What To Renounce

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We have renounced the hidden things of shame…  2 Corinthians 4:2

Have you “renounced the hidden things of shame” in your life— the things that your sense of honor or pride will not allow to come into the light? You can easily hide them. Is there a thought in your heart about anyone that you would not like to be brought into the light? Then renounce it as soon as it comes to mind— renounce everything in its entirety until there is no hidden dishonesty or craftiness about you at all. Envy, jealousy, and strife don’t necessarily arise from your old nature of sin, but from the flesh which was used for these kinds of things in the past (see Romans 6:19 and 1 Peter 4:1-3). You must maintain continual watchfulness so that nothing arises in your life that would cause you shame.

“…not walking in craftiness…” (2 Corinthians 4:2). This means not resorting to something simply to make your own point. This is a terrible trap. You know that God will allow you to work in only one way— the way of truth. Then be careful never to catch people through the other way— the way of deceit. If you act deceitfully, God’s blight and ruin will be upon you. What may be craftiness for you, may not be for others— God has called you to a higher standard. Never dull your sense of being your utmost for His highest— your best for His glory. For you, doing certain things would mean craftiness coming into your life for a purpose other than what is the highest and best, and it would dull the motivation that God has given you. Many people have turned back because they are afraid to look at things from God’s perspective. The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 22-24; 2 Corinthians 8

Listen up, boys, Day 1

BIBLE GATEWAY

Today’s reading is drawn from Deuteronomy 4:25-31.

Did you ever go to summer camp as a kid? And if you did, do you remember the first night when the Camp Director — I think those guys slept and showered with whistles around their necks and clipboards under their arms — stood up and announced the camp rules? On and on he would drone about not swimming alone, not leaving the camp grounds without permission, mess hall “etiquette” — something about how to scrape excess food off plates into coffee cans — and of course, the most important rule . . . no boys in the girls’ cabins. And it seemed like all the rules were for the boys and not for the girls. Remember?

The last thing the director said really sounded crazy. “If you follow these rules, you will have a great time here at camp.”

By the time the director was finished, you sat there thinking, “Hey, this doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. They’ve got way too many rules at this camp. Is this prison or summer camp? And what could he possibly mean about having a “good time by following the rules?”

Now, try to remember how you felt about the camp the day you were leaving. You were saying goodbye to guys you had met. You were telling each other that this was the best week of your life. You were remembering the great times you had had together. You were promising to stay in contact with each other . . . oh, sure you would!

Anyway, you had completely forgotten how you felt after the Camp Director’s rules on opening night. Only a few guys had actually disobeyed, and sure enough, they had experienced the pleasure of having their parents drive up to take them home a little earlier than planned. Following rules, you concluded, does make for good experiences. What a great lesson to learn as a youngster.

The Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land. Before they did, Moses put on his whistle and tucked his clipboard under his arm for a little speech. He warned them what would happen to them if they disobeyed God’s laws — much worse than being sent home from camp. And then he gave them an incredible promise. If, in your new home, you decide to truly seek God, you’ll find Him (see verse 29).

Can there be a higher goal for our families than enjoying God’s presence? Can there be a greater reward for following God’s rules? I don’t think so.

Don’t let the laws bog you down. The rewards of obeying them — living in a home where God lives — are well worth it.