Truth-Based Belief Beats Self-Deception
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Prv 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
I. The Path
A. God is the good Guide who is leading us to the best destination ever. Dt 8 7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land … 9a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing … 10When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD Jer 42 3That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do ... 6Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD ... that it may be well with us Mt 7 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Heb 4 8For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God ... 11Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
II. Belief: Self-Deception vs. Truth
A. Why would the DEATH-way seem like LIFE-way to you? If the standard for your beliefs about the right/wrong path is anything other than the truth, then you are self-deceived. Jer 43 1When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the LORD their God—everything the LORD had sent him to tell them— 2 ... all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ Nu 13 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 1Co 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God ... 20no more boasting about men! Jas 1 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
III. How to Recognize the Right Path
A. Our Guide gave us a guide book that provides accurate information about reality. Ps 119 105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Pr 4 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. Jn 8 31Then Jesus said ... “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
IV. How to Become the Person to Whom the Death-way Seems Like the Death-way
—mediate on God’s word so that it changes your values. Jos 1
8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it Ps 19 7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Ps 1 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Ps 119 11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Ps 119 99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. Prv 2 10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee 12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man 1Ti 4 15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them Col 3 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Nu 14 24But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land
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