Echoes From the Campfire

His destinies were guided by his loyalties.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Crossfire Trail)

    “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”
              –1 Kings 8:61 (NKJV)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts].”    –1 John 5:19 (Amplified)

In 1 John 2:18-28, we see that John is giving advice to us regarding the truth and the lie.  Last week I wrote of some of the dangers of those who tend to believe a “lie.”  I also discussed that the first part of John’s advice to us is that we should not be alarmed or surprised at what is happening in the world.  If we know and live by the pure doctrine of God’s Word we would recognize what is happening in the world and that it should not affect our faith.  “As in the days of Noah,” men rebelled against God’s Word in all its forms.
    John instructs us to remain pure.  We are not to be tainted nor sullied by the world.  Our light should be brighter than ever.  Our robes should be white, glistening.  However, there is little mentioned from pulpits today about the doctrine of purity or if it is the complaint becomes one of legalism.  Jesus will accept His Bride–the Church–that is pure, without spot or wrinkle.  That is one reason that I believe He will soon return.  He will not stand to see His Bride dirtied by the world.
    There is a key phrase that we often recite or is read by the Pastor during Communion.  That little phrase is, “examine yourself.”  It is vital that we continue to examine ourselves against the light of God’s Word.  Let the Holy Spirit shine upon you that you can rid yourself of the impurities in your lives.  The fact that people claim to be Christians, and that they belong to a church, does not prove that they are Christian.  How does the life match up with the Bible?
    John tells us that we must have proper relation to God’s purpose.  We know God’s purpose by reading the Bible, and then obeying its instructions.  We must develop true worship.  Not just a jumping, hand-waving type of worship, but one that comes from the heart and then is involved in every area of our lives.  To have proper relation to God’s purpose means to follow God’s will by keeping His commandments.  Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15, NKJV)  Simple, not hard, not legalistic.  Then we must be of the faith.  Faith is the life of a Christian.   We walk daily by faith; faith is part of our worship.  I’m not speaking of “hyper-faith” nor of the gift of faith in 1 Corinthians, but each step we take should be one of faith.  In fact, one of the things the Lord will greet us with is, “Well done, good and FAITHFUL.” (emphasis is mine).  
    I am reminded of the song written by W. Elmo Mercer.  It describes the life of faith.  Just look for a moment at the chorus for it is full of faith.

         “Each step I take I know that He will guide me;
          To higher ground He ever leads me on.
          Until some day the last step will be taken,
          Each step I take just leads me closer home.”

And if you are living by faith knowing that each step is guided by the Lord, you are truly worshiping in the reality of your life.