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Archive | Holiness

3 Ways to Encourage Others

encourageEarlier this week I got to teach at my church’s ladies’ summer Bible study. It was a bit bittersweet because it was the last time before we move next week. And ironically, the summer Bible study topic is friendship. I admit, a few times I had to hold back tears.

I taught on the friendship of Barnabas and Paul, specifically the way Barnabas encouraged Paul. What I learned from studying their relationship was enlightening and I thought you might get something from it too!

“Barnabas,” which means “son of encouragement,” was a nickname given to Joseph the Levite by the apostles (Acts 4:36-37). You can guess how Barnabas earned this endearing moniker. He was well-known for encouraging others.

Barnabas and Paul’s relationship began with Saul the Persecutor returned to Jerusalem for the first time after his saving encounter with Jesus. He tried to join the believers, but they fearfully rejected him. “But Barnabas…” (Acts 9:27).

3 Ways Barnabas Encouraged Paul

  1. Barnabas Extended Friendship (Acts 9:26-30) – Barnabas did not act foolishly. He listened to Paul’s story and then with spiritual wisdom and discernment he became an advocate for Paul with the Jerusalem church. Barnabas opened the door for Paul into the fellowship of believers.
  2. Barnabas Fostered Paul’s Gifts (Acts 11:22-26) – When the new, thriving church in Antioch needed leadership, Barnabas brought Paul to work alongside him. Barnabas knew the church needed Paul’s gifts and that Paul needed to grow and develop his leadership skills. Barnabas acted as “matchmaker!”
  3. Barnabas helped Paul reach his spiritual potential (Acts 13:1-13) – In the middle of their first missionary journey together, Barnabas recognized God’s call on Paul’s life. Without any signs of jealousy, he humbly stepped back and let Paul take the lead.

3 Ways We can Encourage Others Like Barnabas

After studying Paul and Barnabas’ friendship, I cast a wider net to see what the rest of the New Testament teaches us about encouraging one another. Both the noun and verb forms of the basic Greek word mean “to call to one’s side; to comfort, exhort, encourage, and console.” After reading numerous examples, I condensed them to these 3 specific ways we can encourage other believers.

  1. Comfort the suffering and hurting (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) – When tragedy hits, when troubles rage, our friends need more than our prayers. They also need our presence. They need us to come to their side. To cry with them. To serve and help in practical ways. And they need to share about times God has helped us in similar circumstances.
  2. Strengthen the weary (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3) – Sometimes believers just get tired. There isn’t necessarily any one specific trial, we are just bone tired. Or discouraged by life in general. We need some refreshment. We can encourage each other by helping with the load. By sharing a laugh. By bringing ice cream!
  3. Exhort the spiritually lazy or those tangled in sin (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12) – This is the form of encouragement we lack the most today. We don’t want to “meddle” in others’ lives. We don’t want to “judge.” But all that is merely an excuse to ignore our biblical responsibility to each other. Scripture commands us to call other believers out of sin. To push them toward holiness. And in doing so, we may save them much heartache.

Who needs your encouragement today? Is there someone you know right now that needs an advocate? How can you build a bridge for them into your local fellowship? Is their a weary friend who needs refreshment? What tangible thing can you do today to encourage them? Is there a friend caught in a harmful cycle of sin? How can you bravely intervene? 

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Grace or Truth? Yes

Grace or truthIn the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, an ongoing debate in the Christian community has once again taken center stage. Should Christians extend abundant grace to all or should we stand firm on the truth of God’s Word?

What is the answer? Grace or truth? The answer is a resounding “yes!”

It’s not grace or truth. It’s grace and truth. As Christians, we cannot leave either by the wayside. Jesus, “who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), is our example.

Yes, the suffering world desperately needs the love and grace of Jesus. But it’s sin that has caused the suffering in the world. Our culture is saturated with its devastating consequences.

