The message today is not about who is godly and who is not godly, but it is about who you should obtain advice from. The person(s) we receive advice from should at least have a good track record in the area in which we are seeking advice. It would be difficult for a person who has been married and divorced three times to give me good, sound advice about marriage.
It becomes a little irritating when a person seek advice, but does the opposite of what you know is best because you have sought the counsel of God. Unnecessary suffering is the consequence of their decisions because good advice was ignored. Regretfully, our children, in many instances, are the greatest culprits of ignoring good parental advice.
One of the great advisors in the Bible is John the Baptist. After 400 years of silence, this prophetic voice comes out of nowhere giving advice to sinners.
Every time we hear the preached Word, we should be asking the question, “What advice is being given today?” I read recently that there are three major goals we seek to achieve when we preach: (1) to inform the mind about God’s truth and will, (2) to inflame the heart with love for the truth, and (3) to inspire the will to do what God wants.
John the Baptist preaching was during a time when he fearlessly denounced evil wherever he found it regardless of where it existed. It did not matter who the recipient of his advice was, whether it was the king, the righteous Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Wherever he saw evil, he rebuked it. He was like a light coming out of darkness trying to save the world.
His message of hope was very simple, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” This is the message that this nation needs right now, for there is so much evil and sinfulness that repentance is needed. It is obvious that we as a people are going in the wrong direction. The advice from John the Baptist to all of us is very simple, “Get right!”
It would be a wonderful thing if our leaders would seek advice from our God so that the people would regain their faith, trust and respect in mankind.
Repentance means to turn around; change of mind and a changed life. I think many of us would agree that we as a nation and a people have gone astray. It is time for the entire world to experience an inner spiritual change. Psalm 80:3,7 and 19 says, “Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine and we shall be saved.”
I admonish all of us to be true to thine own self. We have heard those words from Shakespeare ‘s Hamlet. Polonius gives this good advice to his son Laertes, “To thine own self be true.” Let us be true to our own selves today. Let’s give some sound advice to ourselves before giving it to others.
Here is the advice for today. Let’s get real and be true to thine own self and repent. King David cried out to the Lord, “Have mercy on me O God according to your unfailing love according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sins are always before me.” Psalm 51: 1
Just imagine what would happen to us individually and collectively if we would confess our sins and repent. Our political leaders will not do better until they have repented and changed their hearts.
The prophet Ezekiel said it like this, “As I live says the Lord God. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways.”
The advice for today is simple, get real, for even the righteous need to repent. It is said that the Pharisees and Sadducees came to where John the Baptist was baptizing. He said, “You brood of vipers. Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
In closing, if we are going to produce fruit, give some good, sound doctrinal advice today. It may just make a difference!
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor