When I was growing up, I understood that being a Christian meant that there were certain things I did not do. I did not drink. I did not smoke. I did not do drugs. I did not cuss. I dressed modestly. I didn't "shack up" and live with someone that I was not married to. It meant there were certain places I did not go. I did not go hang out at the bars. I did not go spend my money at the casinos. I did not hang out with thugs. I did not go to the cinema and watch indecent movies.
Now days I see every thing that I named, plus more, in the lives of those who profess to be Christians. "These things ought not be." (James 3:10) But they have become an accepted lifestyle and the norm. To say anything about, or against, this behavior is to be accused of "judging" or being "legalistic". I want to clarify this morning that it is neither.
Oh, but we are under grace, you may say. Yes, but grace is not a license to sin. And grace is more than unmerited favor. It is also God's divine influence upon the heart. If He has no influence in your life-- what you do, what you wear, where you go, how you live, on your attitude-- then your salvation is doubtful. We are saved by grace through faith. When grace is appropriated to our lives, though it is unearned-- not "worked for"-- it is "worked out". That means we walk in and live in that Divine influence of God that is now in our lives.
It am not talking about legalism I am talking about holiness. "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:15,16) Holy lives are a reflection of the Father and evidence of His work of transformation taking place in us. When He saves us, He doesn't leave us like we are. He changes us. Continuing in the things we have always done, indulging in the same fleshly desires we have always fulfilled, living the same old lifestyle we have always led shows no evidence of any transformation taking place in us. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Does your life reflect God's grace and holiness?
Have a great day. What does your lifestyle says about you? Does it line up with your profession?
For further reading:
Ephesians 5:1-6; 2:8,9
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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