Two-Stepping

Our Christian walk is a two-step process. We start by repenting of our former way of life, which was degraded by Satan’s lies and earthly desires (Ephesians 4:22). Each of us is distracted by various sinful elements.

Some of us lie, but God calls us to speak truth; or we steal and take what does not belong to us, yet God calls us to work and earn money to buy what we need, as well as to share with others (Ephesians 4:25, 28).

Some have trouble with anger; and though it is a God given emotion, we often harbor grudges, while God encourages us to forgive before the sun sets each day, so that we do not give Satan entry into our soul (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Other people use foul language, when God wants us to use our words to edify and minister grace to those who hear us. Some even take God’s name in vain and use degrading words, which grieve God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-30).

All of us give in at one time or another to bitterness, quarreling, gossip, antagonism and forms of cruelty, when God calls us to live with humility, compassion, patience, gentleness and kindness, as we forgive slights and wrongs just as God forgives us (Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:10).

The second step is to renew our mind with the righteousness mind of Christ and to walk in true holiness all the days of our life (Luke 1:75; Ephesians 4:24). This may sound daunting, but Christ already did it for us.

We are buried with Christ through our baptism into His death, in order to be raised with Him from death in the glory of God, our Father. This allows us to live a fulfilled, blessed new life in Christ, as we exchange our corrupted character with the nature of Christ, promised to us by God Himself (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, by separating our self from the sin, which once bound us as its slave, we are freed from the law and allowed to serve You through Your Spirit, rather than by decrees and legalism (Romans 7:6). You enable us to submit to You as You transform our mind, rather than to be conformed to the design of this evil world.

We have no more desire to gratify the sinful desires of our flesh, and we walk as a new creation, Your handiwork, created in Christ to live in Your will, which You prepared for us prior to our birth (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:2, 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
My soul silently waits for God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my stronghold; I will never be shaken. – Psalm 62:1-2

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The Power of Words

Our faith in God’s faithfulness allows us to trust that God knows exactly what He is doing, even if we do not understand His ways, which are so much wiser and deeper than our methods of thinking (Isaiah 55:8-9). When we stoop to entertain negative thoughts and words, we allow Satan to use us. There is life and death in the power of the tongue (). For instance, God considers gossip as detrimental to us as lying, cursing and wrath.

Gossiping stirs up strife and starts a firestorm of controversy, whether purposely or accidentally. Tidbits of gossip are sweet to the talebearer’s lips, but they strike to the very heart of the unfortunate victim’s soul (Proverbs 26:20-22). The longer the tale is told, the more vicious and debilitating it becomes. If we refrain from gossiping, however, we quench the fires of contention and prevent arguments.

God advises us to put off our old self and to allow His Spirit to renew our character into the image of our creator (Colossians 3:5-10). We listen to gossip with our ears, but it effects our emotions and self-esteem as well. Lies will create shame, distrust and fear in our soul. Satan convinces us that we are “not enough”, cripples us with self-doubt and debilitates, confuses and discourages us.

Therefore, it is important that we limit the words that enter and leave our mind and speak only graceful words that encourage others. Otherwise, we grieve God’s Spirit and wound our own soul and the soul of those in our life (Ephesians 4:29-30). God’s Word encourages us to stop entertaining bitterness, anger, dissension and slander; and instead, to be kind, forgiving and loving toward one another (Ephesians 4:31-32).

God’s love gives us affection for others, His joy births in us an exuberance for life, His peace permeates in us a deep serenity, His patience develops perseverance, His gentleness causes our heart to blossom with compassion and His goodness permits kindness to pervade our entire being. His meekness gives us the humility to live as a servant. His self-control helps us to be guided by His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, You forgave us and released us from the debt of sin we owed. This allows us to live by Your Spirit and to do the works, which You called us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Remind us that our tongue has the power of life and death in it (Proverbs 18:21).Your Spirit imparts His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, goodness, self-control and faith into our life, so that You can use us for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Words have an impact on our soul and influence our attitude, feelings and demeanor.