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Lesson 22: Must I Give up Some Things for Jesus?

If we really love Jesus we will be anxious to glorify Him in everything that we do. This involves such practical matters as eating, as we have already seen. The more we learn about the character of God and His Son, our Savior, we realize that everything He has ordered is in loving concern for His children. God, unlike some earthly parents, is totally unselfish and NEVER will order anything that is not for the BEST GOOD of the person. He never orders anything just to show His 'authority'.

He always guides in the way we ourselves would choose if we knew the outcome which He knows. As through the study of the Word and prayer we have personal contact with God we can get rid of the idea that God is just arbitrary and wants to use us for His own ends or punish us to force His will upon us to hurt us or stop us from being happy.

God is too wise to ever make a mistake and too good to do anything wrong—not ever, and as we learn this, we love and trust Him more and more and are eager to obey His will, even though we may not always at first understand why He asks us to do or not do something.

Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way-
To be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey!

Heavenly Guidance

1. How does God say He desires to guide us? Psalm 32:8, 9.

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee."

Note: God is not pleased when we only obey because of a fear of punishment. God is looking for those who will be sensitive to the slightest suggestion of His will. Only those who love God more than anything else and are watching Him will recognize His loving guidance. They will be searching the Bible with just one purpose in mind—to discover what pleases Him, obeying immediately the slightest revelation of His will. This is what being a real Christian is all about.

Our Dress and Adornment

2. What did Jesus say about being overly worried about our clothes? Luke 12:22, 23, 28.

"And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

Note: As Christians, we should always want to be neat, clean and modest in our appearance, and this is not what this verse is talking about. We need to be on our guard against getting caught up in fasions, as well as being fearful for our future needs.

3. What did Paul say a Christian woman should not wear? 1 Timothy 2:9.

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair [fancy hairdos], or gold, or pearls, or costly array."

Note: This text show how we should dress: modest, appropriate, and moderate; no extreme hairdos, gold, or other costly clothing. While Paul was speaking about women, the same would be true for men.

4. Following a terrible apostasy, when God came down to judge ancient Israel, what did He tell them to do with the ornaments they had adopted from the surrounding countries? Exodus 33:5, 6.

"For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb."

5. Along with household idols, what did Jacob bury before meeting with the Lord? Genesis 35:1-4.

"And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem."

Note: Bethel [House of God] was a very sacred place to Jacob--the place of his conversion many years before. However, before they could be consecrated there, Jacob told his family to put away the strange gods they possessed. Apparently they had picked up some of the ways of the heathen during the time they stayed in Mesopotamia. The jewelry had to be laid aside because they also were pagan objects.

In Judges 8:24, earrings are spoken of as being worn by the Ishmaelites. The context strongly implies that they wore ornaments as a mark of their apostasy from the true God.

6. Why are all these stories preserved for us in the Bible? 1 Corinthians 10:11.

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

Note: Earlier in this chapter, Paul compares Israel’s Red Sea experience to baptism. See verse 2. In verses 7 and 8, he writes about the great apostasy of Israel when they made the golden calf. He then points out in verse 11 that all these things which happened to them, were written down for warnings to us. Clearly in dealing with them over their apostasy, God has a lesson for us. His command for them to remove their ornaments before going into the land of Canaan applies to us before our entry into the heavenly Canaan.

7. What did Jezebel do for her appearance before meeting Jehu? 2 Kings 9:30.

"And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window."

Note: This wicked queen put many of the prophets of the Lord to death, and greatly influenced Ahab in leading Israel into idolatry. The use of colorful cosmetics was always a mark of heathen and unfaithful women throughout the Bible.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God gives one of the strongest rebukes to jewelry found anywhere in the Bible. In Isaiah 3:16 and onward, God gives a long list of specific articles that were being worn by the women of Israel in their apostasy. In the next chapter, He speaks of a purified people, from whom He has washed the filth away.

8. What does Hosea indicate Israel wore in the days of apostasy? Hosea 2:13.

"And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD."

Note: The continual connection of the wearing of colorful cosmetics and jewelry with apostasy from God, clearly marks it as something that displeases God. It was pride in his appearance that led to Lucifer’s fall (see Ezekiel 28:15-17), and as a part of our preparation for heaven, God forbids us to indulge in those things that tend towards pride of appearance.

