Sunday, October 30, 2016, 3:04 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Gift of God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 101 (ESV).
Within my House (vv. 1-2)
I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
We read in Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15). When we truly trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We put away our old lives of living for sin and self, and we put on our new lives in Christ Jesus, which are to be lived to his righteousness (See: Eph. 4:17-24; cf. Ro. 6:1-23).
We don’t any longer conduct our lives according to our sinful flesh, but now our desire is for our God, to walk in his ways. And, so we now walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. This does not mean we will never sin again, but it means sin is no longer our master. It is not what defines us. We are now defined by what Jesus Christ did for us in saving us from slavery to sin so that we can walk in his righteousness. We are now identified by our faith in Jesus Christ, and his work of grace in our lives in transforming us into the image of Christ.
Now, instead of living to do what pleases our sinful flesh, we should desire to walk with integrity, i.e. to have lifestyles committed to honesty, honor, uprightness, decency, and morality. We should live to righteousness, and not look for loopholes to excuse away sinful behavior. We should not view God’s grace as free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse, or think that being saved means God requires nothing of us. He does require repentance and obedience. That is why he died, to set us free from the control sin had over our lives, and so we could walk righteously before him, not just be righteous because of his righteousness imputed to us. “He redeemed us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Tit. 2:14).
Far From Me (vv. 3-4)
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
So, how can we put what we have talked about so far into practice in our daily lives? Well, first of all we can only live righteously in the power and working of God’s Spirit in our lives, yet as we cooperate fully with that work of grace and heart transformation, and as we submit to Christ’s direction and leading in our lives. We are not puppets on a string. We have instructions to follow, too. We have to willingly turn away from lifestyles of sin, and we have to turn to follow Jesus Christ in obedience, to walk in his ways and in his truth. We have to be in daily fellowship with our Lord, reading his Word, listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, and then we have to do what his word teaches us to do.
We also have to remove from our lives those things which are displeasing to our Lord, and which hinder our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord. We have to choose to not take into our minds what we know is contrary to God’s Word, and that which gives glory to human flesh, or which encourages sinful behavior of any kind. But, it goes beyond just not looking at (viewing) what is sinful, but also what is a waste of our time – of the time God has for us on this earth to be productive for him and for his kingdom work. So, what about TV, movies, the internet or video games, or other forms of entertainment?
A lot of Americans spend a great deal of time recreating themselves with these on a daily basis while the world around them goes to hell. I did, so I know, but God pulled me away from that. I wasted a lot of money and time on what was absolutely worthless, and much of it was sinful, too, i.e. I was allowing myself to be entertained by the sins of others just to fill up time, when I could have been spending that time doing what is honoring to God, and that which ministers to the needs of others. These worthless and sinful things need to be far from us, and we should not be knowledgeable in them.
Walk in The Way (vv. 5-8)
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.
Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.
God/Jesus, who is our King, hates sin because sin destroys our relationship with him, it does serious damage to ourselves, and it ruins our relationships with other people. Sin is a killer! Jesus is not ok with us continuing in sin while we make a profession of him as our Lord and Savior. If we continue living sinful lifestyles, and yet say we have fellowship with God, we are liars, the Bible says (1 Jn. 1:6). If we walk (conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh, we will die without Christ (See: Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25). We are saved that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. So, don’t believe the lie that says you can pray a prayer, live how you want, and still go to heaven when you die. It isn’t so! If you do not die with Christ to sin, and you are not resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness,” then you are not born again.
If we continue to live sinful lifestyles, we will die without Christ, and we will spend eternity in the fires of hell, no matter what you have been told to the contrary. Those who practice sin will not enter into heaven, even if they profess to believe in Jesus Christ. Many will say to God on the day of judgment, “Lord, Lord,” but he is going to tell them to depart from him, because he never knew them. Jesus said his sheep (those who know him) listen to him and they follow (obey) him, not perfectly, but consistently and persistently, and by the Spirit they are putting to death the deeds of the flesh. And, they shall be the ones who minister to (serve) God.
Gift of God / An Original Work / October 25, 2016
Based off Various Scriptures
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross;
Conquered death, sin, and hell,
So, with Him, we would dwell.
For, by His grace, we are saved.
He set us free from all sin.
Thanks be to God for His Gift.
Through faith in Him, we’re forgiven.
Holy Spirit of God,
Given to us who believe,
Gives us new life in Christ;
Made to be just like Him.
We died with Christ to our sin.
New lives in Him we begin,
Walking with Christ day by day.
We read His Word, and we pray.
Jesus, He is our Lord.
Follow Him where He leads.
Tell the world of His grace.
We’ll see Christ face to face.
Soon He is coming again.
We’ll be forever with Him.
He’ll wipe our tears all away.
Oh, what a wonderful day!