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Anywhere Is Home

Friday, October 07, 2016

Going outside of our comfort zone is a very difficult thing for many of us.  It is certainly something that is challenged when one decides to preach the gospel and work with a congregation regularly in that capacity.  I know of some younger men who desired to preach, but they avoided it out of fear of having to move away from home. The thought of being away from family and the familiar surroundings of home can indeed be frightening.  I remember, after having made the decision to preach the gospel “full-time,” a conversation I had with a gospel preacher whom I respect very much. 


He encouraged me and commended me to the work…but he also spoke some words that were quite frightening at the time: “You can’t really go home again.  The place where you grew up will never feel quite the same.  The love and fond memories will always be there…but you’ll also feel like a kind of visitor.”  Needless to say, that was a bit of terrifying news for a guy who thought he would be raised, live, and die in Walnut Hill, Florida!  I knew all the dirt roads, and all the creeks, and the characters who populated them – how could we leave that?


We chose to go through with the move anyway, and I sure am glad we did.  Not that I was glad to be leaving the family and dear brethren back home – that was extremely difficult – but because it forced me to grow and to grow up in a lot of ways.  Since then, I have learned that home is not defined by the dirt you’re standing on; home is, in many ways, defined by the people you are surrounded by.  I’ve learned some things that have helped me in facing the unknown, and I hope they will be a help to you, too, should you find yourself in a similar situation.


Home is where my family is.  I am blessed to have a loving wife and two precious little girls.  Big or small, elaborate or modest, whatever house I’m in is a home if they’re with me.  We often sing the song, “Count Your Blessings,” and those three girls are always high on that list!  Life can be busy, and it is easy to get caught up in and strung out by the “stuff.”  Don’t forget the huge blessing that is family: 


 “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:10-12).  A Godly wife is a treasure.  God knows that, He intended that, and He wants us to realize it, too.


Raising children God’s way is hard work.  But they are also one of the greatest blessings we will ever know in this life: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…” (Psalm 127:3-5). 


Do we take time to thank God for such blessings?  They are a huge part of what defines “home.” 


Home is where my brethren are.  My brethren are not the people I “go to church with.”  They are blood-bought saints of the Most High God.  In this we are very much “blood kin.”  Their love for the truth of the Scriptures, their humble willingness to submit to the commands of the Lord – my brethren encourage me daily, and they complete my life.  This should not come as a surprise, for it is what God intended (Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).


The apostle Paul understood how Christians ought to see their brothers and sisters in Christ: “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved” (Philippians 4:1).  He loved them, he thought about them constantly, and he longed to be with them again.  When I feel that way about my brethren, my life will be much better for it – and wherever I am will feel like home.


Home is anywhere, as long as my Lord is with me.  When fears abound, I need to be reminded of this!  When I obeyed the gospel, believing in Christ and being baptized into Him (Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:26-27), my sins were washed away and I was added to His church (Acts 2:38, 41, 47).  We are joined to Him, and He is part of us: our Head, our Lord, our perfect sacrifice, our Judge, and our High Priest and Mediator.  Friends, with someone like Him walking with us and lighting the way, there is no need to be overcome by fear!  Indeed, “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).


Thinking along these lines, we cannot help but be reminded of the song, “Anywhere Is Home”: “Earthly wealth and fame may never come to me, and a palace fair, here mine may never be; but let come what may, if Christ for me doth care, anywhere is home, if He is only there.” 


Still, we have to keep something else in mind.  Everything I’ve told you is only true in a temporary sense in this life.  Because the reality is – this world is not my home.  It was never meant to be.  My true abode is a heavenly one, worshiping around the throne of Almighty God. 


Yes, God has blessed me in many wonderful ways in this life.  But as long as we are in this world, there will be struggles, there will be temptations to resist, and there will be pain to endure.  That is why, like Abraham, we desire something better, that is, a heavenly country (Hebrews 11:16). 


Remember: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue; the angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”  With this hope ever before us, we can face anything this world and Satan throw against us. 


Do you have this hope?  Jesus is the author of eternal salvation for all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).  Have we obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ – which includes believing in and confessing Him as the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10), repenting of our sins (Acts 3:19), being baptized into Him (Galatians 3:26-27), and living faithfully until death (Revelation 2:10)? 

