Balancing sin in our lives is exhausting... I know this exhaustion well. It says, “A little bit of God and a little bit of me,” as our days get fuller and fuller. So we seek relief. Relief in self. Relief in idols. Relief in sin. And we sink deeper, deeper, deeper. The world tells us things completely contrary to God. It builds you up as you sit alone behind a screen. It says you deserve more, you should have more, and you are more. Soon, in our attempt at freedom from work, rules, and oppositional people we become bound even more than we were, busier than ever before, and totally unhappy. We become slaves to sin again. Longing for a single moment of relief with any idol we can momentarily fill ourselves up with.
God wants you to have a full life of pleasure, enjoyment, and peace in things that provide you rest not escape, freedom not enslavement. When your happiness comes from escaping God it will only leave you as empty inside as it has left God longing for your affections. There is total fulfillment in Gods creation for the sake of His glory. There is only self-fulfilling pain and harm when we escape His love. Delight yourself in everything for God’s good. Anything not being done for God is self-destruction and a sin against Christ our Lord who gave ALL for us. Obedience is freedom. Freedom from the traps and destruction of trying to figure out how to make it through this world using its idols. We are free to joyfully revel in Gods glorious creation. Free to enjoy the pleasures of this world to the fullest extent of their truest design.
And now, to believers, may we never forget the grace painfully, humbly, and loving poured out on us while others still live in their sin with no relief or freedom in heaven to come. The life of righteousness demands complete heart obedience. This doesn’t come with the expectancy of perfection, however, as believers we now live totally indebted to Christ by His death in place of ours. Fitting sin into our new righteousness is in conflict with our very selves. We are a new creation and a temple of the Holy Spirit... a gift which should cause us to fall on our face in reverent gratitude every time we think of it. We are truly without excuse to live a moment of selfishness when we’ve been saved from hell for all of eternity by our Lord who payed the humiliating and painful price for us. Not a moment of excuse do we deserve yet an eternity of forgiveness, love, and freedom He continues to lavish on us.
“When our worlds are falling apart and we look around us at the strongest creatures that are, we know that we can not put our trust in them. If that is all we had we would be a miserable lot. But we have One, Who has us, Who is nothing like everything we know. “
-The Holiness of God sermon
“Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? If so, I expose religion to ridicule and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently, I am a Judas (Luke 22: 48), and it were better for me that I “had never been born”(Mark 14: 21). Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love you, Jesus, and though I often grieve you, yet I desire to abide faithful even unto death.”
-Morning and Evening devotional
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
2 Timothy 2:20-22
“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
“Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
“...My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. "There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
1 Samuel 2:1-2
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him."”