"Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple."
1 Peter 2:11
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,"
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Jesus loves us so much and when we become God’s children and follow Jesus our lives reflect our new parentage. We no longer are the squabbling children of the world but the ones who bring calm to situations and do not enter into the gossip that worldly people so enjoy. Instead of tearing people down God’s children raise them up. Instead of tearing families apart, God’s children mend them. Instead of listening to people who cause division, God’s children walk away or if it is a brother or sister in Christ then God’s children lovingly make them aware of what they are doing. And if that person is truly a child of the Living God they will take to heart what is being pointed out to them, Hopefully that is all that is needed.
One time I worked with a few women who claimed to be believers yet loved to talk about clients and others. It was hard because there was no where to go to get away from them as we had small cubicles we worked in side by side. Gossip has been something I was raised with and I wanted to stay away for it for I knew it as something that separated me from the Body of Christ. My heart was so heavy having to be there day after day and trying to get them to leave me out of the conversations was difficult so one day I asked them to help me with my problem of gossip. I did not say they had the problem but that it was mine and I needed them to stop me anytime they heard me talking about someone.
After that whenever it started I would say, “Oh, ladies I know you want to help me so I need to walk away right now because if I don’t I will have a stumbling block in my walk with Christ.” Then I would walk away and do something or go visit for a minute with another worker. Sometimes we just need to be creative to help others learn different ways of communicating. It is not just in gossip that the Child of God must bridle their lusts.
A young man who just accepted the Lord shared that he has a problem with pornography, others desire wealth, others cheating on their marriage vows, some with prescription drugs or alcohol. Our sin nature wars with us even when we have accepted Jesus as our Savior yet God will always provide a way out for us to avoid or remove ourselves from the situation. It is our CHOICE to flee the situation or not and God will give us the strength if we trust Him and pray to Him to help us.
Jesus’ commandments are easy if we take self out of the way. He calls on us to Love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love God we will not do things to hurt Him or disgrace His name that He has given to us when He adopted us. If we love our neighbors as ourselves we will not do anything to harm them because harming others harms ourselves and why would we who have inherited life eternal want to harm others or ourselves? We would not. Often people do not give thought to what they are doing, they just do it. God’s children want to bring Him praise and glory so thinking first and praying, reading His word all help us to bring glory to Him.
If we truly believe we are adopted sons and daughters of the Living and One True God, then we bow down as the saints and angels in Heaven do. When we go to Heaven we will be casting our crowns before His throne because He gave us Eternal Life in and with Him and because of Him we are adopted sons and daughters of a loving Father. He will keep us strong to resist the lusts and temptations of the flesh if we ask and in faith trust Him who can and will do what is needed for us to walk in the light.
Abba Father, may we always see where we are weak so we may draw our strength from Your living waters. May we feed on Your word so we will become stronger in resisting the temptations of the flesh. Help us to be a help to all who know or see us and through us may Your light shine and Your Living Waters flow. May we do or say only that which brings You praise and glory. Thank You Jesus for showing us the way and obtaining salvation for us. We accept Your gift which You so generously give freely.
Abba, strengthen and grow believers and guide unbelievers to Your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.