Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The devotional this week are going to be tough. They are going to dig into our hearts if we let them, and let them we must. It is time for the disciples of Jesus to get real before our Lord and give the Holy Spirit access to every part of our hearts, our minds, our attitudes, and our activities. As we learned on Sunday from the prophet Joel, it is time for us to “rend our hearts, not our garments.”
Most of us have spent most of our lives trying to fit in. We learn at an early age to imitate people who appear to be liked by others. We learn quickly what kinds of behaviors earn acceptance with others and which ones cause others to withdraw from us. It seems that we have adopted the philosophy that the highest pursuit in life is to live in peace with as many people as possible by being tolerant of everything. Unfortunately, seeking peace by being tolerant of people has turned into being tolerant of behaviors that are antagonistic to God.
Jesus taught us that His followers would be persecuted by the people living under the authority of the Enemy of Jesus, the Prince of Darkness. But instead of embracing the suffering, like Jesus did, we have embraced the tolerance of sin and invited it into our lives so we can feel accepted by the world. Christ’s desire for a clear line of delineation to exist between His followers and those who follow sin does not seem to match our desire to be accepted by everyone. God’s intended clear line of distinction has been blurred and almost buried by the very people He saved to make the line visible. The visibility of the line is essential to the Gospel. The clear distinction between sinner and saint is the evidence God uses so the world can see the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives.
My challenge for us you today is a tough one. I want you to slowly read and meditate on the words of Paul below, and ask yourself if even the slightest tolerance of even one of these sins exists in your life. Then humbly repent before the Lord, receive His forgiveness, and commit to being intolerant to them in the future. Let’s redraw the line.
2 Timothy 3:2-7 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.