Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. ~Jude 21
We live in what has been called a post-modern culture. It is a culture that is increasingly pagan and hostile to Christianity. As I write today’s devotion, I am concerned about an assembly bill that poses a serious threat to Biblical values, the freedom of speech, and the ministry of the church. The devil’s agenda of advancing paganism, godless behavior, immoral lifestyles, and a lukewarm church suggests that the church and God’s people are defeated. However, we are not defeated! There is hope! We can win the war! This morning, let us consider how the war can be won.
There must be a conquering of our WILL.
The advances of a pagan culture can cause us to become cynical. A cynical spirit can overcome us when we allow bitterness, envy, and jealousy to enter into our heart. A cynical spirit will result in us being sharply critical, jealously undermining, enviously comparing, and pessimistically negative. When these sins enter in, we have given place to Satan in our attitude and spirit. I Sam. 18 tells us how David overcame a negative spirit: he behaved himself wisely! He did not allow Saul’s evil spirit to affect his spirit. He avoided out of Saul’s presence many times. He refused to allow a bad spirit to ruin him. In effect, David died to self every day. We, too, must die to self every day, and reflect on the incredible love God has to us, in spite of our sinful propensity. Never forget the incredible sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and me.
There must be kindness in our WORDS.
The admonition of being kind one to another must be reflected in our words. A cynical spirit always comes out through our words. Christians need to major on being kind, gracious, and merciful. Regardless of how you are treated, watch your words! Practice the art of politeness: “Please,” “Thank you,” “How are you?”, and “I’m sorry.” Resist the temptation to retaliate through words. Do not answer a foolish person according to their folly. When you are criticized, respond with, “Thank you for caring enough to let me know.” When you are overwhelmed in how much God loves you, you cannot help but to be patient and loving.
There must be compassion in our WORKS.
We love our enemies best when we heap coals of fire upon their heads. Do something beneficial for someone who is unlovely. Love thinketh no evil. Love beareth all things. Love is gracious and compassionate in its actions. The love of God is best demonstrated through our works. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that great love does more than others. Our goal is to not try to win arguments unless we have won the person’s heart. Make a daily list of people you can do acts of kindness for. When someone hostile to you attacks you, respond back with a simple note of kindness that you are praying for them, accompanied with a $5 gift card.
There must be a continuity of our WITNESS.
The last thing we must do if we are to keep ourselves in the love of God is to make sure we are always giving a vibrant witness of our faith to others. Our faith will remain fervent and real when we are trying to win people to Christ. We must not lose sight of the fact that sinners will die and spend eternity in hell if we do not tell them about Jesus’ saving love.
Keeping ourselves in the love of God requires resolve, effort, and much prayer. Don’t allow a cynical spirit to take you down. Determine this morning to be controlled and compelled by the love of God!
Have a love-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Nehemiah 4-6