Virtue

“We need to set our sights high and refuse the traditions of men who say that it is impossible to do as Jesus instructed us.” ~ John G. Lake

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Psalms 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

I love this last verse. I will walk in my house with a perfect heart! I will be honorable and righteous when no one is looking! That is character and integrity! What a beautiful picture! When no one is watching, and I am all alone, I will still walk in purity. It is easier to be holy and righteous when we know others are looking, or watching us. We can measure up then with no problem at all. But the real question is when we are all alone, and no one is watching, can we still be holy?

Just what is virtue? According to the dictionary virtue means moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective wellbeing. The opposite of virtue is vice.

One of the problems of modern society is that we have turned away from what is right, what is just and what is morally correct. We have allowed barbarians to come and dictate what is acceptable to us as a society. In today’s America, everything is ok and nothing is taboo except doing right and having high moral standards! We have indeed fallen far from where we once stood. The verses in the bible that speak to me about this are:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 59:14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

Lamentations 5:16 The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!

Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

As a people, we must turn back to our origins. We were formed as one nation under God, following and enforcing Judeo-Christian values in our society, in our homes, in our schools and in our courts. Our moral turpitude has caused us to come to the place we now inhabit. The only way back is to change our mind (repent), and listen to the truth once again and follow those same precepts we once held dear.

The picture that comes to my mind is of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. We each need to take our place working on that wall. Our place is where we are right now. We need to take a stand where we are and rebuild the section of the wall in front of us. There will be great opposition but we will persevere if we stay focused. We have to work with a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other just as the people of Jerusalem did in Nehemiah’s day.

Our wall is not a physical wall, but a spiritual wall. We need to declare the truth and stand for the truth, and not accept compromise or defeat. The stakes are too high. The Lord told us:

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We cannot repair another’s section of this wall; just our own. If my people, means us, we Christians. God did not say we had to convince everyone in this country, or take over the courts or elect the right candidates. He said, if my people will humble themselves and pray, then I will hear from heaven, forgive them and heal their land. Praise God! It is not our strength, it is His.

The Lord is returning for a pure bride, not one soiled with lust, greed or pride. We must refrain from all evil, even from the appearance of evil in every aspect of our lives. We must live and display to all those around us moral excellence, goodness and righteousness. We cannot compromise with sin in any way. I cannot do this for my neighbor, but I can do it for my family, and my neighborhood. I cannot pluck the splinter from my neighbor’s eye until I remove the plank from my own eye!

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

In developing a Supernatural Lifestyle, a Practical Guide, by Kris Vallotton, on page 74 and 75 of his book, I found a list of virtues to live by. These are amazing and really describe how I want my children to live. As we look in the mirror, who or what do we see? Here are a few we need to add to our own repertoire:

We will serve God first and honor Him always, both in life and death.
We will be honest, loyal, trustworthy, and men of our word, no matter what the price.
We will be Men of the Word, believing and standing on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
We will keep our values, no matter how much they cost us, and if we fail, we will be quick to repent.

Lord Jesus, please help me to be holy, pure in my thoughts and reasoning, and more righteous in my actions! As the scripture says, you have made us into a peculiar people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. Through the power and enabling of Your Spirit within, please help me to be all that you intended me to be. Help me tear down all the idols of today’s culture that so easily find a place in me and help me rid myself of everything that defiles me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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