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The Road to Life at Its Best - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2023 12:00 am

The Road to Life at Its Best - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 3, 2023 12:00 am

If you're willing to follow God's lead, you can experience the most fulfilling life possible.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, January third.

Are you looking for a good friend? Scripture can guide you. Today's podcast explains that the road to life at its best includes knowing how to choose godly companions. When God created you, He created you for a purpose. He had a plan for your life. You say, well, He must have messed up on my plan. No, He didn't mess up on your plan. You see, we're the ones who mess up the plans because we don't understand or maybe we learn a little bit late in life what it's really all about, but He has a plan for your life. And I can tell you this, it's a good plan.

It's a good plan. We don't always think it's good because it doesn't exactly turn out the way we want it to turn out, but it's still good. That is for those of us who are believers. If you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and you're going through heartache, pain, and suffering, we understand that.

If you're a believer and you're going through heartache, suffering, and pain, understand that. Because He never says it's going to be easy. What I want you to see is He has a plan, number one. And secondly, He's promised to guide you through that plan so that your life can be the best that God intended for you. And so, I want to talk about this whole idea, the fact that our life is like a road. And for us to follow that road, to follow His road, is always the best choice. And I want you to turn to a small passage, if you'll look in Proverbs chapter four for a moment. And I want us to begin in verse ten. And look at this. He says, first of all, we're to hear.

A lot of people who hear but don't do the rest. Hear My Son and accept My sayings, which is His way of saying, what you hear of truth. When He says accept it, that means make application in your life, and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom. That is, that's the only way God directs. He directs us wisely.

Sometimes we don't think maybe it's wise, but He knows that it is. I've directed you in the way of wisdom. I have led you in upright paths. He says when He guides us, He leads us in the path that's best, that's right, that's good, that fits His plan for us. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded. That is, He will remove those things that hinder us. Sometimes we have hindrances in front of us that we think really will make us stumble, but He knows how to remove those. And if you run, you'll not stumble.

Sometimes we think we've stumbled, but it may be a difficulty that God has allowed in our life or something He wants to teach us or to prepare us for. Then when He says take hold of instructions, that is grab it, grasp it, hold it tight. Be serious about it. Do not let go.

Guard her, for she is your life. So, the implication here is that God has a plan for us. He's a God of wisdom. He has the best plan possible. And what we want to do is to follow that plan.

And in order to do that, what we have to do is we have to begin with deciding this question. Who is going to guide my life? Who's going to guide your life? Jesus Christ is the faithful guide.

You remember what He said and we quote this verse often. He says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. He is the right way. He's the best way. He's the planned way. And you can't beat His way.

Now, watch this. If Jesus is my guide, then my relationships are going to be chosen by Him. Think about the people who are closest to you. Your family, for example, if you're married, your husband and wife, or your children. And then there's your friends, the people you work with. In other words, your circles of people that you relate to get larger and larger. So, when you think about that, what effect would you say your friends, your relationships have upon your decisions?

What effect do your relationships have upon the way you think you look? Or the way you dress? Or where you work?

Or where you spend your free time? Or whom you spend it with? You say, well, that's my business. If you're a child of God, that's God's business. And I'll tell you why.

A relationship with someone is one of the most important aspects of our life. What can you do by yourself? What can you do alone? How many bridges would we have if only one man worked on them?

How many tall skyscrapers would we have if one person said, I can do it? And you can just run right down the list of tremendous advantages that we have in life and things that bless us so often, it isn't something one person did. It's what people do together. And we need each other. All of us need friends. All of us need people to help us do whatever God has called us to do.

Every single one of us needs devoted friends and we need to be a devoted friend. And if Jesus is my guide, I can rest assured of this. He's going to help me choose my friends.

He's going to help me choose people to do what I need to help me do. And the same thing is true in your life. You see, one of the reasons that people get out of the will of God is they make wrong choices in relationships. A relationship can catapult you to something good or absolutely destroy you. And many people would have to say, as I look back in my life and see where I took a wrong road, it was because of this relationship or that relationship. And there are many people who are in prison today because of wrong relationships. They wish they could have changed it. You could just go right down the line of what happens to people when they make wrong choices in relationships. And I hear it all the time.