Grace Covers Every Sin

Sin is a cancer eating away at the fabric of our society. We see its effects everywhere. Our prisons overflow. The family is disintegrating. Sex fuels the popular culture. This cancer needs a cure before it’s too late for the patient. We need God’s grace and His truth.

A few years ago when this same issue heated up over a controversial interview with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, one well-known Christian author wrote that she chooses to “preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate.” Yet, how can we share the love of Christ without sharing His greatest act of love.

“But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The Gospel isn’t the Gospel without the “Jesus died for our sins” part (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Jesus died for our sins. Without the acknowledgment of sin, there will be no recognition of a need for a Savior. And there will be no salvation. No spiritual healing.

The world needs both grace and truth, but they also won’t respond to a dogmatic diatribe of right and wrong. While we must not hesitate to share God’s truth, our conversation must always be “full of grace” (Colossians 4:6), presented with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). (For more on how Christians can interact with a lost world read “Should Christians be the Morality Police?”)

Of course, there will be times – no matter how graciously we present God’s truth – that the hearers will respond with anger and hate. The message of the Cross is foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18). For some, it is a sweet aroma of life, but to others it is the smell of death (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). But that should not keep us from sharing the Good News. And we should not water it down to make it more palatable.

The Gospel is good news because Jesus will receive any and every sinner! There is no sin too great, no background too sordid, no heart too rebellious. Jesus’ sacrificial death covers it all. The cross is able to heal all wounds.

Jesus Calls Believers to Holiness

Yet on the redeemed side of the cross, He calls us to live holy lives. Just as He lifted the woman caught in adultery and said, “Go and sin no more,” He raises us up in new lives and tells us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Sadly many today who proclaim Christ embrace a form of “Christianity” that looks more like our culture than like Christ. (Read more about cultural Christianity in this excellent article by Stephanie Shott.)

Yes, Jesus invites us to come to Him just as we are. But, He doesn’t want us to stay just as we are.

God calls the prideful to humility.

God calls the selfish to give.

God calls the gossip to speak only word that build up and encourage.

And calls the sexually immoral to purity.

In other words, God calls believers to holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We cannot sweep continued, unrepentant sin under a “rug of grace.” Jesus died for our sins because they were heinous enough to separate us from God. Our sins cost Jesus His life. How can we simply continue to live in them? But that’s what we do when we ignore the truth about what God calls sin.

Yes, Jesus is loving, but He is also just. Jesus is merciful, but He is also holy. We must not misrepresent Jesus to either the world or the Church.

It’s not grace or truth. It’s grace and truth. Both/and. Amen and amen.

 

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4 Reasons Christians Compromise with the Culture

Christians compromiseI am patiently waiting on the next grandson to arrive. Okay, let me be honest. I’m waiting. We can leave the “patiently” part out. In fact, by the time this post actually goes live, he may be here.

The world my grandson will know is very different than the world of my childhood. Or even the world my children grew up in. We live in a highly sexualized culture that permeates everything. Greed, selfishness, and self-indulgence run rampant.

It seems it gets harder every day for a Christ-follower to navigate the landmines of our society. Morals and values have shifted dramatically away from God’s standards. Almost every day another story in the news demonstrates this ongoing clash between the world’s values and God’s standards. (For more info see Ed Stetzer’s article on Christian responses to cultural change in Christianity Today.)

I’ve seen three possible ways Christians deal with the culture clash:

  • Separate from the world – Granted, it’s easier to live by God’s standards if we remove ourselves from the influence of the world. But there’s one big problem with that. In doing so, we also remove the influence of Christ from the world. Jesus calls us to go out into the world and take the Gospel (John 17:14-18), not hunker down in a holy bunker.
  • Live by God’s standards out in the world – This is the hardest road to walk. But God promised that through His divine power, He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). With discipline, intentionality, and constant dependence on the Holy Spirit, we can live lives that please God and honor the name of Christ.
  • Compromise in one or more areas – Although some believers do simply throw up their hands without even trying to live by God’s standards, the majority of us simply straddle the fence here and there. Sometimes we compromise. Sometimes we think God’s way is “too hard” or “too boring” or just “too weird” compared to the world.