Jewelry and rings and ornaments where always part of the worship of pagan gods. Gold was said to be the flesh of the sun-god Baal.

The Bible reveals that colorful cosmetics, rings, and similar adornments; are displeasing in God’s sight. It is not the amount that makes it right or wrong, but the use of the thing itself. Even the smallest deviation from God’s revealed will marks us as lovers of self, rather than lovers of God, and places us out of harmony with our Creator. Some Christians will argue over the type of jewelry, or the amount of immodesty in dress that is wrong, when this is not the real concern. The real problem is a heart that is not yet fully surrendered to Jesus.

Bible Standards

9. What kind of people will be able to see God when He comes? Matthew 5:8.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

Note: There are many things in this world that seek to attract our attention that are not pure. Much of the entertainment on television is such that it draws our minds away from thoughts of Jesus and of our future heavenly home, filling our minds with impure thoughts. As our minds are led to dwell on these things, we become like the things about which we are thinking. As we read in Proverbs 23:7, we are that which we allow our mind to dwell upon. For this reason, we need to be so careful about, not only what we see, but what we allow our minds to think about.

10. What does the apostle Peter tell us we need to especially guard against? 1 Peter 2:11.

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."

Note: Many of the pleasures that people enjoy are included in this warning. Music and dancing are two of the avenues through which Satan especially works to lead not only young people, but older ones as well, into sin. A close contact between girls and boys is accepted as a part of dancing that is certainly immodest and improper. The feelings and thoughts that are introduced into the mind are not the pure thoughts that all must have who will see God, but thoughts that often lead to great sin.


11. What, beside our acts, will we need to account for in the Judgment? Matthew 12:36.

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Note: The apostle Paul tells us that: "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Colossians 3:17. Christians will not only refrain from swearing, but also crude slang, vulgar words, improper stories, and joking about sacred things. How often you hear someone paraphrase a Bible statement in order to emphasize a point as a joke, or in casual conversation. The Bible condemns all silly and foolish talking and especially is this so about sacred things.

12. What six things does the apostle Paul say we as Christians should think about. Philippians 4:8.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Note: If our minds continually think on these kinds of thoughts, it will not be at all difficult for us to say the right kind of words. As we learned already, our words show our thoughts. What we are at heart, we reveal in our lives. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, are the result of what we are; and these things have an influence on all we come in contact with. By the things we do, we are either drawing others to Jesus, or away from Him. We need to remember that the kind of influence we have depends upon whether we are abiding in Jesus or not. It is impossible for you to speak or do wrong, without influencing others beside yourself.

Our Choice of Friends

13. Against what type of people does the apostle warn us against forming close relationships with? 2 Corinthians 6:14,17.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."

Note: Example has a powerful influence upon others. When acts are of a nature to draw downward on the side of evil, it becomes almost impossible to resist. We cannot be too careful in avoiding the company of all who would influence us into sin. Much of the sin of God’s ancient people happened because they were led into it by their friendship with unbelievers.

Last-Day Cautions

14. In the last days, according to the apostle, who will most people be loving? 2 Timothy 3:1, 2.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy."

15. What will be more important to these people than God? 2 Timothy 3:4.

"Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

16. What does the apostle John say about making this world the center of our affections? 1 John 2:15.

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

17. What does a friendship with the world reveal about our relationship with God? James 4:4.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

18. What kind of road leads to heaven? Matthew 7:13.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat."

Note: We each have a choice to make between Jesus and the things of this world. The kind of choice we make reveals who is the center of our affections. If we love ourselves most of all, then we will choose the things of this world, but if Jesus and Eternal Life is most important in our lives, we will choose the narrow road. We will choose to make the standards in the Bible, our standards. We will not be continually asking, what is wrong with this, or what’s so bad about that. Our interest will be; What would Jesus want me to do?

If people could have the world and Jesus too, many people would take the road that leads to heaven, but the road that leads to heaven is too narrow for both.

You Tell On Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
by the very manner in which you speak,
by the way you employ your leisure time,
by how you use your dollars and dime.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
by the spirit in which your burdens you bear,
by the music you choose, and programs you view
by the kind of things that are funny to you,

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
by the things of which you delight to talk,
by the manner in which you bear defeat,
by so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from a well-filled shelf,
in these ways and more, you tell on yourself.
So there’s really no particle of common sense
in an effort to keep up false pretence.

You Tell On Yourself

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