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← Think It Through First Before Responding - Kevin Williams

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Showing Revision 4 created 03/27/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. If you open your Bibles with me
  2. to Romans 12:17.
  3. Romans 12:17
  4. If you've ever responded in haste;
  5. maybe said something
  6. or sent an email or a text;
  7. or perhaps posted
    something on social media
  8. that you later regretted,
  9. this sermon has application.
  10. These verses come in a section of Romans
  11. that deals with Christian living
  12. on how we are to react
  13. towards people.
  14. And here when people
    treat us in a certain way,
  15. how we are to react towards them.
  16. So, do you remain seated? Stand?
  17. Okay, I'll read Romans 12:17-18
  18. and then we'll pray.
  19. "Repay no one evil for evil,

  20. but give thought to do what is honorable
  21. in the sight of all.
  22. If possible, so far as it depends on you,
  23. live peaceably with all."
  24. I'll read that again.
  25. "Repay no one evil for evil,
  26. but give thought to do what is honorable
  27. in the sight of all.
  28. If possible, so far as it depends on you,
  29. live peaceably with all."
  30. Let's pray.
  31. Our Father, as we look together
  32. at Your Word now,
  33. we pray that You would teach us
  34. by Your Spirit how to live lives holy,
  35. lives set apart for You;
  36. to live for Your glory,
  37. for Your name's sake.
  38. Help us, we ask, in Jesus' name,
  39. Amen.
  40. Okay, so if someone
    mistreats you as a Christian,

  41. or even goes out of their way
  42. to harm you,
  43. what is your reaction supposed to be?
  44. How are we as Christians
  45. called to react when someone
  46. does something evil towards you?
  47. And that is what these
    verses deal with now.
  48. The first principle the apostle lays out
  49. in regards to this here
    in v. 17 of our text,
  50. is repay no one evil for evil.
  51. In other words, don't just retaliate
  52. and strike back in whatever way.
  53. You see, the reason Paul, no doubt,
  54. begins with this what
    is a guiding principle,
  55. is because the natural instinct
  56. when someone treats you
  57. in what you perceive to be an evil way;
  58. the natural instinct is
    to want to strike back
  59. and get even.
  60. How dare they treat me in such a way!
  61. Now, I want to show you how this is linked
  62. to the previous verse there.
  63. At the end of the previous verse (v. 16),
  64. we are told, "Never be
    wise in your own sight."
  65. Or never be wise in your
    own estimation of yourself.
  66. That is basically another way of saying,
  67. "Do not think more highly of yourself
  68. than you ought to."
  69. Think about this.
  70. When someone has an overinflated opinion
  71. of themselves,
  72. they are always going
    to be easily offended
  73. at the slightest thing
  74. and ready to lash out.
  75. The instinctive reaction
    is always going to be,
  76. "How dare they treat me that way!"
  77. And instinctively lash out with vengeance.
  78. James 3 from verse 13 puts it this way:
  79. "Who is wise and understanding among you?
  80. By his good conduct,
    let him show his works
  81. in meekness and wisdom.
  82. But if you have bitter jealousy
  83. and selfish ambition in your hearts,
  84. do not boast and be false to the truth.
  85. This is not the wisdom that
    comes down from above,
  86. but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
  87. For where jealousy and
    selfish ambition exist,
  88. there will be disorder
    and every vile practice.
  89. But the wisdom from above is first pure,
  90. then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
  91. full of mercy and good fruits,
  92. impartial, and sincere.
  93. And a harvest of righteousness
  94. is sown in peace by those who make peace."
  95. You see, in order to react right,

  96. we've got to get our thinking right.
  97. If our wisdom, if our thinking
  98. is clouded by bitterness and jealousy
  99. or selfish ambition -
  100. there's nothing wrong, by the way,
  101. with ambition in and of itself.
  102. Someone can be ambitious
  103. for the glory of God.
  104. But selfish ambition is the problem.
  105. But when you are ambitious
  106. in whatever way for the glory of self,
  107. well, when all these things
  108. are clouding your mind,
  109. you're not going to
    react in the right way.
  110. So, one of the guiding principles
  111. that the apostle began
    with, of course, in chapter 12
  112. is do not be conformed to the mindset
  113. of this fallen world.
  114. So we really have it again here.
  115. You see, if our thinking is wrong,
  116. we're going to react wrong.
  117. If one has an overinflated
    opinion of oneself,
  118. then that person is going
    to be easily offended
  119. and see everything as a personal attack.
  120. And if someone treats you
  121. in what you perceive to be an evil way,
  122. your instinct is going to be instinctively
  123. to lash out in whatever
    way to get revenge.
  124. Well, the Christian is
    not to be in that way
  125. Paul states there.
  126. Think of this in another way.