4 Reasons Christians Compromise with the Culture:

So why do we do it? Why do followers of Christ sometimes follow the world? Here are four reasons based on time in God’s Word and a bit of observation:

  1. Indulge our own desires – This is probably the most frequent reason. We have sinful desires and sometimes we give in to them. Let’s remember – We never have to give in to temptation. God will always provide a way out if we will take it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  2. Ignorance of God’s Word – Sometimes believers live like the world in one or more areas simply because they don’t know God’s standard. Yet God calls us to “not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance,” but to be holy in all we do (1 Peter 1:13-15). Thankfully we can learn since we have full access to His Word!
  3. Fear of being “labeled” – Sometimes believers worry more about what the world will think of us than what God will think of us. We don’t want to be considered a “bigot” or “self-righteous.” We don’t want to be different or stand out in a crowd. So we compromise to fit in.
  4. Misguided attempt to be relevant – I’ve heard and seen Christians – even Christian leaders – dress and speak in questionable ways in an attempt to connect with the culture. If our speech or dress or behavior shocks or offends even a handful of Christians in the room, we should reconsider. Jesus and His message of salvation are always relevant. We don’t have to compromise to share them.

Do you find it hard to live by God’s standards in this world? Is one of these four reasons a bigger struggle than the others? Why do you think that is?

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7 Things God Cannot Do

Yes, I know. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign, and holy. I fully embrace all that God’s Word says about who He is, how He works, and what He can do. But there are some things that God cannot – or will not – do precisely because of who He is.

These 7 things are not a comprehensive list, but they will all help us better understand our one, true God. I pray they also help you to worship Him more passionately and trust Him more completely.

7 Things God Cannot Do

  1. God cannot be wrong or make a mistake – Everything God does is right. His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16). All His works are perfect (Deut 32:4). He never even makes an “honest mistake.”
  2. God cannot sin – God is holy. He is “light” and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). Perfect holiness. Not a speck of unholiness. God cannot do anything against His perfect, holy nature. He cannot do evil or be tempted by evil (James 1:13).
  3. God cannot lie – Yes, a lie is sin, so this one is covered by #2. However, since the Bible makes a point of telling us this specifically, I thought it was worth emphasizing! God doesn’t lie like we humans do. He only tells the truth, all the time, every time. (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2, Numbers 23:19)
  4. God cannot change – Perfection cannot become more perfect. Since God has perfect knowledge and perfect character, He cannot change His mind or improve His behavior. (Malachi 3:6). By the way, we shouldn’t dare to “update” God’s Word or standards to match our times. Our culture may be changing constantly, but God “does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
  5. God cannot break a promise – We can always take God at His word. He is faithful to keep His covenants. What He says, He will do. (Psalm 89:34)
  6. God cannot get tired – No matter how much God accomplishes, how great and far-reaching His works, He will not grow weary or fatigued (Isaiah 40:28). In fact, He has strength in abundance and is willing to share His strength with us! (Isaiah 40:31)
  7. God cannot stop “being” – Our Creator God is the God who “IS.” His personal name, Yahweh, expresses the nature of His existence. He exists because He is. He exists outside of time. He has not ever “not existed” at any point, in any dimension. By nature of who He is, He must exist. Isn’t that mind blowing? (Exodus 3:13-15, Psalm 90:1-5, Revelation 1:1-8)

So, what do you think? Do you agree that there are some things God cannot do?

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5 Benefits of Living a Holy Life

5 Benefits Holiness“Holiness” is often misunderstood. Many believers think living a holy life is just too hard. Or too boring. Or simply undesirable. We recognize the truth that God commands His children to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We do want to please Him, but life gets in the way.

