Friday, May 4, 2012

We've Spent Enough Time

 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do. . . 1 Peter 4:1-3

"I don't know how to stop."  You've used the excuse.  So have I.  It can apply to everything from eating the wrong thing to any sinful actions we have going in life.  What motivates us to stop?  For most people, when the doctor says stop eating the wrong thing or smoking or drinking or you will die, they stop.  The thought of death or losing life with their family is a strong motivation.  When most people are told "be on time from now on or lose your job," they change.  Especially in this economy they need their job.  So they do what needs to be done to effect the change.

So what is our motivation to end sinful patterns in our lives?  Picture Christ's suffering on the cross.  Do you hear the anguish of each breath?  Do you hear the screams of pain on every lash of the whip as it rips across His back?  Can you feel the sting of the thorns as they pierce His head and the blood drips into His eyes?  Can you appreciate the weight of your sin and mine being heaped on His righteous soul and He feels the brokenness of Oneness with the Father?  Can you?  

We've spent enough time satisfying the sinful, evil desires of this body.  Time to be done.  So we arm ourselves with the same attitude as Jesus.  Out of love for Him, we simply refuse the desires of the flesh, even if we suffer for it.  And suddenly the only thing that matters is doing the will of God.  So the greatest motivation in the world is at work, the motivation of what John Wesley called perfect love.

Haven't you spent enough time doing the other thing?  Try loving Jesus today and see what happens.

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