1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
“3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication:
4) That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5) Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6) That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7) For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
“True joy comes only from God and He shares this joy with those who walk in fellowship with Him. …
A life of disobedience cannot be a life of joy.” – from p.155 of “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges.
“It is only by learning to deny temptation that we will ever put to death the misdeeds of the body. Learning this is usually a slow and painful process, fraught with much failure. Our old desires and our sinful habits are not easily dislodged. To break them requires persistence, often in the face of little success. But this is the path we must tread, painful though it may be.”
– from p.96,97 of “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges.
“I have had just enough of the majesty of God to want more. I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission. My soul cries for more. My soul needs more.” – from p.41,42 of “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul.
Note: The below was originally written as a comment by me on a post somewhere but I think it’s fitting to post here for it expresses my hopes, thoughts about, call to action, call to change in this New Year. It is about more than just wishing all a happy new year full of happiness and blessings, the focus is on something more important things which have been ignored, neglected, or acted indifferently towards by many people for too many are more interested and concerned with happiness and blessings than the more serious and weighty things of life. I hope my intentions aren’t misunderstood by any who read; it’s not condemning anyone, it’s not blaming this or that person, it’s a general appeal for each of to examine ourselves and see that there still lies in all of us, in the old self, much that needs to be removed, changed, much we should not be content with, much we have come to tolerate but shouldn’t. By God’s grace may we each come to repentance when we sin and live in the new year as people changing for the better by the grace of God and by doing our part of obeying His will. My message, my hope for the New Year is that people should come to repentance; stop compromising; stop accommodating; stop justifying sins; stop sanitizing sins; stop pretending everything’s okay when it clearly isn’t; quit following false teachers; quit chasing illusions.
Stop pretending God’s okay with your lifestyle when you know full well that it’s wrong and sinful and destructive; stop looking to the world for answers when God wants you to look to Him for them in His holy Word.
The time for excuses must end – accept responsibility for your actions, quit passing the buck, quit shifting the blame, grow a spine and finally stand for what it right and true, not what’s politically correct and accepted by an unbelieving society; seek the truth while you may, ask, knock, sincerely, and you will not be disappointed.
The time of spineless tolerance of all things ungodly and blasphemous must come to and end; turn from the way of idleness and walk the narrow road of truth. The new year could be your last: what shall you do with the time God has given you? Live like the world with folded hands and idle mind or as God commands and desires you to live? You’ll be asked to give account of all your actions once you die – will you have live as God willed or as you pleased even if it was against God’s will?
The time is flying; years pass by and time seems to fly too fast to count and your life will come to an end before you know it – what have you done for others, for Christ, for God?
We all must repent for we all sin; put away excuses and accept that you sin and need forgiveness; mistakes and errors aren’t the end; your worth to God isn’t determined by your performance of these or those actions but is determined by His love for you which you can’t add to or take away.
Make the new year a year of difference – different approach to the whole of life in accordance with God’s views and will and not in accordance to the views and will of your natural self or the world. The Devil wants you idle and useless, lying to you about so much; you must be on guard against his deception by filling your mind and heart with the truth of God found in the Bible, it’s the Sword of the Spirit to use against the lies of the enemy, it’s the living water, spiritual bread, encouragement and admonition, commands and precepts for all of life. Take it all seriously or you will be unarmed soldier targeted by the devil who seeks who to devour. Fight sloth, idleness, inactivity, laziness, procrastination, excuse-making and all manner of things which aren’t beneficial to your life as a child of God and soldier of Christ.
May the new year truly be new, full of changes for the better brought about by work and effort on the part of faithful stewards of their lives and time. Blessing won’t come to the disobedient; they don’t fall out of the sky at random or because some preacher say they’ll come because he feels God told blessing will come at this or that time. Be on guard against half-truths and whole lies, against the false disguised as the plausible, against the false disguised as the possible, against the blatantly false, against the seemingly-true, against all manners of deceptions, lies, illusions, delusions, heresies and that originated from the father of lies, the Devil who seeks your destruction by means of stealing, corrupting, killing, destroying what is faithful and loyal and true.
May the new year be a truly new year and not just a date on the calendar and no changes for the better in any area of life. May the peace of the God of peace be upon all who trust and believe in the living and true God. … Glory to God Alone.