Good Afternoon Harvesters,
Ephesians 4:18-19 states, "They are darkened in their understanding separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality as to indulge in every kind of impurity and they are full of greed."
I am constantly in awe of how much we let our 'excuses' continue to keep us from God's best for our life. We try to justify so many actions and not live by the leading of His Holy Spirit. Jesus came to set us free and restore our relationship that we can have with our Heavenly Father. The verse above reminds all of us that our world is going to continue to head in the opposite direction of the standards that God has for us. It hasn't stopped moving in that direction ever. The free will that God has given each of us can lead us to choose His ways or our own selfish ways.
In Bible study last night I was reminded by Tony Evans that, "Jesus can be our Savior or our Judge." It is our choice, the price has been paid for our salvation through Jesus Himself. It is a choice we all have to make at some point in our life. That may sound harsh, but it is the truth. Our eternal future depends on our choices today and how we live. Verses 20-24 of Ephesians 4 Paul continues, "That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
Aren't you glad that God is not done with us yet? No matter how old we are He is still looking at ways to grow us and remove the defects of character that can get in the way of others seeing Him. I like this quote from an article Dan Wiebe shared with me. The author states, "No, men/women shouldn't stare open-mouthed and drooling at attractive women/men. However, it's not wrong to notice beautiful women or handsome men. It's rude - and unloving/dishonoring - to gawk and stare though, so please don't do that. However, just because you noticed that a woman/man is beautiful/handsome - or even has a great figure/physique - doesn't mean you've violated Jesus' words in Matthew. You cross the line when you switch from noticing/admiring to coveting...Men/Women: keep it classy and treat all women/men with honor as if they were daughters/sons of the Most High God...because they are. (Isaiah 45:6-7)." (What is italicized is my addition.)
Remember, God wants something far better, but our spiritual enemy puts some bait on a hook and want you to swim towards something that's going to take you from the life of God and steal the peace and freedom He longs for you to have.
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Sunday we will wrap up our series on "Excuses". See you Sunday!
Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene