How can we know what a man or woman of faith looks like?
Scripture lines it out clearly
The Lord knows the heart, and He gives us practical truth to help us direct and discern what is acceptable before Him.
Psalm 15:1 NKJV — A Psalm of David. LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
Psalm 15:2 NKJV — He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart;
We can observe the works of righteousness in others as well as mark those who walk uprightly.
This can also be applied to ourselves, giving us a standard to live by.
Although, we can’t weigh the words of someone’s heart, we can only weigh our own and work to speak truth therein.
Psalm 15:3 NKJV — He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
Ahh, the tongue!
James speaks of the difficulties of taming the tongue. James 3: 2-14
We must be mindful of what passes through our lips, for Jesus said words come from the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:45, Matt. 12:34
The next two lines speaks directly to the people around us.
How often do we sin against those closest to us?
Maybe because we feel secure in the relationship or we think it doesn’t matter or worse, we expect them to “get over it” so we are less restrained.
Whatever excuse we concoct, scripture makes it clear we are to treat those around us with love, as Jesus loves us. John 15:12
Psalm 15:4 NKJV — In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
This seems out of step with the “love one another”, but the scriptures are full of warning for those who simply turn a bling eye to wickedness and let those who practice such dwell among them.
It’s dangerous for both parties.
Those who are practicing evil need to hear the truth and being allowed to continue in the acts of wickedness doesn’t lead them to respect that consequences come from both good choices and bad ones.
The truth for those practicing evil is their own choice to reject God and His salvation, choosing instead eternal death and separation from God, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For those who know what is right, but allow evil to live with them, they are in danger of growing accustom to that which God hates.
Sin hurts people and it separates us from God, we cannot live with it and not be negatively influenced by it.
Thus, the righteous despise evil and honor those who fear the Lord.
The upright has such strong convictions, that even when he promises something that ends up costing him, he will not go back on his word.
Psalm 15:5 NKJV — He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
The upright do not take advantage of others, especially when it comes to money.
Whether, by lending at a fee or trying to use money to get their way, they don’t do it.
Finally, the chapter brings us back to the point: Who is allowed to dwell with God?
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Taken alone, this list could seem impossible, but remembering that it is only a piece of the scriptures, we can find both hope and faith in these practical steps.
For the Word of God is clear that we can do no good thing on our own, it is only through our salvation through Christ Jesus that we are made righteous.
Then, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the renewing of our minds through the washing of the Word do we find God’s strength teaching us to walk in righteousness.
And that is why these steps are not impossible, God gave them to help us.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for continuing to teach me from Your Word. Please continue to help me learn how to walk in Your truths daily, especially in the areas I find challenging. Lord, I thank You that You cleansed me the moment I accepted Your gift of grace. Thank You that You are so patiently renewing my mind and understanding to be more like You each day. Lord, for those who are seeking You and learning to apply Your truths, please encourage them and bring them up in Your Word, plant them firmly in Your truth. Lord, for those who feel they are a failure or have let You down, please remind them of the truth, that they are valuable, priceless to You and You are waiting for them to return to You. Lord, for those who feel comfortable in their walk, too at ease in their day-to-day and have grown callous to Your Word, please bring them to the truth and help them be humble, steadfast, and uncompromising in respect to application of Your Word to their lives. Lord, for those who are these upright people, faithful and true, thank You. They are such a blessing and encouragement. Lord, You are amazing and I praise Your holy name!