Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Christian living is a call to respond to a core of beliefs and values that are absolute – to live differently than the world, and to do it decisively. I am always troubled by my proclivity to wait, see which way the wind is blowing, and then search for the Christian principle that will make me most comfortable.
Decisiveness is called-for in the Christian walk. Otherwise we settle for adjusting to conditions, instead of bringing Christlikeness to bear on a problem.
Paul says the new creation God makes of us requires changes in FOUR DECISIONS about the way we live; these changes in our character and thought life honor God:
1. Decide for TRUTH
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:24-25(NLT)
Jesus said: I am the... truth. Without speaking we can lie, simply by allowing a false message to be received. A Christian who tells white lies has no moral absolute regarding truth.
2. Decide for RECONCILIATION
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27(NLT)
Broken relationships are the very description of sin. It was the break of fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden that was the prototype of all sin. God has given to the Christian Church and all believers a charge, a ministry of reconciling.
Most attitudes and actions that separate people and causes division is not of God.
Unreconciled minds are the seeds the devil uses to destroy churches, families and whole nations. Decide for truth, reconciliation, and...
3. Decide for Honesty
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Ephesians 4:28(NLT)
The late Ferdinand Marcos, then President of the Philippine government, was a terrible golfer. But his score cards? Tiger Woods would love to have had those in last week's tournament! Marcos couldn’t bear to be a bad golfer, so he cheated whenever it came to writing down his score.
Christian values means you will lose out, rather than cheat or lie in any way. The size of the prize, or the reasons we rationalize are simply not the issue – honesty is! And also...
4. Decide for Graciousness
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29(NLT)
The filthiness that tumbles unashamedly out of mouths today is bad. When it comes out of a Christian's mouth, it is sin! What is it we are building up when we talk as if our mouths were connected to the bottom of a commode?
Moral absolutes make Christians different from the world. Decisions for truth, reconciliation, honesty and graciousness make us decisive. It changes the way we live. That's the bottom line...Christian values are better lived than talked.
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