to be gods. These are scornful behaviors – actions that defy and diminish GOD, the giver of every good gift (see James 1:17). The author of Psalm 1 advises us not to join their antics, for their lifestyle will end disastrously.
In 2009, vow to scurry past the scornful. Don’t be comfortable around anyone who disrespects JESUS, our everything!
For in him we live and move and exist (Acts 17:28, New Living Translation) …
The Bible notes that “sin pays off with death” (Romans 6:23, New Living Translation). That is, the reward given for blatant disobedience to GOD is death. This death will not be peaceful, for the cemetery will be an eternal, fiery pit. And, you’ll be miserable if you go there, for this fire will cause weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12, New Living Translation). Therefore, it’s wise to avoid sin and anyone who embraces that lifestyle.
No wonder the author of Psalm 1 advised us not to stand in the way of sinners. That is, don’t follow sinners or find comfort in their practices. Sadly, many people have opted against this advice. The temporary, yet fleeing, satisfaction of sin lures them out of GOD’S will. They don’t realize that you quickly resemble the company you keep. Worse, they forget the paycheck for sin – death!
The path of sinners may look appetizing now, but it will be agonizing later. If you’ve welcomed sinful acquaintances, then it’s time to sever the ties. Hell is too hot, and heaven is too much to miss!
An excerpt from one of my favorite quotes says, “A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” It’s true – you are who you hang around, and bad company corrupts good people. Later in the quote, the author says, “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.” An easy way to lose weight in 2009 is to end relationships with people who pull you down.
What types of people should you avoid? Psalm 1 lists three, and ungodly people top the list. Ungodly people lack an awareness of GOD, and they consistently live by their own understanding. Ungodly people will advise you to retaliate rather than love, rush rather than wait, or indulge rather than abstain. Listening to them can lead to serious, and even irreversible, consequences.
If you’re currently subscribed to ungodly reasoning, then here’s your chance to break free. Unload ungodly influences; you’ll be happy that you did!
“Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.”