Weekly Devotional 9-3-18 Choices
From an early age we humans have had in common that we are faced with making decisions. Early in life these decisions have little significance, at least in the greater scheme of things. However, as we get older, the decisions we make become more significant; i.e., what career to follow; which school(s) should we attend in preparation of our intended career; which person we should marry; etc. We who are Christian face these same decisions, but we also must choose to or not to take up our cross and follow Jesus or live lives that are filled with carnality. This may seem frivolous, but if we have not surrendered our lives to Him we live in carnality. To live in carnality is to live according to the dictates of our old nature, which conflicts with a Holy Spirit led life. Consider Galatians 5:16-26. ď16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.Ē
There is no middle ground in Paulís Holy Spirit inspired words. In fact, he reminds the Galatians, and us, that a Holy Spirit led Christian has crucified his old nature, has put his old nature to death so that it no longer rules him. Paul was so emphatic about this that he reminded his readers that the unsaved, whose lifestyle was filled with the above-mentioned things (vv. 17-21a), would not be rewarded with eternal life in heaven.
Why does God put such a premium on His children leading a life that reflects His glory? Because a godly life does just that, it reflects Godís glory. Thus, it reflects God, whose spiritual offspring we are. Didnít Jesus say of His disciples, ď13You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heavenĒ (Matthew 5:13-16)? Yes, He did. How could anyone be a flavoring to life or a light unto it and not live a God-honoring life? It canít be done.
Sin is lawlessness. It is rebellion. It is transgression and living a sinful life that causes our testimony to lose its flavor and covers the light we possess. It also dulls our senses and sometimes causes us to believe that in our practice we are pleasing to God even though we are not allowing Him to be the Lord of our lives. To be pleasing to God we must take up our cross and follow Him. Follow, not lead.
In encouraging Christianís who had been scattered throughout the area of his influence, Peter wrote; Live ď14as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 17And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spotĒ (1st Peter 1:14-19).
They were, and we Christianís are to choose to live lives that glorify God, and not live in carnality, but be fully surrendered to His leadership. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, shed His blood making it possible for us to make such a choice.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture Referenced is from the NKJB