Things going on in their family, things going on in their life personally or in their finances, wrong choices, wrong relationships that influence them to make wrong choices. If you're following Jesus, He will never, He will never get you involved in a wrong relationship. He may have you witness to somebody, for example, who may not be a believer. But listen, the Holy Spirit of God will warn you. How many times have I heard this? I knew God was warning me, I knew God was warning me, I knew God was trying to tell me something, but I did it anyway.

That's why you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. To warn you against wrong relationships and to help you do what God wants you to do, to become the person God wants you to be. Listen, not only our relationship, but we need to be that kind of relationship person to somebody else. So, what I want to do is I want to give you another list. So, what's so valuable about good relationships? How valuable are they?

So, the reason I'm giving you these lists is for you to think about them and evaluate them yourself. So, let's start. One of the good things about a good relationship is a good relationship, they encourage us. And all of us need to be encouraged at some point in life. That is, no one's going to get so spiritual and so high and mighty that they are never discouraged. It can be discouraged only for a moment.

But all of us hit those times in our life and we think, dear God, what's going on? Good relationships will encourage us. Then, of course, they motivate us. A person who is a good relationship person is going to motivate us. They'll encourage you, motivate you to do your best and make wise choices in life. Thirdly, they will energize you. There's something about being with people who love you and who are good for you. There's something about that relationship that's energizing. You'll find yourself being able to do things you didn't think you could do because they've encouraged you, motivated you, and doing so, you're energized by them. They comfort us. We go through situations and circumstances that we think, Lord, how am I going to walk through this?

How am I going to get through this? And you have those relationships that are very encouraging. I'm praying for you. I'm lifting you up.

I understand where you are. I'll help you any way I possibly can. You can count on me. You can call on me.

You get down, you just give me a buzz. People are encouraged us and comfort us. Defend us. Oftentimes, and I hear this often here lately, people on their jobs being attacked by other people who want their job sometime or who are just bigots and they just hate anybody who's religious or hate anybody that talks about Jesus. True, genuine friends step in to defend you. Now listen, you and I must be willing to do the same for other people, to have the courage to stand by someone. When you, if you have a true, genuine friend and you see them going through something difficult, you should have the courage to stand by them. Somebody says, well, you know, I just don't want to get into that.

What do you mean you don't want to get into it? If you're their friend, you are into it for the simple reason. You'll be wise how you go about it, but to defend someone who's being mistreated. Then, someone to love us. Everybody needs to feel loved. And there's something about good relationships, a loving relationship, and you can tell the difference between a loving relationship and somebody who just wants something from you. That's not love.

But there's such value. And if I follow my guide, first of all, I'm going to love Him, the Lord Jesus with all my heart. And you know what? I'm also going to love other people who follow Him and people who really and truly desire to live a godly life. Then, of course, people who accept us. Now, there are people who will accept us on condition. If you do this, if you do that, that's not acceptance. If I really accept you, I accept you just the way you are.

If I don't like something about you, listen, I'm going to accept you the way you are and pray that God will work His will in your life and change whatever needs to be changed. You see, when you and I get into the business of changing people, we might as well forget it. That's not our job to change people. It is our responsibility to do just what we've listed in this group right here, loving them, accepting them. Likewise, being patient with us. All lovers need have patience toward us at times. When we get into situations and circumstances, maybe we can't really understand everything that's going on.

And so, we have to be patient with us. Likewise, somebody who will serve us when we need help. Everybody needs help at times in their life.

Ask yourself this question. When's the last time you went out of the way to help somebody to serve someone? Not going to profit you in any way, but something that you knew that you could do for others.

Here's what'll happen. In the life of a believer, the more you give, the happier you're going to be. In the life of a believer, the more you serve others, the happier you're going to be.

Why? Because it's the very nature of a godly life. That's who Jesus was. He was always giving. He was always serving.

Why? Because that's who He was. And when you and I have Him as our guide, here's what'll happen. We'll be sensitive to people who are in need. We'll be sensitive when somebody needs to be loved, when somebody needs to be helped, when somebody needs to be served in some fashion. That's who He was.

That's what He did. And He's our guide. Likewise, somebody who'll forgive us when we make mistakes.

We all make them. We can expect it. So, if we're talking about true relationships, we're talking about relationships where people are willing to be forgiving toward each other. One of the most damaging emotions there is, is an unforgiving spirit. And let me tell you something. You cannot keep it silent, quiet.

