We were not created simply to pursue personal pleasure for a few short years and then – return to dust! Creation has a far greater significance than the pointless scenarios which so many assume to be the best life has to offer. In contrast, God’s Word reveals that each of us is specifically designed with the capacity to know, love, and glorify – Him. This means that our individual destinies cannot be achieved by merely seeking to become wealthy, popular, or physically fit. The real purpose of life is experienced in knowing and walking closely with our Creator. In that pursuit, Oswald Chambers reminds us “never to tolerate, out of sympathy for ourselves, or for others, any practice in life that is not in keeping with His holiness.”
Resistance to Christian character development takes many forms, including self-pity, self-absorption, and self-praise. The faces of such attitudes are always distasteful. However; our most unwise and damaging decisions usually come from compromise. This immature form of rationalization typically involves surrender to one’s own – self-serving nature. In stark contrast, submission to Jesus Christ produces new freedom, humility, and self-respect!
Holiness does not come easily; it must be experienced moment by moment! We are not asked to admire it, teach it, sing about it, or write about it – so much as to live it. Our inner spiritual yearning to know God deeply can only be fulfilled by pursuing Him. His Spirit alone produces the passion for a Godly character. Ultimately, it is our own re-vised attitudes and actions that become the practical visible authentication of our testimonies. Who we really are is reshaped by the spiritual transformation of our – thinking. For this to become your personal experience, it will help to dwell thoughtfully on Paul’s wise instruction,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what-ever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
Loving those around you does not necessitate accepting their attitudes, behavior, or beliefs. Through the Holy Spirit, Christian disciples are enabled to love their fellow sinners while at the same time rejecting their lifestyle. Remember that tolerance toward sin – becomes sin itself! The Lord is our perfect example of living in the world yet remaining fully resistant to its many unredeeming desires!
As you continue to develop a mindset inspired by Biblical teachings, that new maturity will result in your “…speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) Do not forget that being in step with God’s Spirit will also mean being out of step with the secular world. The Scripture says, “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) In that pursuit, purpose to submit your will to His as you pray this morning. Determine to avoid spiritual mediocrity. Remember that living above our culture’s self-indulgence means living normally as a member of God’s family. Paul described our access to this victorious lifestyle in terms of a decision. Now quietly meditate on the two verses below. If you live by this instruction, you will continue to be – Christ’s contagious witness!
“… I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2
By Billie Hanks Jr.