  127. Imagine if the Lord treated us that way.
  128. Imagine if His response
  129. after we treated Him evil
    was just to lash out.
  130. None of us would be here.
  131. We'd all be in hell.
  132. So, that's the negative part here.
  133. What not to do.
  134. But then, in the next part of the verse,

  135. Paul tells us what to do instead.
  136. He says, "But give thought
  137. to what is honorable
  138. in the sight of all men."
  139. You see, this is what we are to do.
  140. "Give thought to what is honorable
  141. in the sight of all men."
  142. The ESV translates this quite beatifully.
  143. In case anyone is reading from
  144. the old King James,
  145. I must point out that that translation
  146. renders this verse:
  147. "Provide things honest
    in the sight of all men."
  148. Which is okay if you're
    living in the 17th century,
  149. and you're one of the people
  150. that translation was intended for,
  151. but it makes absolutely no sense
  152. in the way we would use
    the word "provide" today.
  153. You see, back in the 17th century,
  154. the word "provide" actually meant
  155. to take thought beforehand.
  156. To think ahead.
  157. Hence, why the ESV translates this,
  158. "But give thought to do..."
  159. You see, the idea here
  160. is when someone treats you
  161. in what you perceive to
    be in a bad or evil way,
  162. don't respond by instantly lashing out
  163. in revenge, but take thought.
  164. Think it through is the idea.
  165. And when it says in the next part
  166. that you are to give thought to do
  167. what is honorable in the sight of all,
  168. again, the ESV really
    gets the idea, I think.
  169. The idea is to respond in a way
  170. that is good that can be seen by all.
  171. That others can see it is good.
  172. It's the same words used
    in 2 Corinthians 8:21.
  173. Paul says, "For we aim (in our conduct)
  174. at what is honorable,
  175. not only in the Lord's sight,
  176. but also in the sight of men."
  177. That is, we aim to be blameless if we can;
  178. to act in a just and right manner.
  179. Not just before the Lord,
  180. although that is the primary,
  181. but hopefully we can also
  182. react and conduct ourselves in a way
  183. that is right in the sight of men.
  184. Of course, our first duty is to the Lord.
  185. And that must not be
    compromised for the other.
  186. But notice it says here
  187. "in the sight of all men."
  188. That is believers and unbelievers alike.
  189. You see, in our actions,
  190. in the way we respond,
  191. we are to be concerned
    about what others think.
  192. In the sight of all men it says.
  193. Do good in the sight of all men.
  194. We are to be conscious in how we react
  195. that the lost world is looking on at us.
  196. You see, the teaching of this verse is
  197. when someone does what you perceive to be
  198. an evil towards you,
  199. you are not to respond without
    thinking it through properly,
  200. by instantly lashing out.
  201. But you are to take thought.
  202. How is the lost world going to perceive
  203. how I respond to this?
  204. You ought to pause. Think.
  205. If I respond in this or that certain way,
  206. what will they think of Christ
  207. and Christianity.
  208. Remember this verse is in the context here
  209. of thinking of the church as a body.
  210. And so, we must ask
    ourselves as Christians,
  211. if I react in a certain way,
  212. what will people think of the church
  213. I am part of?
  214. You see, it's the Lord's name
  215. we are to be concerned with.
  216. If I respond in this way or that way,
  217. what effect is it going to have on others?
  218. You see, this really is another section
  219. about living the gospel.
  220. The unbelievers - the
    lost world around you
  221. will judge the gospel and Christianity
  222. by what they see in us.
  223. So we must think it through.
  224. How is my response going to affect
  225. the perception of Christ and Christianity?
  226. You see, you're a Christian now,
  227. and so no man lives unto himself.
  228. You've got to realize that what you do
  229. doesn't just affect you alone.
  230. No man lives unto himself.
  231. But what you do and say
  232. is going to affect what
    others think of Christ
  233. and Christianity.
  234. In how you behave and your conduct,
  235. in how you react to a
    perceived evil against you.
  236. And never think in terms of yourself only.
