For Righteous Living

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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Temptation

May I remind you of four of the more powerful perils that can level even the mightiest? They are fortune, fame, power, and pleasure. Each works overtime to win a hearing, to gain a foothold, to woo us in. Whether subliminal, subtle, strong, or supreme, these messages search for chinks in our armor as they appeal to our natural appetites.

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For Godliness in a Godless Culture

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list.

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Slamming the Door to Lust

SAMSON WAS A HE-MAN WITH A SHE-WEAKNESS. Although he was born of godly parents, set apart from his birth to be a Nazirite, and elevated to the enviable position of judge in Israel, he never won the battle with lust. Instead, lust eventually conquered him. Several things that illustrate his lustful bent may be observed from the record of his life, each one in the book of Judges.

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Season of Obedience

SAMUEL WAS NOT IMPRESSED. Having discovered that the self-reliant king had once again disobeyed God’s command, the exasperated prophet rebuked the stubborn king as few men in Scripture were rebuked: What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

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Open to Change

ALL OF US HAVE PRACTICED certain areas of wrong from our youth. It is a pattern of life that comes “second nature” to us. As a result, it strongly resists change. We gloss over our resistance with the varnish of excuses: “Well, nobody’s perfect.” “I’ll never be any different; that’s just the way I am.” “I was born this way—nothing can be done about it.” “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Jeremiah tells us why such excuses come easily:

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Breaking Bad Habits

I USED TO BITE MY FINGERNAILS right down to the quick. I’d rip off those babies just as soon as the first signs of new growth would appear. For well over twenty years I carried around ten ugly stumps that resulted in two miserable experiences: personal embarrassment and physical limitations. God began to convict me about my nail-biting habit. It took Him, let’s see, nearly a decade to bring about a final and complete victory, ashamed as I am to admit it.

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The Poison of Impurity

WHEN GOD paid His visit to Sodom and Gomorrah, these twin cities controlled a lush, fertile valley through which ran the Jordan River.

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Sufficient Grace

Release the idea that contentment requires comfort. Contentment is possible no matter how dire your circumstances. While under house arrest, Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

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Questions to Ponder

How have you responded to these temptations mentioned in yesterday’s reading in your own life? Do you give things instead of giving yourself, your presence, your personal involvement?

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