Sinful People Can Sin Less

We’re all defective. We all have parts of our lives that simply don’t work. None of us measure up to a standard of perfection. To pretend like you’ve got it all together when everybody knows you don’t is silly. In fact, the Bible tells us it’s self-deception.

You will never be sinless on this planet, but it is possible to sin less. So why is it so hard to change stuff in us that we really don’t like?

1. Because we’ve had our defects so long.
Some of our destructive patterns were developed in childhood, perhaps in resistance to a pain or as a stress coping device. These defects may be self-defeating, but at least they’re familiar!

2. Because we identify with our defects.
We often confuse our identity with our defects. When you see yourself connected to your defect, you set yourself up to perpetuate it.

3. Because our defects have a payoff.
Whatever is rewarded gets repeated. The payoff for the defects you have in your life may be to mask your pain, cover up a fear, give you an excuse to fail, or compensate for guilt.

4. Because Satan discourages us.
Once you start to work on something in your life that you want to change, Satan starts saying, “Who do you think you are? You’re never going to change. You haven’t been able to change in the past. Do you think you’re going to be able to change now? It’s hopeless. It’s not going to work.” Those fears are being planted in your mind by the Devil himself.

These things keep us from changing the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that we know are unhealthy.
So what does it take to change those deep patterns in my life that I really don’t like about me?

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Truth Is The Antidote To Fear

 

When I was a kid, I didn’t get scared often. I played fearlessly. But whenever I did get scared, I always cried out to my daddy. I knew he was strong. I knew he could take on anyone.

That’s what you and I are called to do when we’re scared, too. Stop focusing on your fear. Focus on your Father. Ask God for help. Romans 8:14-16 says, “Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, ‘Father! My Father!’ God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children” (GNT).

The antidote to fear is the truth that you’re no longer a slave but a child of God. Being a child of God changes everything. You’re part of a family now. And families take care of one another.

Let’s say you grew up in a big city, and your family was a part of the family — the Mafia. And, as a kid, someone starts to assault you. You could say, “Wait just a minute! Do you know who I am? My father is Guido. He’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse! Are you sure you want to touch me? Because I’m in the family.”

That’s what God wants you to know when you’re scared. You’re part of his family, and God takes care of his children. He has your back. Knowing you’re a child of the creator of the universe changes everything.

Call out to him. Ask him for help.

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Holy Conversation

February 2, 2018

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2 Peter 3:11))

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,

The picturesque phrase “holy conversation” occurs only twice in the New Testament, both in Peter’s epistles; one in his very first chapter, (2 Peter 1:1515 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. the other in today’s verse. The other is, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” This distinctive King James rendering does not really mean “clean speech” but assumes the older, more precise meaning of “conversation,” namely “behavior,” especially behavior that involves other people. The Greek word translated “holy” primarily implies “dedicated to God.” Thus, holy conversation simply means living in such a way that our entire manner of life is oriented to honor God and to influence other people to honor Him.

These two exhortations of Peter tell us why we should live this way. The first incentive is simply the holiness of God Himself: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  We have become children of God through faith in Christ, and we should, therefore, behave “as obedient children, not fashioning [ourselves] according to the former lusts in [our] ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14).

The second incentive given just before the words of today’s verse is the ever-imminent return of Christ, following which, eventually, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10). Incentives, both past, and future are thus given for holy living in the present!

Eight of the 13 occurrences of “conversation” (Greek anastrophe) are in Peter’s epistles, stressing his vital concern that Christians ought to demonstrate “all holy conversation and godliness” in their lives. HMM

From The Institute Of Creation Institute,

Later,

Pat.