Speaking The Truth In Love

Friday, July 10, 2015

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).  The only way one can come to faith in Jesus Christ is through God’s word.  That word needs to be heard before it can be believed, and for it to be heard, it must first be taught (Romans 10:14-15).  Christians in the first century understood very well that it was their duty to teach the word of God to others, and their willingness to do so caused the kingdom to spread like wildfire. 


The apostles did their part.  So did evangelists.  But this precious and necessary duty of teaching God’s word was not limited to them.  All faithful saints looked for opportunities to instruct others in the ways of the Lord (Acts 8:4; 18:26).


Sometimes this teaching caused these Christians to be at odds with those around them (such as Paul in Lystra – Acts 14:19-20).  Even so, they continued to teach what was right, because God’s word was too precious to not be taught


Notice the attitude involved (or rather, the lack of attitude).  It was not one of superiority or arrogance.  These good brethren did not teach truth just so they could win arguments and prove themselves to be better versed in religion than those around them.  That was not the point at all.  They taught truth, and they clung to it even in death, for some very simple reasons: 1) they loved the Lord, and 2) they loved the souls of their fellow man


They wanted people to be saved from their sins…that’s why they continued to teach truth even when riotous crowds wanted to tear the speaker to pieces (Acts 21:30-31, 35-36).   


We are to speak the truth in love, just as Paul did: but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16). 


We cannot remove either part of that equation.  We must teach truth, and that includes calling sin exactly what it is: sin, a separation from God.  We cannot back down from that fact.  And we must stand against sin, no matter how popular it is, or how many of our friends and family members may be caught up in it.  God has made the decision that certain behavior is sinful; it is against Him, and that behavior will lead those who continue in it to destruction: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).


We must warn our fellow man against such sins.  Not because we want to win a religious argument and tout ourselves as better Bible students than someone else.  Not because we want to present a “holier than thou” attitude: any who faithfully follow the Lord are well aware of our own sins and shortcomings, and are striving to put them away in our own lives.


We teach Bible truths because we love the souls of others and want their sins to be washed away.  We teach the truth because we love mankind just as our Heavenly Father does, and we want to them to know the peace and joy of eternity in Christ. 


How ironic it is that so many today would condemn warnings from Scripture as “hate language,” when the exact opposite is true.  Paul the apostle loved people dearly (2 Corinthians 2:4).  But he still told them things that they did not want to hear, because they needed to hear those things.  And some people hated Paul for telling them the truth: “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).  Some of these were people who would have once done anything to help Paul (Gal. 4:15), but some began to turn against him when he said what they did not want to hear. 


Jesus was hated for speaking truth (Luke 4:28-29).  So were His apostles, and other faithful teachers in the first century (consider Stephen in Acts 7).  I am foolish if I think that I can stand for truth and not be hated for it, as well. 


Nevertheless, that does not change the responsibility of Christians to speak the truth in love.  Jesus still loved mankind, even when they railed against Him: Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).  Paul showed love for a Philippian jailer who had thrown him in the innermost dungeon of a prison and fastened his feet in stocks (Acts 16:28).  I must love mankind enough to teach them the gospel of truth, even when they may hate, ridicule, and persecute me for it.  That teaching cannot be condescending; it cannot be filled with arrogance.  It must always be with love.


But it must always be the unadulterated truth, too.  Jesus did not change His message because it was unpopular.  Neither did the apostles and other teachers of the New Testament.  I have no right to water down or tamper with God’s message, either (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19). 


“Speaking the truth in love…”  If either of these are lacking, then we are doing it wrong. 

The Language of Ashdod

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nehemiah is a man who sometimes leaps off the page at readers.  His zeal for the Lord is undeniable.  Even with enemies surrounding Jerusalem on multiple sides, Nehemiah led the Jews to rebuild the city’s wall – even if they had to do it with one hand working on the construction and the other hand holding a weapon (Nehemiah 4:17).  He did not let politics stop him from doing right; though Tobiah the Ammonite was friends with Eliashib the priest, that did not stop Nehemiah from throwing Tobiah out of his room on the temple grounds, where he had no right to be (13:1-9).  Nehemiah stopped the Jews from profaning the Sabbath through their work (13:15); he ran foreign merchants off from the city on the Sabbath and threatened to lay hands on them if they ever caused trouble again (13:21).  All of this Nehemiah did because he loved the Lord and respected the commands that God had given.


