October 9, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." 1 Corinthians 13:6
To think, to be, to do, to walk, to live, to love...so we will not be easily provoked, we must have the attitude and mind of Christ. You might say, "I can't do that!" True, but GOD CAN...THROUGH YOU! We look at our spiritual life from "our" perspective, what "we" can or cannot do...rather than what God wants to do in and through us by His might and power.
Paul said, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very 'nature of a servant,' being made in human likeness. After being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death...even the death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5-8).
True Christian love does not cherish malice, entertain anger, give way to revenge, condone evil thoughts, and is not easily provoked. Rather, it recognizes our need of continual fresh communication with God, and the "appropriation" of His grace and sufficiency to sustain us, as we face these evil traits of our old nature.
It's one thing to recognize our need, but another, to embrace the ONE who can meet that need, and give us victory over it. When God's love prevails within our heart, it will extinguish that which seeks to invade our life to divert our focus from Christ.
Our sin nature is anxious to defend our wrongs or be on the offense to proclaim our rights. Our attitude plays such an important role in the way we think and act. Jesus said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...these are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). David knew this from his own experience and cried out to God, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).
There was only one way he could overcome the malicious thoughts that almost consumed him--he found his refuge in God (Psalm 73). With ruthless attention Paul faced those things in his life that are adverse and rebellious to the Spirit of God who lived within him. SO MUST WE! True Christian love cannot harbor harmful thoughts.
Paul said, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things" Philippians 4:8). He is challenging us to FIX OUR MINDS AND HEARTS ON CHRIST!
Don't entertain those evil devastating thoughts, but think on those positive, inspiring virtues that proceed from God. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature...Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16,17,25).
Paul's challenge to every believer is, "Bringing into 'captivity' every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). A life separated to God, is not something we "wish that some day we will attain"...rather, it is the surrender of "our right of authority" to CHRIST...a walk in obedience and faith to Jesus Christ. Immeasurably blessed is the freedom and liberty God gives when we yield to His control. How glorious! Forgiven, set free, triumphant...through CHRIST!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-09
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