  237. But you must think first
  238. of what effect will my response
  239. have on others.
  240. You see, this is what must dictate
  241. or govern our response.
  242. Think it though.
  243. What response would
    give God the most glory?
  244. Think about all the times, brethren,
  245. you know, you've been hasty.
  246. How many times have you and I
  247. perceived an evil by someone against us?
  248. And so you've said something
  249. without properly thinking it through
  250. and then regretted it.
  251. How many times have people sent a text,
  252. an email, or replied to a post
  253. on social media?
  254. Something on Facebook or whatever.
  255. And later thought,
  256. "If only I had just waited..."
  257. We live in a minefield today
  258. with all the technology.
  259. You know, there have
    been times in the past
  260. when someone has sent me a rather angry
  261. or provocative message on WhatsApp.
  262. And of course, WhatsApp,
  263. when you send someone a message,
  264. it gives you the two blue tics to say
  265. they've read the message.
  266. But then, you find there are people
  267. who want to bring back public hanging.
  268. And of course, the death
    penalty's still here,
  269. but they want it to apply for that
  270. because I've not responded in 30 seconds.
  271. When in actual fact, what I'm doing
  272. is I'm doing what this verse tells me.
  273. I'm thinking about what is the best way
  274. to respond to their anger.
  275. Or, I might be doing something else
  276. and it's come up, so I've got to give
  277. my attention to that.
  278. You know the world doesn't
    revolve around people.
  279. You see, I use that by way of example
  280. because many times,
  281. you will feel under pressure
  282. to respond rashly.
  283. But you don't want to do that.
  284. Make sure you pause.
  285. Think it through.
  286. Time out.
  287. You see, rather than very quickly respond
  288. in a way without properly
    thinking it through,
  289. you must think,
  290. what is likely to be the final effect
  291. if I respond like this?
  292. Is it better to sit on your fingers
  293. and save the text or the email
  294. or the call for another day?
  295. In which time you might have
  296. a completely different
    perspective on things.
  297. By then, you might see,
  298. well, I've overreacted.
  299. Or, more things have come to light.
  300. Or, you might be thinking later,
  301. what good is this going to do anyway?
  302. I remember once, I had a school teacher.
  303. He used to say,
  304. "Engage brain before mouth."
  305. And that's good advice.
  306. Properly thinking it through.
  307. You know, sometimes you meet people
  308. that say, "I always speak my mind."
  309. And they're proud of the fact
  310. that they say the first thing
  311. that comes into their head,
  312. no matter how rude
  313. without thinking it through.
  314. Without thinking about what effect
  315. it will have on others.
  316. But according to this verse,
  317. a Christian should never
    have that attitude;
  318. should never be one of those people
  319. who says, "I just always speak my mind,"
  320. and say the first thing that comes out.
  321. Never try and excuse things like that
  322. by saying I'm of a certain nationality
  323. or a certain family or whatever;
  324. a certain background.
  325. Never try to excuse sin
  326. by some sort of cultural context.
  327. When Paul said to the Cretans,
  328. those of Crete are always liars,
  329. he wasn't saying it's okay for you to lie
  330. because you're from Crete.
  331. Just like if someone is from -
  332. this is the way it is where we live -
  333. if someone is from Africa or Spain
  334. or Latin America, it doesn't mean
  335. it's okay for them to be late.
  336. Or if someone comes from the Middle East,
  337. it's not okay to have a bad temper.
  338. Believe it or not, there
    are professing Christians there
  339. who just lash out in anger
  340. and then they try and excuse it by saying,
  341. "Oh, it's just a cultural thing."
  342. You see, cultural sin is sin.
  343. That is the way Paul is speaking
  344. to those in Crete.
  345. He says, "Or is the saying true?"
  346. You're different. You're Christians now.
  347. And so, you're not to be that stereotype.
  348. A Christian should never be those people
  349. who say, "I just speak
    my mind all the time
  350. without thinking it through."
  351. And so, verse 18 continues with this.