Because here's what happens. An unforgiving spirit damages a person's mental, emotional, and physical body. It is an absolute proven fact that it does. And so, therefore, if I'm going to be a follower of Jesus, forgiveness is not even a question. But suppose they've done so and so. I'm still responsible to forgive. And if you'll think about it, how many times has our guide, the Lord Jesus, forgiven you?

None of us could count the times. Right relationships with people who'll forgive us when we make mistakes, but who also will confront us when we are headed in the wrong direction. You see, that's a true friend. When someone sees you headed in the wrong direction and they lovingly confront you with it and warn you, not in a derogatory way, but warn you. And sometimes they may have to come on strong. We all need it and we all need to be wise enough to confront someone else when we see them heading in the wrong direction. I've sometimes sat down with people and pleaded with them not to do something. Well, thank you very much, pastor. I really appreciate that.

You'll run out and do it. And you know what? Most of them never came back and told me what happened. A few did. The rest of them didn't have to because I knew what was going to happen. They just wanted to tell me what they were saying. But they didn't want to.

They wanted to do it. What's the problem? I'm saying your problem, you cannot violate the living Word of the living God without consequences.

You cannot. And that's why we have to be sensitive to people around us who are in need, be wise of what we say and wise about how we go about saying it. A lot of people who've suffered a lot of heartache and pain because they didn't listen. Well, I think also the fact that we need people to be kind to us. You know, the Bible says kindness makes a man attractive or a woman, either one.

Kindness is very important. Then the last thing I would say about our God, and that is if we're really going to be the person God wants us to be and follow the trail He wants us to follow, then the courage to trust God and obey His will, very important in our life. Do we have the courage to trust Him and obey Him no matter what's going on?

If you want life at its best, you can just wrap it up in that. You want life at its best, trust Him and obey Him and leave all the consequences to Him because He's going to take care of all the consequences of our obedience. Now, sometimes He may require of us things that appear very unreasonable, but if He says do it, do it. Things that may cause us pain, but if He says do it, do it. Listen to this, whatever He challenges us to do, not only will profit us, but will reward us in ways that you and I could never even begin to understand. Sometimes those rewards don't come for a long time.

Sometimes they come immediately. But would you say that it's the lifestyle that you're living that what you want to do above everything else is just to be obedient to God? Let Him work in your life?

If you want the best life, if you want the best life that a holy, righteous, loving God can give you, then it must be a habit in your life to trust Him and to obey Him. Don't try to figure things out. Don't wait till you can sort of see your way clear.

Because here's what'll happen. You can rest absolutely sure of this. If you will obey Him, He will walk with you through whatever you're going to face. He will provide for you whatever you need. He will enable you to face it confidently and assuredly. He will reward you for your obedience. You cannot lose being obedient to Him. Now, it'll be exciting because of where He may lead you.

So, I'm going to give you another list. And I want you to write this down because it's very important. If you're committed to obeying Him and letting Him work in your life, here, watch this carefully. Now, I want to be sure you listen. Say, amen.

Amen. Here's what you can expect. You can expect to maybe go where you've never been before. Secondly, to do what you've never done. And then, to give more than you've ever given. That isn't just in money, but in your time, in your love, in your devotion, or your finances, whatever it might be.

You follow Him. You can expect to give more than you've ever given. And you'll be challenged to surrender what you have held very tightly. You will also love those that you've never loved before because, you see, when He's the God, He knows how to love through us.

Love people that you've never loved before. And you'll forgive those, listen, that you have failed to forgive. And I want to say again, an unforgiving spirit is one of the most damaging emotions any person can experience in life. There's no area of your life that is not affected by an unforgiving spirit. You see, each one of these things we've mentioned here is a choice we make.

Am I willing to trust Him in that way? If you want life at its best, it's a road you travel following Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord, Master, and God. And that all begins with you acknowledging your sinfulness, your rebellion, having it your way, and asking Him to forgive you of your sins, and telling Him that today you're receiving Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Surrender your life to Him and watch Him work, His awesome work in your life. And it's yours for the asking.

And it's a matter of praying and asking Him to forgive you, to cleanse you, and telling Him you're surrendering your life to Him, and then watch Him work in your life in ways that will amaze you. Thank you for listening to part two of The Road to Life at its Best. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-03 03:52:50 / 2023-01-03 04:01:56 / 9

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