HonestyBro. David Chancellor
11/17/2002 11:00 AM
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
This speaks of the ones that are good ground. These are the ones where the word of God has made a difference. They became good ground because something happened along the way to prepare the ground. If we would walk with God, we need an honest and a good heart. Honest - "the real deal". An honest people are just what they are, and are not pretending to be something else. A Christian shouldn't have "hidden parts" of his/her life. They are the same whether they are in public or in private. There is no pretension. They're the real deal. We need to be the real deal.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
We all have a life work. Our lives will influence others, and have an effect on them. We "have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty." We don't want any "skeletons" in our closets. There shouldn't be things that we don't want people to find out about us. We can be honest about our past and tell people that we were sinners, without having to go into the details. Sometimes the things that are "hidden" the world thinks of as marks of sophistication. We may appear to be simple, but we can be honest. We aren't out to trick people. We need to be honest with the word of God. Take it like it is. Let it get close. We want to take the word of God as it is without making it more or less strict than it is. Men can fool others (although, people catch on quicker than some might think), but God always sees things as they are. We can act like we are obedient, spiritual, pious, etc., and although man can be fooled by an act, God knows how things really are. When Saul didn't do all that God had told him to do, but was pretending that he had, God revealed Saul's disobedience to Samuel. We have to be honest with God. Why would we not want to live a life that is clear before our fellowman if we are living clear before God?
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
"Let us walk honestly, as in the day..." It is easier to keep things hidden in the dark. It's easier to hide what things are and your identity. Honesty is walking in the light. It allows people to see what is really there. If we are following Christ, our sole focus won't be to seek after entertainment. It's possible to enjoy the company of others without needing to have a big party. Strife and envy happen a lot in the world. The nature of man without the grace of God seeks to be number one. Envy just isn't proper for one of God's children. If you would walk honestly, you need to walk without envy. Lift up Christ and live as he would have you to live. Don't make provision for fleshly desires.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
Just knowing God should teach us that we ought to love one another. The Spirit of God should work this in us. This is taught so that people will consider and improve. Sometimes parents need to teach their children to study to be quiet. We need to learn this also. Studying to be quiet is more than just not making noise; it is learning to be at rest. Spiritual progress involves quiet time with God. If we would walk honestly and well with God, we need to study to be quiet. Mind your own business. Focus on making improvement in yourself. "Walk honestly toward them which are without." Walk honestly toward those that don't have God. We shouldn't be telling people we're one way if we really aren't. We should be the same wherever we are. Be considerate, kind, and loving. Be the same wherever you are, whoever you're with. People won't be convinced of the gospel of Christ, if you can't walk among them as you are.
1 Peter 2:11-12
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may be your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
"I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims..." If we are children of God, this is not our natural habitat. This is unfamiliar territory. If you are a child of God, then you are a stranger here. The world sees you as strange. The pilgrims that came to the United States came to set up a country. We are pilgrims in that we are seeking to establish and extend the kingdom of God here. The "Gentiles" may talk about you bad, but eventually they will see the good works and how you live and that you are what you say you are. They will notice that God is in your life. When someone gives a testimony and profession of salvation, people will look to see what kind of person they are. If a person claims to be a child of God, but isn't walking honestly, that will show up. Smoothing things over and putting up a faade won't help things. We need the fruits of God's spirit within. Honesty is a very important aspect of our working for God. We want to be the real deal. We want our lives to show others that God loves them unconditionally. This doesn't mean that we approve of things that are wrong. It means we love people when they are unlovable. Be just what you are. A person who pretends to be what they aren't has a miserable life, never knowing when what they really are will show up. Be honest.