  352. "If possible, so far as it depends on you,
  353. live peaceably with all."
  354. Live at peace with all.
  355. That is, believers and unbelievers alike.
  356. As far as it depends on you.
  357. Notice, as far is it depends on you,

  358. you are to take the initiative.
  359. The Christian is not to
    be the troublemaker.
  360. There's much in Proverbs about that.
  361. The contentious, argumentative,
  362. always picking a fight type of person
  363. is not a characteristic of a Christian.
  364. There's a lot of Christian
    bloggers out there
  365. and so-called discernment ministries
  366. that act in a way where
    they're always ready
  367. figuratively to punch someone in the face.
  368. But again, that's not
    characteristically Christian.
  369. But I want you to think about this.
  370. In reacting in a way
    that is not going to be
  371. a bad witness,
  372. and as far as it depends upon you,
  373. thinking about it in terms of
  374. you taking the initiative to be at peace.
  375. First of all, remember,
  376. you're not trying to win the argument,
  377. but the person.
  378. Well, you are trying to win the argument,
  379. but it's the person first and foremost.
  380. You see, if you just get someone's back up
  381. unnecessarily, then you've lost them.
  382. You may have won an argument,
  383. but they may go home thinking
  384. they won the argument too anyway.
  385. But secondly, think of this in terms of
  386. online disagreements with others.
  387. Much of the world lives
    in that sphere today.
  388. I remember one time another Christian

  389. was arguing with me over
  390. some secondary issue that was evidently
  391. a first issue to him.
  392. But we eventually agreed to disagree.
  393. Now, he was doing this via Facebook,
  394. so at the end of it, I thanked him
  395. for doing it on the private messenger.
  396. So only I and he could see.
  397. Because if it had been plastered all over
  398. my Facebook wall in public -
  399. in view of others -
  400. then all the unbelievers,
    the non-Christians looking on
  401. would not have understood it.
  402. It would have been a really bad witness.
  403. So even though I disagreed with him,
  404. and I thought his manner was a bit harsh,
  405. I thanked him for
    still doing it in private.
  406. Whereas I remember another person

  407. just plastering my Facebook wall,
  408. and every time I would delete his dribble
  409. because I'm thinking
    this doesn't look good
  410. in front of all the unbelievers
    I'm trying to reach here.
  411. He'd just post some more.
  412. So, in the end, I had to defriend him
  413. and take him off.
  414. You see, he obviously thought
  415. that all the world had to agree with him
  416. over some secondary issue.
  417. Because he wasn't thinking
  418. how is this going to be perceived
  419. by unbelievers?
  420. What sort of testimony
    is this going to give?
  421. He wasn't thinking of the glory of God
  422. and those people's souls.
  423. All that was before him
  424. was personal pride in winning an argument.
  425. And he didn't want to be seen to lose.
  426. Because he didn't want my friends
  427. or my wife's friends who
    he didn't even know -
  428. it's ridiculous.
  429. If you ever have a
    disagreement with someone
  430. in a church meeting,
  431. perhaps over some
    theological issue or whatever,
  432. don't lash out.
  433. Think it through.
  434. What are onlookers going to think of this?
  435. You know you've always got weaker
  436. and newer, less mature Christians.
  437. Some people who are
  438. walking through the door the first time
  439. and see some odd discussion
  440. that could be a bad testimony.
  441. It's very serious stuff.
  442. Supposing you have a disagreement
  443. with someone else, and so you have
  444. this big squabble, whether it's online
  445. or in a church setting,
  446. or in a house setting or at work
  447. or wherever, but it's in a public setting,
  448. and people know you're a Christian.
  449. And so the result of it,
  450. people are turned off to the gospel
  451. and Christianity.
  452. And so part of the reason
    they end up in hell
  453. is because of your conduct.
  454. Not to mention then going around
  455. blaspheming the Lord's name.
  456. Saying those Christians
    are just like that.
  457. You see, as Christians, we don't want
  458. to bring shame upon the name of Christ.
  459. That should be our concern.
  460. But we've got to realize,
  461. you cannot do things in isolation
  462. as a Christian.
  463. You are to, as our Lord said,
  464. let your light so shine before men
  465. that they may see your good works
  466. and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
  467. Think of this in every
    aspect of your life.
  468. That people are watching you.
  469. People are looking on.
  470. Now, of course, let me make clear here,
  471. you may still do everything right,
  472. and you're still going to
    get some false accusations.
  473. The Apostle Paul did. Our Lord Jesus did.
  474. You think of Joseph in the Old Testament.
  475. He was a classic example
  476. of someone living out this verse.
  477. And yet, he was still thrown in prison
  478. for something he didn't do.
  479. But he's also an example
    of how to respond.
  480. Now, the next thing I want
    to point out here though