One of the biggest problems that Nehemiah faced was that the Jewish people were intermarrying with the pagan people of the land.  In doing so, houses that should have been dedicated to the service of the Lord were being tainted with the false gods of women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.  This was a direct violation of Moses’ warning to the people 1000 years earlier: “(Speaking of the pagan peoples of the land)…Nor shall you make marriages with them.  You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.  For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.  But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images and burn their carved images with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:3-5). 


Now, let us take note of what happened when the Jews, who were to be God’s “special treasure,” ignored His commands and married themselves to the world: “And half their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people” (Nehemiah 13:24).  Nehemiah looked around and saw young Jews who could not even speak the language of Judah!  How would they know the teachings God had delivered to the Hebrews, if they couldn’t even speak the language?  How would they be able to read about the character of Jehovah, and of His great goodness to Israel? 


They wouldn’t.  But they would have no problem speaking and reading about the pagan accounts of false gods like Baal, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and a host of others; they would have no problem singing the praises of the pagans.  They could read the worldly writings, and they could speak the worldly language just fine…it was the holy things they could not understand.  


There is a lesson in this for us.  How many young people today are being brought up in homes where God’s word is not taught?  They know little or nothing about Him because their parents have spent little to no time training them and teaching them about Him.  These children might hear an occasional reference to God…just as they might hear an occasional reference to a former president or to some long-retired football player.  What a travesty is occurring in so many homes! 


The danger for us is similar to the danger that faced Israel in the Old Testament.  “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).  If this generation barely knows anything about God, what will their children be taught?  Will they have any clue who God is?


But they will have no trouble speaking the “language of Ashdod.”  They have no problem speaking and acting just like the world around them.  Many young people could not tell you the difference between 1 Chronicles and 1 Corinthians, but they are masters of Twitter, Facebook, texting, and a host of other things.  They are quite fluent in worldliness, but the Bible’s teaching is a foreign language to them – one that is not only unknown, but often ridiculed and cursed.  At the very least, it is simply ignored.


Certainly, individuals must make their own decisions, and each will give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).  As parents, what can we do to help our children against this flood of worldliness?


Mind our example.  If I show far more interest in things of this world than in the things of God, can I honestly be surprised when my children do the same?  Do we discuss the Creator while together as a family?  Do we talk about Bible lessons together, and make applications from the Scriptures to our own lives?  If I don’t teach my children how to do that, who will?  Their friends at school?  Their internet buddies?  The musicians they listen to?  We know better than that. 


I also need to remember that it is not enough just to say the right things…my children need to see me living by God’s standard.  When I fall short of it, am I quick to repent and try to make things right?  They see it.  Every time.


Start young.  The apostle Paul told Timothy, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).  It’s never too early to start instructing our children in the way of the Lord.  With it, we can help them build a foundation of faith that will continue to grow their entire lives. 


But we cannot teach what we do not know.  If I expect my children to diligently seek God’s ways from childhood, I must first, “Be diligent to present [myself] approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).


When Nehemiah saw this woeful lack of spirituality among the people, he did not make excuses for them - he went to work.  He contended with the error, he fought against it...he did whatever it took to turn the focus back to God.  Am I willing to go to war against worldliness like that in my house?  And if worldliness has settled in at my house, will I be willing, like Nehemiah, to lay hands on it and toss it out the gate, telling it not to come back? 

I Am Afraid For Us

Friday, March 27, 2015

As a nation, I am very much afraid for us.  Consider the greatness of the country of which we are a part.  Not even yet 250 years old, America’s star burned quickly and brightly to a position of preeminence among the nations of the world.  Last century, what nation had a greater impact upon the countries of the world than our own?  Wealthy, strong, and possessed of abundant resources, both material and human…America is a nation most blessed. 


Many fail to understand the authority behind the rise and fall of nations, but the Bible clearly reveals it to us, if we will but listen.  God, the Most High, rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:25, 32).  Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon learned that lesson the hard way.  Ignoring God’s blessings, Nebuchadnezzar took the credit for Babylon’s greatness…and found himself eating grass with the beasts of the field because of it.  I am afraid that America is following the same blind arrogance that caused the king of Babylon to incur God’s wrath. 


