Stop Working Alone, Start Depending on God

Winning character battles happens day-to-day.  When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.  – Billy Graham
The number of athletes that have fallen from grace is astounding. For the incredible baseball player Pete Rose, falling from grace was a bitter blow. He was a legend with the most hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and...
outs (10,328). Rose won three World Series rings, plus the same number of batting titles, and the list goes on and on. He was a guaranteed Hall of Famer until allegations of betting on baseball ruined his career and image. His secret life of gambling on the sport he loved cost him dearly.

We talked yesterday about how to win the character battles within and the next two practices are part of how we can stop working alone and start depending on God in order to do it. First, have no secret world. Like for Pete Rose and others that we’ve watched, secret sins “…always hurt you and others. They create sinkholes that quietly undermine your character until there is a collapse that destroys you and threatens to suck in the people around you.” The second practice is to put purity over passion. “God asks us to be spiritually faithful, with only one God. Likewise, if we are sexually faithful, with only one spouse, we cause less harm to ourselves and others. Sexual promiscuity can lead to betrayal, heartache, pain and disease. It can and does destroy families and create societal chaos.” But faithfulness to God and our families creates just the opposite— blessing and a great legacy.

No one is immune from the collapse of their character, so we must put practices into place and surround ourselves with other believers to be an active part of our lives. “It takes humility, openness, courage and trust to live an open life of purity without secret sins.” But when you stay in fellowship with God and other mature believers, their added strength makes those choices easier.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
        1. Paul’s letter to the early Christian churches in the Roman province of Galatia addresses the question of whether Christians were obligated to follow Mosaic law.

Question: If Christians were no longer obligated to live by the Mosaic law, how were they to live?

Answer:  Galatians 5:24-25 (New Living Translation)

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.       25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

2.  Also written by Paul, the main theme of Ephesians is the church as the Body of Christ.

Question: In this passage, Paul is praying for how the Ephesians will live out their new faith. What does Paul say is important for us to build our lives on?

Answer:  Ephesians 3:14-17 (New Century Version)

14 So I bow in prayer before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.

LIVE… What will you do now?
Is there a secret sin in your life that you need to address today? If so, what steps will you take to step back behind that line? 

How have the successes or failures of others in your life changed how you are living? 

How can you avoid the temptation of secret sins and impurity in your life? 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do? Thank God for Christ Jesus who nailed the passions and desires of your sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Ask Him to help you live by the Spirit and follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of your life.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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