  481. is Paul does not say
  482. be at peace with people at any cost.
  483. He doesn't say be at peace
    with people at any cost,
  484. but as far as it depends upon you.
  485. Remember, the wisdom from above
  486. is first pure, then peaceable.
  487. It's pure, meaning truth first.
  488. You see, you're not to
    be the trouble maker.
  489. You're not to be the one
    who initiates the fight.
  490. You are to try and be the
    peacemaker if you like
  491. in your actions,
  492. but there are some people who
  493. will go out of their way
  494. to be difficult.
  495. And there are some people
    you cannot make peace with.
  496. With those people you can sleep at night
  497. knowing that as far as
    it depended upon you,
  498. they could have had peace.
  499. But again, this peace is not at any cost.
  500. We are told in Scripture for instance
  501. that if anyone comes to you
  502. preaching another gospel,
  503. let him be accursed.
  504. It doesn't say just agree with them
  505. for the sake of peace.
  506. In 2 John, we're told if anyone comes
  507. bringing another doctrine
    of the person of Jesus,
  508. saying something like He's not fully God
  509. or He's not fully man,
  510. then don't even give him a greeting.
  511. He's not talking about your neighbor
  512. that you're trying to witness to,
  513. but someone teaching.
  514. There is such a thing
  515. as church discipline in Scripture
  516. for those who profess to be Christians,
  517. but continue in unrepentant sin.
  518. We are told to avoid the divisive person
  519. after one or two warnings.
  520. And we are to earnestly
    contend for the faith.
  521. Not put it aside for the sake of peace.
  522. You know, in regards to a pastor
  523. teaching from the pulpit,
  524. and other Christians in a general sense,
  525. of course, we should be sensitive,
  526. but there should never be a case,
  527. for instance, where a pastor thinks
  528. I can't preach this certain truth
  529. because so-and-so will be offended
  530. and leave the church.
  531. You know, I once had someone come to me

  532. very disgruntled over
    the doctrine of Calvinism
  533. and the sovereignty of God,
  534. and was showing their
    anger and disgust over it.
  535. The next time they came into our meeting,
  536. and it came up in that sermon -
  537. it was just in the text -
  538. but he actually got up and walked out
  539. in the middle of the sermon.
  540. But you see, we're not to skip over
  541. parts of the Bible in order to pacify
  542. those types of people.
  543. We're not to think I can't preach this
  544. because so-and-so might leave the church.
  545. I'm just the messenger.
  546. It's not my message to tamper with.
  547. In fact, it's a very
    serious thing to do so.
  548. You see, what I'm saying in these examples

  549. is in making peace,
  550. we should never do it in a way
  551. which would deny Christ
  552. and our Christian faith.
  553. Our Lord Jesus said,
  554. "If you deny Me before men,
  555. then I will deny you before My Father
  556. who is in heaven."
  557. So this verse is not saying
  558. in order to have peace and an easy life,
  559. deny your faith in Christ.
  560. Pretend you're not a Christian at times.
  561. You know, many people
    have gone to their deaths
  562. because they were not willing to deny
  563. they were Christians.
  564. You see, there are some people
  565. who will not have peace with you
  566. because you are a Christian.
  567. Like in the previous verses here,
  568. he's not teaching if people persecute you,
  569. then pretend you're not a Christian.
  570. You are to be faithful
    in your Christian faith.
  571. But as far as it depends upon you,
  572. be at peace with all people.
  573. A Christian wife married to an unbeliever,

  574. can and should go out of her way,
  575. as far as it depends upon her
  576. to be at peace with her husband.
  577. But she cannot deny Christ in that.
  578. And the same goes in the workplace.
  579. Or anywhere else in life.
  580. When you're around unbelievers,
  581. you are to go out of
    your way to live at peace,
  582. but you don't deny Christ.
  583. But as far as it depends upon you,
  584. live at peace.
  585. And we are not to sin
  586. in order to have peace with people.
  587. We are to have no fellowship
  588. with the unfruitful works of darkness.
  589. Lloyd-Jones pointed out something