When our nation was founded, many Bible principles helped form the mold from which it was cast.  From the words of men who helped shape America in its formative years, it is obvious that God and the Bible held important places in their thoughts.  George Washington once wrote, “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the high duties of religion.  To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian” (The Writings of Washington).


Similarly, from the pen of John Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited!  Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God…What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be” (Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III).


Certainly, it is not my intention to champion the individual religious beliefs of these men, as I honestly do not know the totality of what they believed and practiced.  My point is simply this: our nation was founded on many Bible principles.  Boldly and publicly, leaders of this country expressed their confidence in the Divine wisdom of God.  With such being the case, it is not surprising that America has been a nation greatly blessed over the years. Truly, we should be grateful for those blessings.


That is why I am afraid.  When I read news articles and hear the comments of television personalities, I do not hear the expression of heartfelt thanks toward God Almighty.  I hear people mocking Him.  I see people calling His precious word everything from “outdated and worthless” to “a bullying message” that all so-called sensible human beings should reject.  I see a people, a nation, who have forgotten where their blessings came from.  They have forgotten God. 


I am afraid for us, because I do not think we fully realize the gravity of our situation.  Yes, God is the Giver of great blessings…but He expects the recipient to show Him the honor as Giver.  When they do not honor Him as such, their fall is even more incredible than their rise to greatness! 


God blessed Israel so greatly.  They were rich, powerful, and unmatched during Solomon’s reign.  “So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom…So he reigned over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.  The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland” (2 Chronicles 9:22-27).  In spite of these great blessings, Israel rebelled against her God.  For the love of his foreign wives, Solomon himself built altars and worshiped false gods like Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, and Molech (1 Kings 11:5-8).  Israel would be split into two kingdoms at Solomon’s death, and both Israel and Judah would reject God’s ways until they were crushed and taken captive by foreign nations: Israel would fall to Assyria, while Judah would be overwhelmed by Babylon.  As much as God loved them, and as greatly as He had blessed them, He would not tolerate continual disobedience on their part! 


Take notes, America. 


Our nation laughs at God’s expectation of sexual purity among men and women; instead, we say, “Oh, come on – you only live once!  Do what makes you feel good – it’s YOUR body…enjoy it!”  As a country, we mock the idea that a man and woman joined in marriage should remain together until death separates them; instead, we say, “Married to ONE person?  For your WHOLE life?  Who could stand that?”  We support the murder of unborn children and chalk it up to a woman’s freedom of choice.  We applaud all things homosexual, and if anyone dares disagree with us, we extend our talons and try to rip such a one apart; we call him a hatemonger and backwards…all in the name of progressive thought.  Sex, nudity, and foul language are the entertainment we crave, and we see nothing wrong with it. 


We are a nation of fools.  We think ourselves so brilliant, so we follow our ways rather than God’s.  He has warned nations about that way of thinking before: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).  “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:4). 


Someone will likely read this and condemn me as the most deplorable, most unpatriotic human on the planet.  It is not my intention to badmouth this country.  I love this nation very, very much.  And that is exactly why I write this.  It breaks my heart to see a nation throw away such potential.  It hurts to watch my nation, my America, commit spiritual suicide.  We are standing on the edge of an abyss, leaning farther over it each day, just waiting for one slip of balance to send us plummeting over the edge.


But it does not have to end like that.


We can stop the descent.  The answer is very simple: repentance.  If we, as a nation, will stop letting the television, radio, and internet tell us what to think, we can pull out of this nosedive.  If we put aside our way, in favor of the Lord’s way, then all may not be lost.  It worked for Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire.  They were a wretched, wicked people, and yet God warned them to repent before His wrath came upon them: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me” (Jonah 1:2).  So the prophet Jonah went, and delivered God’s warning to the people of Nineveh.  Do you know what happened next?  The people of Nineveh repented.  They believed God, they showed evidence of mourning over their sins…they repented.  And when God saw it, He stayed His hand: “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10). 


At least Nebuchadnezzar finally came to his senses and praised and honored the Most High.  For him, the kingdom of Babylon was preserved, and he was allowed to take his place as king once more.  A stump and roots of his former glory were left for him…Babylon was not brought to ruin at that time (Daniel 4:36).  It is time for us to come to our senses as a nation.  We have served the god of this world, Satan, for long enough.  We have laughed at his jokes and his perversions have become our own.  Enough of that.  It is time to wake up.