We fail to realize that the benefits of holiness far outweigh anything we might need to “sacrifice.” The gain is far greater than the loss of any worldly activity, behavior, or attitude.

In his book, The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges defines holiness this way: “To be morally blameless. It is to be separated from sin and, therefore, consecrated to God. The word signifies ‘separation to God, and the conduct befitting those so separated.” The basic meaning of “holy” is to be “set apart.” We are set apart from the world, its sinful ways, and our own fleshly desires. We are set apart to God.

Maybe holiness sounds like an overwhelming, daunting, or impossible task? Humanly speaking it is. But, whatever God requires of His children, He also supplies. God requires holiness, but His Spirit provides the power to turn away from sin. God calls us to holiness and God provides what we need to be holy.

Usually what it comes down to is simply our desire to live a holy life. Why would we want to be holy? The following 5 benefits are not the only reasons to pursue holiness, but they’re one Scripture mentions repeatedly.

  1. Holiness fosters intimacy with God and builds spiritual strength and stability (Psalm 15:1-6).
  2. Holiness makes us useful and effective for God’s purposes (2 Timothy 2:20-26).
  3. Holiness causes people around you to glorify God (1 Peter 2:9-12).
  4. Holiness builds peace with God (2 Peter 3:10-18).
  5. Holiness pleases God and produces “fruit” (Ephesians 5:1-17).

And those 5 benefits are just the beginning of how God blesses a holy life!

How have you thought about holiness in the past? Have you thought a holy life was too hard? Simply undesirable? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Want to learn more about living a holy life? Check out Kathy’s Bible study “Embraced by Holiness.”

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All Creation Sings God’s Praise

Psalm 19Have you ever stopped to consider the size of the universe or the scope of creation? Earth, our home, and seven other planets revolve around a sun to form a single solar system. Yet, our sun is just one of more than 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s big! In fact, it would take us 100,000 years to cross our galaxy at the speed of light. And that’s just the beginning. Our galaxy is only one of billions of galaxies across the vast expanse of the cosmos. And our God made it all.

Let’s take an abrupt shift in our thinking and move from big to small, from inconceivably huge to microscopically tiny. About 100 trillion cells comprise the human body – including yours. Each cell is packed with DNA. This complex molecule stores information that determines your body’s unique physical characteristics, like the color of your eyes. If the DNA in just one cell were laid out flat in one long line, it would stretch more than 6 feet in length. 

The same God who tossed billions of galaxies across the universe also folded 6 feet of DNA into every cell of your body. He determined the size of the cosmos and counted the number of hairs on your head.

Creation summons us to know and worship the Creator. The psalmist David heard and responded.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

Creation reveals the power and majesty of God. No language difference or cultural barrier can hinder its message. No government or law can silence its voice. The vast beauty of the heavens and the complex inner workings of the human body reflect the holiness of God to every person, of every language, in every place. Without exception.

Time to do a little declaring of our own. In the space below, write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator.

 

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Are You an Unholy Saint?

unholy saintWhen I became a mother for the first time at the age of twenty-five, I was completely clueless about taking care of a baby. High school activities had taken priority over teenage babysitting. My beautiful daughter Kelley was the first baby I really ever had anything to do with. Diaper changing, feeding, burping, and bathing were all new territory. I was a mother who didn’t know how to mother.

By God’s mercy my sweet mother stayed with us two weeks to help. She gave me a crash course in mothering and even taught my husband a thing or two. But the day she left I stood on the porch holding Kelley, sobbing, and thinking, “What am I going to do now?” (In case you’re wondering, Kelley did survive. She is a happy, healthy young wife and mother.)

When Kelley was born I fully became a mother. You can’t be “sort of” a mother or halfway a mother. However, I had a lot to learn about how to act like a mother, how to fulfill that role. Three children and more than twenty-five years later, I’ve had lots of practice and lots of opportunities to make mistakes. Without a doubt I am a better mother now than I was that day I stood crying on my front porch. But I’m not perfect. I’m still learning how to be a mother.