  590. regarding this which was excellent.
  591. And that is there are some people
  592. who have a tendency
  593. to always want to retaliate
  594. and strike back, and of course,
  595. I've just given application for that.
  596. But then of course, there are people
  597. at the other end of the spectrum;
  598. there are other people
    who will do anything
  599. for a peaceful life
  600. and just give in to bullies
  601. and let people walk all over them.
  602. Well, that's not Christian either,
  603. he points out.
  604. And that is not what
    this is talking about.
  605. That sort of thing is just being lethargic
  606. and cowardly,
  607. or trying to avoid confrontations.
  608. You see, this is not being scared
  609. and so being willing to do anything
  610. for a peaceful life.
  611. Let me point out here,
  612. in all this, there are sometimes
  613. where you have to respond quickly.
  614. It may be in defending someone.
  615. He's not saying stop,
    pause, think about it,
  616. and the person's dead on
    the floor or whatever.
  617. Obviously, they're both in the context
  618. of the examples I've given
  619. when you can respond rationally
  620. and there was time to think it through.
  621. But you see, not acting in haste
  622. and doing something
    you regret is the idea.
  623. But thinking it through.
  624. What is the best response
  625. that's going to glorify God?
  626. What is going to be the best testimony?
  627. What's going to be the best
  628. to win these people to Christ?
  629. And you see, ultimately,

  630. these verses were the related theme
  631. that keeps coming up in Romans 12
  632. or a repeated word,
    I should say, is "love."
  633. You see this again and again.
  634. Love is to dictate how we respond.
  635. Love to God first and love to fellow man.
  636. As Charles Leiter rightly points out,
  637. with instruction like this
  638. in the Sermon on the Mount also,
  639. these instructions are not to be taken
  640. as a to-the-letter law.
  641. (Incomplete thought)
  642. What I mean is you're not meant to
  643. take these words like "rule #15."
  644. This is how I should respond exactly
  645. and tic that box
  646. when it could be the wrong response.
  647. But we're given principles here.
  648. And the overriding principle is love.
  649. How can I best show love to God
  650. and love to fellow man
  651. in how we respond?
  652. You see, these verses,
  653. they don't forbid going to
  654. a civil magistrate when
    you've been wronged.
  655. Paul deals with that in the next chapter.
  656. Even the Old Testament law
  657. gave principles for civil magistrates.
  658. So there's nothing wrong
  659. with calling the police
    or whatever authority.
  660. But don't lash out.
  661. First, pause and think.
  662. What is the best way I can respond
  663. that can give glory to God?
  664. What is going to be the best witness?
  665. Think first. Pray about it.
  666. Don't take things personally.
  667. It may be letting things go
  668. is the best response that time.
  669. It may be doing some charitable deed
  670. is the best response.
  671. It may be calling the police
  672. and getting them arrested.
  673. I remember last time I
    was in the U.S. up north.

  674. Well, it was in the middle.
  675. Kind of everything's north of Texas.
  676. But there was a member of the church there
  677. who prior to making a profession in Christ
  678. had been in prison for dealing drugs.
  679. But after making a profession,
  680. he'd gone back to it.
  681. Well, the church was now
    praying for his conversion.
  682. You know, they were loving him
  683. and praying for him.
  684. But at the same time,
  685. they were also praising God
  686. in the same prayers
  687. for taking him off the street
  688. so he's not harming others
  689. with his drug dealing.
  690. You see, that is a right balance there.
  691. Love and glory to God
  692. dictates our response.
  693. So we have to pause. Think it through.

  694. What is going to bring glory to God?
  695. And of course, you can apply this
  696. to other areas of life
  697. when you're not treated evil.
  698. You know when you're choosing what to do.
  699. You have many choices.
  700. Think it through.
  701. What is going to bring more glory to God?
  702. When you're volunteering
    to help for things,
  703. it's very easy to volunteer, isn't it,
  704. to do everything,
  705. but sometimes you can take
    things too much on
  706. and that can be a bad testimony
  707. because you can't follow it through.
  708. You think can I properly do this
  709. and so forth?
  710. So, let's pray.

  711. Our Father, we thank You for Your Word
  712. and we pray You would help us
  713. to apply these principles
  714. to our lives;
  715. that we would be governed by Scripture,
  716. that we would not be
  717. unnecessarily a bad testimony.
  718. Help us to be about our Father's business,
  719. concerned for the name of the Lord
  720. in what we say, what we do.
  721. In Jesus' name, Amen.