Mmmm ... this was a good one. Not that they're not normally good, but this one struck a chord with me, so I decided to blog my notes and share with anyone who'll read it.
Joshua 22:5 - "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the laws which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
"careful" here means to be on your guard, to be on constant vigilance ... to guard yourself from SIN.
1. Guard yourself from sin by LIVING the Word of God.
Walk in HIS ways, keep HIS commandments. Knowing the Scriptures simply isn't good enough. You can have the entire Bible memorized, and still not be actually LIVING the Word of God. Jesus reserved His harshest judgment for the Pharisees, those who knew and could recite the Scriptures, and yet denied Him by their lifestyles. He called them hypocrites! God wants us to LIVE His Word in our everyday lives. ... James 1:22 - Be DOERS of the Word, not hearers only!! Even very vast Bible knowledge doesn't get you anywhere unless you live it!
2. Guard yourself from sin by LOVING God.
Matt. 22:36, Deut 6:5 - The greatest command is to LOVE God. ... God used the word "adultery" to describe what the Israelites did when they failed to love Him and be devoted to Him. You can't just go through the motions of being a Christian. You can't just follow a list of rules. Rules are easy to break, because our nature is to not like having to follow rules. But when you LOVE someone, you have no problem following the "rules". I stay pure and faithful to my husband. I don't do it because there is a rule that says I have to, I do it because I LOVE him and don't want to hurt him. It should be the same with God. We should do as Genesis 2:24 says, and "cleave" to Him, forsaking everything else. Love (not rules!) compels us to behave in a way that GUARDS our relationship. Love is real motivation!
3. Guard yourself from sin by SERVING God.
And "serving" doesn't mean like a person who is paid a wage, like a maid or butler. Serve here is to wholeheartedly give of yourself, putting yourself at the mercy of the one you serve. As in a slave's service to his master. Hebrews 11:23-26 - Moses could have chosen to enjoy all the fleeting pleasures of this world and could have just been the Pharoah's daughter's son. Instead he chose to be persecuted and be counted among the slaves. John 8:34 - Sin is fun, but don't become a slave to it!! Unleash yourself from sin and become a slave of Christ, give up the FLEETING pleasures of your sin that you get from this earth, and be devoted to Christ. Store up treasures in Heaven! You can avoid giving in to the temptations of fleeting earthly pleasures by looking forward to the REWARD in Heaven.
Psalm 16:11 - The pleasures God gives last FOREVER.
You must pursue God more than anything else in your life. Don't be an idolator.
1 Cor. 6:9-11 - "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
Times of trouble, pain, and hardship often push us closer to the Lord. So very often, the time that you most have to watch out for the snares of sin is in times of peace. Guard yourself against sin by LIVING the Word of God, by LOVING God, and by SERVING God.