“Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” “Them which are without,” outside of God’s family because they are out of Christ, seek to find flaws in the lives and testimonies of those who name the name of Christ, so the believer is to be “providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” “Provide things honest in the sight of all men,” “that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.” “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 evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
My life ought to show before men What the grace of God can do For those who know the Lord Jesus And give Him their lives to renew.
God desires for His children that all our words and actions be “with grace.” It was written prophetically of our Lord Jesus Christ that “grace is poured into Thy lips,” and when He was here on earth, men “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” All of us who know Him can say with Jacob that “God hath dealt graciously with me,” and this grace ought to be reflected in our speech. “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty,” and “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.” “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue.” “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
“Let your speech be always with grace,” As God has shown grace to you, Showing forth daily His praises, Like Him in all that you do.
Never let Satan cause you to doubt this, dear believer. “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him,” for “He forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.” “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His,” and His Word to His own is, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” “For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men,” “for He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Never forget: “He careth for you”!
The Lord is full of compassion; His mercies are new each day; “He careth for” all His people, And cheers them along the way.
The word “conversation” above is a word that means “commonwealth” or “citizenship.” For the saved sinner, “our citizenship is in heaven.” Our Lord said to His own, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” He said to His Father, on the night before the cross, that “they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” and “I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” We who know Christ in the forgiveness of sins “are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Like Abraham, who “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” we “are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” “for our citizenship is in heaven.”
We are no longer at home on earth; Our citizenship is above, For He has put all our sins away; We shall dwell in that land of love.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High.” “Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely” for us who have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation,” and “who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.” “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful,” “giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” “Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honor all the day.” “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Ought not we who have been favored By God’s grace so rich and free, With His overflowing mercy, Ought we not to thankful be?
And through “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who “washed us from our sins in His own blood,” “this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death.” Whatever the situation or whatever the need that may face us, let us remember that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God,” “for with God nothing shall be impossible.” “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?” Or “is anything too hard for the Lord?” “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” He says to His own, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee.”
He doeth the impossible For those who trust His name; He hears them when they call to Him; He’ll not put them to shame.
Dear reader, how do you stand with God? Are you seeking to stand before Him in your own merit? Are you relying on church membership, baptism, confirmation, lodge membership, or your good reputation? None of these can give us a place before God. It must be, and can only be, “the true grace of God wherein ye stand” before Him. We can only stand before God in the merits of Another, His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We read in God’s Word of a coming time when “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?” “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” Be sure that you stand before God in Christ, “accepted in the Beloved,” entering “by faith into this grace wherein we stand.”
I have no merit of my own To bring before a holy God; I must be cleansed by Jesus’ blood, As God has told me in His Word.
The Lord alone knows the multitude of hearts who have through the years found sustaining strength and help in this verse: Hearts crushed by disappointment, bowed down by grief, perplexed and despondent, and without any earthly source of help, they have found that they could “go in the strength of the Lord God,” “and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength,” and He has told His own: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” and “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” Therefore, suffering saint, “go in the strength of the Lord God.” “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.”
Has your strength, dear saint, reached its end? Do you feel you cannot go on? “Go in the strength of the Lord God,” And He’ll fill your heart with His song.
God wants His children to have boldness before Him, both now in this life and in the presence of the Lord at His coming, for elsewhere He tells us that “herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” The word “boldness” means freedom of speech or outspokenness and therefore carries with it the thought of assurance. The same word is often translated as “confidence.” “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God,” “and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him,” “according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” We have “boldness to enter into the holiest,” with “confidence toward God.” “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
Then “come boldly unto the throne” For “help in time of need”; There we shall find mercy and grace Given to all who plead.
The Lord’s thoughts toward His own are for their welfare and blessing and for their spiritual growth. He desires His best (though we may not see it so) for His redeemed ones, and He plans and works accordingly. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” “Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered,” and “the Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” “O Lord, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts are very deep.” He remembers us now, day by day, and will “give you an expected end.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”
The Lord plans always for His own With thoughts of love and grace, Daily blessing and providing, Until we see His face.