Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 9, 2014
Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
There is a bad list of behaviors to avoid for it misses enjoying the Kingdom of God. Rather it is loyal to the Kingdom of this world. Default behaviors of the flesh come from conforming to the culture, while transformational behaviors grow from the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God’s bad list of behaviors represents fleshly discontent that competes with our affection for Christ. Sex, unless it is between a man and woman in marriage, stealing, greed, drunkenness and lying are all listed.
Furthermore, our behaviors follow our beliefs. If we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we love Him and if we love Him we obey His commands. A crisis of faith occurs when our desire to maintain a bad behavior conflicts with God’s expectations. So, we can justify our disobedience by changing what we believe to accommodate our behavior. For example, we may dishonestly report lesser income on our tax return. Our greed convinces us that the government doesn’t need our money. The flesh bends behaviors toward bad beliefs, while the Spirit transforms with truth.
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 1 Peter 1:14
As a result of being sinners, we all started out on God’s bad list, but once we were born again His grace adopted us into His family. No more are we listed with evil doers who view Jesus with contempt. Our new life in Christ puts away bad habits and replaces them with good ones. We still struggle daily with dying to our selfish desires and pride, but we do not chronically and intentionally sin against the Lord. God’s grace grants us the power to do good and refuse bad.
Therefore, continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and your behavior will become more and more like His. Believe the truth of God and be set free, or embrace the lies of Satan and stay in bondage to bad behavior. Our actions are an indicator of what’s in our heart, so be changed from the inside out. Reject conforming to the culture’s low bar of behavior and accept the Spirit’s transforming high bar of behavior. Stay off the bad list.
I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 2 Corinthians 10:2
Prayer: Heavenly Father, change me from the inside out, so my behavior reflects your expectations.
Related Readings: Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 2:15
Post/Tweet today: The flesh bends behaviors toward a bad belief system, while the Spirit transforms us with truth. #badbehavior
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