This Too?

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 1Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all…

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment… Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law…

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires…  Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Romans 12:9-18; 13:1-2,8,13-14; 14:10

The word of God is practical and thorough. But fickle man likes to pick and choose what we want to hear, selecting our favorites and the most palatable, and ignore or do away with the parts that prickle or pinch. Let’s obey the commands that come naturally or bring personal benefit, but really? Give up certain pleasures, or serve them with kindness- after all they have done to me? We distort God’s word into disconnected words for the optional taking, when indeed, the Word who was from the beginning is to be revered and obeyed. Line upon line, precept upon precept, the whole word is ours to cherish and follow. That and that, and yes, this too. (Isaiah 28:10,13a; John 1:1-4)

Our Creator made us to bear His image through and through. That involves every inkling of thought and spreads to every facet of life, not only the facets of our lives we wish to be sanctified. If we are to reflect His glory, His word must seep and soak into every cranny of idea, impulse, and action. If this is not our desire, we can ask Him to make it so. Pray that God would purify our affections and aims, and purge us of malice, bitterness, and rebellion. (Genesis 1:26-27; Isaiah 43:7)

It is prudent to go through passages and take personal inventory. Which statutes sting? Would we stop to confess, and ask for the Spirit’s help to wean us from those proclivities and transform them into holy instincts? Putting off the old and practicing the new reorders our habits and sanctifies us. (Colossians 3:1-17)

Lord, help me take seriously all Your words. Give me the humility and courage to live them out in thought and action, to Your praise and glory.

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