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쏡o all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:14-15) ...
       
 
  
 

The Blameless

Manmin News   No. 127
8786
September 22, 2008


"These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes ... And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless" (Revelation 14:4-5).

God is worthy to be praised and He is pleased with praises that magnify His name (Psalm 147:1). There had been countless angels in heaven before time began and they praise His glory and forevermore worship Him.
However, God is more pleased with the praise from His children, who love Him, have taken after Him, and praise and worship Him from the depths of their heart, than He is with angels' praise. For that very reason, many wondrous things took place when believers moved God's heart through praising (1 Samuel 16:23; 2 Chronicles 20:21-22; Acts 16:25-26).
As God is spirit, God receives not the outward appearance of those who praise Him but the fragrance of their hart (John 4:24). What, then, are the proper body and attitude we must have in order to praise God in a manner that is pleasing to Him?

1. One must not be imbued with the world.

You would more likely wish to share grace with others both spiritually and with physical talent and pleasing appearances as well. You should not, however, pursue a heart to love the world or conform to the ways of the world. You may think to yourself, 'As I will be standing in front of a crowd after all, I must follow a certain pattern to perfect my fleshly image,' but you must also examine yourself to see whether or not you are pursuing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.
Even if one had faced worldly things only with good intentions at first, it is easy to become imbued with the world if she does not have strong faith. As one comes in a greater number of contacts with worldly things, the individual will increasingly seek things that are beautiful in a worldly sense. She will learn and follow ways of singing, performance, and musical styles that are popular in the world and prefer clothing, hair, and makeup styles that are "in style" in this world. Even though she knows well of the proper appearance in the Lord, she follows all the popular trends of this world and becomes increasingly imbued with the ways of the world. She begins to utter phrases that are on everyone's lips and even in her fellowships in the Lord, she will follow the customs of this world. God, however, strictly forbids anyone to take pleasure in or fixing their eyes on the world.
The most important aspect for a praise missionary is the circumcision of her heart. If she neglects the circumcision of the heart and places emphasis on fleshly and outward aspects, she cannot offer God whole praise. Confessing to love God while still deeply in love with the world is not a true confession (1 John 2:15). This is not to say, however, that one needs to isolate herself from the rest of the world. Prior to learning and accepting things of the world, one's heart must be straight before God. Her priority must be to accomplish the circumcision of the heart and possess a heart that is not imbued with the world.
Furthermore, one must make every effort to magnify God and save souls in whatever she does. The person will then be able to discern God's will and receive the strength to conquer and rule over things of this world even if she does face them. Until that is accomplished, one must not cease praying fervently. Until she becomes a woman of spirit abstaining from every form of evil, the individual must not cease her fight against sin.
Also, as she must stand before many people, the person must also become an example unto other brothers and sisters in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 8:13, Paul the Apostle confesses, "If food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble." As Paul exercised self-restraint even though he could easily and freely indulge in anything but concerned with possibly causing others to stumble, you will be rewarded if you exercise self-restraint for those who possess little faith.

2. One must obey the Lord.

Each of you must become a worker following the Lord's guidance (Revelation 14:4). "Following the Lord" here refers to obeying only the Word of the truth. There are instances, however, in which one thinks he is obeying God's Word but is actually not. This is because "self" still remains in him. No matter how often or how much he hears messages telling him to "obey," that individual holds fast to the notion that he is still right and to that which he still cherishes, and is thus unable to obey.
As he has heard many messages, is in charge of many areas of God's work, and has stored up sufficient relevant knowledge, he goes about his work according to his thoughts and experiences, assuring himself, 'I just need to be adaptable at different times' or 'From what I know and what I've studied, my way is better.'
For instance, in praising on the stage, an individual has heard that he ought to praise in a manner that is pleasing to God but he still chooses to follow his own will and righteousness. He has heard that he must offer beautiful and bright praises abounding in hope and that are not worldly. Still, he asks or thinks to himself, 'Shouldn't I sing praises with this type of messages for the congregation to receive blessings? I think this genre will be of greater grace to the congregation and is more tasteful as well,' or 'The pastor preaches so without sensing the current of the times.'
However, the extent to which one obeys God's Word is far more important than a selection of a particular praise song or the kind of performance displayed. An individual's disobedience will already have prevented the individual from offering God whole praise. On the other hand, if one makes every effort within the will of God, He will receive the fragrance and pour His grace upon the individual and the congregation even if he lacks physical talent. As Samuel repeatedly tells the disobedient King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, "To obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams," it is obedience that God seeks from us.
As God tells us in Isaiah 43:21, "The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise," praise is offered to God. In praising, it is God, not oneself, who must come first. It is natural for us to be obedient to God's will. Peter let down his nets into the deep water as Jesus commanded him and when he was commanded to open the mouth of the first fish caught and take a coin out of it, Peter obeyed so. May each of you come forth as a blameless worker who obeys God in every affair.

3. Only the truth, and not an ounce of untruth, must be on the lips of those who praise God.

An untruthful person does not recognize his own mistakes but, in order to cover up his own flaws, provides false testimony and even places blame on others. Some even criticize and slander other people. Suppose a team offered to God a performance on the occasion of a holiday and the performance was evaluated to have gone astray from the direction God had presented to the team. Here, some people will think, 'Well, what else can we expect from that team?' or even unleash words of attack, saying, "If we had done things my way, the result would not have been this bad." Others, in an effort to reduce their own responsibility, blame others and say, "That team was noncooperative and this is the outcome." Even if the performance topped all expectations in technicality and talent, a broken peace is something that could not be pleasing to God.
The same applies to the members on a same team. God wants to see people repenting of and trying to be responsible for the shortcomings of others. If one is a leader of a group, he or she must harbor this sort of heart, acknowledge wrongdoing, and be responsible for it.
People are unable to be truthful before their shortcomings because they seek other people's recognition. As such individuals strive to receive more recognition than people next to them, they make every effort to cover up their flaws. At the time, they may think they have managed to tide over crisis with a lie but all things are exposed before God. When they recognize their flaws, it may appear as though their status is being lowered but God will see the truthfulness in their heart and give them power and strength to be transformed (Proverbs 12:19). Even if one does not try to raise himself up, God will take care of that in the end.
Consider David: God paid attention to him not because David was perfect but because God took notice of David's heart. Until David came forth as a blameless man, God allowed him many trials and, as David knew God's love for him, David made every effort to humbly recognize his shortcomings and to rid himself of them whenever they were discovered. In any difficulties, David remained thankful for His grace and could offer Him heart-touching praises.
By the same token, God has called upon you and loved you not because you are perfect and excellent, but because in expectation of how you would end up transformed despite shortcomings at present. If you know this, you must always remain truthful before God. If you have done wrong against Him, you must confess them to Him and make every effort to turn yourself away from them. Only then will you be able to truly transform and improve yourself.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when a blameless and sanctified individual praises God, that praising will have God's power in it and allow many people to fathom the spiritual grace and love He pours upon them. People who have been dying without any hope will meet God amidst spiritual praises. Therefore, may each of you come forth as a blameless man of God and offer Him, to your heart's content, spiritual praises with which He is pleased, in the name of our precious Lord Jesus Christ I pray!


 

 

 
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