My sanctification – spiritual growth – is the same. The first time I came to the cross of Christ many years ago, God the Father declared me to be holy. He exchanged my sin for Christ’s righteousness. From that moment on, I stand “positionally” holy before the throne of God. That’s why the Bible refers to all believers as “saints” (translated from the Greek word that means “holy”).

However, my character, attitudes, and actions were – and are still – far from the transcendent holiness of God. I was an “unholy saint.” Thus began a lifetime of “progressive” holiness, or sanctification, as God continually shapes me to be more and more like Jesus.

This ongoing, lifetime process toward holiness is what Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18:

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Over the years, God has refined me and worked on my character. I am more Christ-like today than I was two decades, or even a month, ago. But I still have a long way to go. By fits and starts and baby steps God is still making this saint holy.

What about you? Where are you in God’s saintly process? In what ways is God working on you today?

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Follow the Example of Blue Bell Ice Cream

I love Blue Bell Ice Cream. My family loves Blue Bell. We each have our favorites, so when everyone is coming home for a weekend visit I pack the freezer with multiple cartons of our favorite treat.

  • Strawberry for Wayne.
  • Banana Pudding for Kelley.
  • Cookies and Cream for Mark.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Sarah.
  • Pralines and Cream for Jeremy.

Blue Bell Ice CreamPlus I usually get one of my favorites. Oh, and a carton of Homemade Vanilla for any pies, cakes or brownies that may show up.

In case you’ve missed it in the news recently, Blue Bell just issued a total recall of all its products because of potential listeria contamination. The problem began in January with a handful of positive tests on products and 8 sick people. At first it appeared only one of Blue Bell’s 3 plants were involved. But then products from a second plant tested positive for listeria.

Paul Kruse, Blue Bell’s CEO and president, issued this statement on April 20:

“We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe. We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers. Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we intend to fix this problem. We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right.”

The company is taking aggressive steps to rid all factories and equipment of every trace of listeria. In addition to the recall, they’ve added additional safety measures, cleaning processes, and testing procedures all to make their ice cream safe again and to insure it stays that way.

When people’s health and even their lives are at risk you can’t mess around. You can’t cut corners or do “just enough” to get by. Blue Bell seems to be stepping up to the plate.

But can I say the same about how I deal with sin in my life? Like a microscopic amount of listeria can contaminate an entire ice cream factory, one “small” sin can infect my life and even spread to others.

Jesus taught that sin requires aggressive attention:

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. Mark 9:43-45, NIV

Jesus used hyperbole to teach a vital spiritual truth. Sin in our lives can’t be tolerated. There’s too much at risk. It requires a deathblow. The question is am I willing? Are you willing?

What “product” do you need to recall? What “plant” do you need to shut down today?

P.S. I will eat Blue Bell again!

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Somebody Turn on a Light

light of the worldHave you taken a good look around lately? I mean really looked around? It sure is dark out there. In fact, somebody needs to turn on a light.

Evil is running rampant on the world stage. Global terrorism in on the rise. Putin is bullying eastern Europe. Human trafficking is a huge international business.

And things aren’t much better here in the good ‘ole USA. Greed, immorality, addictions, self-absorption, and pornography seem to be the accepted norm.

Some do try to push back the tide. Recently the Houston police department conducted a sting operation to identify men looking to purchase sex. The goal was to be proactive in the fight against sex trafficking, to lower the demand. HPD arrested more than 60 men. Sad.

But the world needs more than just feeble attempts to contain the darkness. The only real solution to darkness is light. Somebody needs to turn on the Light.

According to Jesus, we are that “somebody.” Believers are the light the dark world needs.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16, NIV

When believers shine the light of Christ, we reveal the glory of the Father to a dark world. But what does it mean to be a light? Just how can we “shine?”

