October 21, 2014

2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

This is the key to a holy lifestyle: not trying to earn good stuff from God but responding to what He has already provided, not only to be able to receive that provision but in deep gratitude. The devil, the world, and people who are steeped in the world are continually trying to get us to compromise. However, as Paul said in Romans 12:2, we are not to be conformed to this world, compromising to get along, which is the “politically correct” thing to do. Actually, the “politically correct” crowd wants you to throw all your convictions out the window! As Peter pointed out, they are surprised when you won’t do so. (1 Peter 4:4) Christians in the world are definitely swimming against the current. That’s why it’s so important that we gather as like-minded believers, both to encourage one another and to worship our common Lord. Those in the world don’t know the Lord, and that’s the whole problem. 80 some years ago my mother was at a party of Christians, and one seminary student had brought a girl who was not a Christian. After the party she said, “I would never have dreamed I could have so much fun without drinking!” That’s the point: the world knows nothing of the things in Christ, and so they insist those things are all illusions, when they are the ones walking in deception.

This is, of course, something I have lived with all my life, as does everyone, from one angle or another. Thankfully I never much cared for the taste of beer, nor was I the social animal to get involved in wild parties. To be honest, there were times when I was envious of those who did that sort of thing, but I am now very thankful for the Lord’s protection. I find that not fitting in but being envious of those who do is a very common thing among Christian young people, and I need wisdom in encouraging them. Particularly in Japan, where there are so few Christians, it is hard for them to be part of a Christian peer group, and that can be lonely indeed. I need to remember my own youth to have empathy and be open to the Holy Spirit to have wisdom, so that the devices of the devil may be defeated on every front, for their blessing and the glory of God.

Father, thank You for the opportunities You give me to speak into so many different lives. May I not spout off from my own head but rather speak Your truth in Your love, so that people may be liberated from the lies of the devil to walk in the glorious victory that You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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