“Furthermore then we [urge] you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the [passion of] lust, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man [take advantage of] and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that [rejects this], [rejects] not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” I Thessalonians 4:1-8
I recall the time when Rebekah first joined my school in her seventh grade year. I was mesmerized by her beauty, but I soon noticed something else about her. Rebekah was a rule follower and carried the student handbook with her at all times. If there was a minor infraction, she was quick to alert the teacher of the civil penal code of the student handbook. Rebekah was and still is a rule follower and typically adheres to whatever code is in place. At times, I struggle with following rules as I sometimes take them as suggestions and not as hard and fast instructions. Rebekah's beauty soon waned in my eyes, and I despised her for always speaking up when there was a rule infraction. I can promise you that Rebekah never struggled with demerits in school, but I was not as fortunate because I chose to ignore the warnings given by my future wife. If only I was as smart as Rebekah and just simply followed the rules, my life would have been a lot easier, with less folly and misconduct.
We live in a world that is saturated with sin and those who would tempt us to do things that are not godly. To do things that are acceptable to the world but go against the Bible. It seems the line of morals has slowly dissipated and we must be careful where we stand. We must always line up our thinking with what the Bible says and not simply with the thinking of the day. I have seen a drastic societal change in the last five years and the sins that were previously frowned upon, are now being championed and approved by society.
Some of our churches accept sinful behavior in the name of diversity and inclusion.
We are called to sanctification towards holiness and there are things that we are to avoid and abstain from. The “rules” given in God's Word are not simply suggestions, but they are commands that we must abide by if we are to live a life pleasing unto God. God has called us to be set apart and to live unto holiness. We often make excuses for not living right, but the standard has not changed and we will still be accountable for it. We must not take lightly God's standard of holiness and we must walk in the Spirt as He is the One who will help us in the process of sanctification.
Where are you today friend? Are you struggling in areas of your life where you feel justified in them but you know they are not pleasing to God? Are you listening to the world’s standards of what is right instead of heeding to what God says? Are you asking for God’s help when it comes to living a life that is pleasing to Him? Are you walking in the Spirit or are you trusting in your own will and self-discipline? May we look like our Heavenly Father more and more, and may we seek His approval over the approval of man.
Stay in the fight!