Paul lays it out for us in Ephesians 4:17-32 and Ephesians 5:1-21. Here’s a quick summary of the main points:

  • The lost world lives in “darkness” – They are separated from the life of God because of their sin and can’t even understand the way to salvation.
  • Christians are “children of the light” – We also lived in darkness before God saved us. But now we are filled with the Light of Jesus.
  • Christians have an obligation to be clean receptacles of the Light – Because God saved us, we have an obligation to rid our lives of anything and everything that would hide the Light of Christ in us.

Not long ago, I noticed the headlights of my car didn’t appear to be shining enough light on the dark road. When I checked it out, I discovered that the lights were not the problem. Instead the headlights were covered with dirt and grime. When I cleaned them, the light shone as brightly as before.

Light of the WorldThe same is true with us. The Light of Christ within His children always shines brightly. But too often we “hide it under a bowl” by living like the dark world. When we live holy lives though, His light will shine forth and those who see it will glorify God.

Are you shining or hiding the Light of Jesus? What steps can you take in your life today to “turn on the Light?”

 

 

 

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6 Ways to Keep Moving Toward Holiness

New Start 15 holinessWe can’t become holy overnight. And it takes more than a few weeks, months, or even years. (Thought the recent emphasis on holiness, New Start 15, was a good start!) No, holiness takes a lifetime.

Throughout the month of January, many of you participated in New Start 15. We looked at the benefits of holiness, God’s call to us to be holy, and ways we can practically live it out in our day to day lives.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick list of the New Start 15 components/resources. They will remain available so you can review, do it again, or go through it for the first time, any time:

Even with all this, we just scratched the surface. The goal of the emphasis was not that we would have all “arrived”  on day 15, but that we would be firmly, solidly committed to pursue holiness for a lifetime.

On-Going Holiness

Remember, only the Holy Spirit can transform us, but He won’t do it without our obedient cooperation.  Here are 6 practical actions we can practice on an ongoing basis to foster continued growth in holiness.

  1. Practice an awareness of the presence of God – We know from the Bible that God is always with us. He sees everything we do and knows our thoughts, attitudes, and motivations. Purposefully remembering this truth and disciplining ourselves to regularly think about Him will nourish holiness in our lives.
  2. Stay in the Word – The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself, His will, and His ways to us in the Bible. It describes the holy life to which God calls us. But we cannot live by God’s Word unless we know God’s Word. Reading and studying the Bible will plant God’s truth in our hearts.
  3. Be proactive in our battle against sin – Sin takes root in our lives, growing and multiplying. To be holy, we must dig it out by the roots and get rid of it. Ask God to also help you recognize areas of weakness in your life so you can guard against potential sin.
  4. Respond quickly to the Spirit – Have you ever responded to the prompting of the Spirit with “in a minute?” I certainly have. If you’re a parent, you understand that “delayed” obedience is simply disobedience. Sometimes, we even intend to obey – later. Unfortunately, our delayed obedience causes us harm and dishonors God. We may miss out on God’s best plan for us or even put ourselves in danger. Immediate obedience is always best!
  5. Make the most of trials – God uses persecution for the sake of Christ and the common trials of this life to refine our faith and shape our character. If we fight Him in the process rather than lean on Him, trust His love, and follow His guidance we can waste much of what He wants to do.
  6. Keep an eternal perspective – If we allow the things of this physical world to dominate our thoughts and priorities, the temporal will drive our emotions and responses. But if we stay focused on God’s bigger, eternal picture we will be able to reject sin and stand firm in trials.

Although not an exhaustive list, if we continuously and purposefully pursue these six practices, God will have access to do His work in our lives.

My prayer for all of us is that God will continue to transform us into the image of Christ with “ever-increasing glory” (1 Corinthians 3:18). May our lives reflect His holiness and point a lost world to the Living Savior.

 

 

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