Someone might say, “How can we?  We can’t make everyone repent.  We can’t change everyone’s mind for them!”  No, we can’t.  But I can make sure that my mind and my actions are in harmony with God’s will.  You can do the exact same thing for yourself.  That’s a start.  It’s a spark.  Maybe it will be enough to get a fire started (Hebrews 12:29). 

The Walking Dead

Saturday, March 07, 2015

No, this article is not about zombies.  At least not in the way you might be thinking.


Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For if we have united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:3-6). 


Fourteen years ago, I buried a man.  Actually, I buried an entire way of life.  After hearing the truth of the gospel taught, I understood that my sins had made Jesus’ death a necessity.  My sins put Him on the cross, just as surely as the sins of the Romans who nailed Him there or the Jews who shouted and begged for Him to be crucified.  Through the wisdom of the Scriptures, I came to understand and believe that it was no common man who died that day – rather it was Deity having taken on flesh who suffered, bled, and felt the sting of death.  Some deny that Jesus is Deity, God the Son…but this should not be difficult for us to understand.  Jesus plainly stated the fact of it: “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM,’” (John 8:58).  The prophet Isaiah also told mankind that the Savior would be Deity: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  This amazing Savior, through Whom all things were made (John 1:2-3), shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice that could atone for sins and reconcile men to God Almighty. 


How could I not confess that truth before others?  It was so obvious; it seemed to leap off the Bible’s pages!  Who with an honest heart could deny the truth of it?  With knowledge came understanding: the understanding that I, too, was to blame for His death.  Sickened and ashamed of myself, I repented of that old life…the selfish, sinful life that had made the Savior’s death necessary. 


Such belief was good, as was a penitent heart; more than good, both of these were necessary for salvation (John 3:16; Acts 3:19).  But I still needed those sins washed away.  Jesus was clear that baptism was necessary for that to happen: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).  The apostle Peter taught the same thing (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21); so did Paul (Galatians 3:27).  And so, fourteen years ago (it seems like a lifetime, and in many ways, it has been!), I stopped resisting the gospel’s call and was baptized into Christ to have my sins washed away. 


A number of things happened on that day.  My sins were taken away, just as Paul’s had been when he obeyed the gospel (Acts 22:16).  I put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).  The Lord Himself added me to His church (Acts 2:47).  And, as Paul described it to the saints at Rome, I buried a dead man.  I was no longer the man I had been; I had been made new: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  God be praised, both for His wonderful plan of salvation for man, and for His longsuffering to grant us the time to obey it!


You may be asking, “What does all this have to do with the walking dead?”  Remember the words of Paul: “…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:6).  This is a glorious statement…but it is also a warning to us.  We must not dig up the dead!  Leave our old man buried, where he belongs. 


Woe to those who have been made clean by the blood of Christ, only to turn around and dig up their old lives again!  Christians are supposed to have put on Christ and been made new.  Whenever we return to our old lives of sin, it is like putting on a shambling, rotting corpse.  Disgusting image, isn’t it?  Imagine how it looks to God, who gave His Son’s blood to wash all that sin away.


We cannot live in darkness and light at the same time – we must choose one or the other.  I am afraid that some think God will be fine with us keeping a little darkness.  This shows a grave misunderstanding of God’s character: This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:5-6).  If we turn back to the pollutions of the world after having had them washed away, Peter says that we are like dogs returning to our own vomit (2 Peter 2:20-22).  


So leave your old man dead and buried.  He has no business walking this lighted path with you, O Christian.  That life is over, and a much better one has begun – a life in fellowship with the King.  Yes, we all stumble in this life.  When that happens, God has given His children the ability to ask for forgiveness (Acts 8:22).  But beware: we may think back to the enjoyable fleeting moments of a life of sin, and we might take out the shovel, intent on digging up that old man and letting him walk the earth freely again.  Before we do that, we need to think clearly and honestly. 


Do we want to embrace the dead, that lifeless corpse of an existence that beckons us on to Hell?  Or will we embrace the light, “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)? 


Each one of us will make a choice.  Which will you choose?   

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