Thursday, November 7, 2019

Living With Mixed Devotions – Your Life Is Not Your Own

“…do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, how I love to proclaim – now and forever I am.” I saw the phrase “Bought with a price” yesterday.  I always try to have ears to hear and eyes to see when it comes to my walk of faith.  I eagerly await for the moment when the Spirit prompts me.  Then I write it down and share it in a daily devotion. Other days – I sit and wait – saying “speak Lord you servant is listening” then I write what He reveals to me.  Is that too mysterious for you? I hope not.  We are not to serve in silence – a life devoid of personal interaction with the Lord through the Spirit.

I was thinking about Paul’s words that he used to describe his relationship with the Father through faith in the Son.  He described himself as a bond-servant, “one who is subservient to, and entirely at the disposal of, his master; a slave.”

“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior.” – Titus 1:1-3

Do you see your work-a-day in the sense of being a God’s bond-servant. Or does your heart “buck-up” against that thought? If you have ever served in the military, that is what you are.  You take an oath that the military binds you to.

“ I, Charley, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.”

Once you take that oath, your life is not your own.  You are told what to wear and what to do. As I thought about this I remembered as a commander having young soldiers stand in front of my desk.  They were not there for a good reason – typically.  Most often it was because they wanted the benefits of being in the military but wanted to decide for themselves what they would do and when they would do it.  The only way that was going to happen was for them to leave the military. If their minds and will could not be changed, then I would accommodate them and send them packing.  Once they were not longer in the military they were free to make their own choices once again.

That desire is much the same as many Christians live out.  They want the benefits of the Christian life – the paid-up fire insurance policy – (saved from hell going to heaven) but they want to decide what is right and what is wrong. Where the analogy fails is that when we sin – God does not send us packing. We are bond servants – we can disobey (sin) – there are consequences – but we are part of the family of God forever.  God will not send us packing – cancelling our insurance policy.  If you are struggling with sin, and we all do, – it is because of a lack of devotion to God. But, like the young soldier standing in front of my desk because of his struggle with commitment to his oath – we may struggle with our oath – our confession that Jesus is Lord – that we are bond servants of the Most High God. Rather than trying to beat your sin problem –  you first need to fix your love problem. There should be no room for any other devotion in a Christian’s heart than their love for God. Love for others is merely an outpouring of our love for the Father.

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him [Jesus] a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” – Matthew 22:36-40

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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