May I ask you a question? Interests start small and grow from a dabbler to a full blown enthusiast. Is this true as well of a Christian’s life? Will our earnestness in developing a more worshipful approach to life result in a growing devotion to overcoming sin in our lives?
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
I began keeping tropical fish over 40 years ago. It started with a small ad in the back of a magazine advertising “Tropical Seahorses.” It talked about how for just an investment of few dollars in a glass bowl, some pieces of coral, sea salt and a pair of Seahorses I could watch the miracle of birth as baby Seahorses were the predictable outcome. For some reason I was fascinated by the idea and sent in my money. I got them and they did multiply. Although they didn’t live very long, they sparked a lifelong interest in me of all things aquatic. A five gallon tank followed, and then a ten. I switched to tropical freshwater fish and kept increasing tank sizes. Today I have a forty gallon tank with many colorful and beautiful fish and live plants. The hobby continues to grow along with an interest that’s become a passion.
Often that’s how interests work; they start small and grow from a dabbler to a full blown enthusiast. I believe it’s thus true of a Christian’s life. Our increasing earnestness in developing a more worshipful approach to life results in a ongoing, growing devotion to overcoming sin in our life. It becomes a passion.
Here’s a story. “Phillips Brooks was a very busy pastor, yet he always seemed relaxed and unburdened, willing to take time for anyone in need. Shortly before Brooks died, a young friend wrote to him and asked the secret of his strength and serenity. In a heartfelt response, Brooks credited his still-growing relationship with Christ. He wrote, ‘The more I have thought it over, the more sure it has seemed to me that these last years have had a peace and fullness which there did not used to be. It is a deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ. I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me and I know Him. It is the most real thing in the world. And every day makes it more real. And one wonders with delight what it will grow to as the years go on.’” (Our Daily Bread, October 14, 1994.)
1 Thessalonians 3:4 states: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality . . .” God’s will is that we should lead holy lives, free from the dishonoring of our bodies through sexual immorality. This is something that grows within us as sanctification grows. This kind of change doesn’t happen overnight; it may never be completely finished. As you and I grow in grace God changes us. Although leading a holy life is not a hobby interest like my fish tanks, it does share this: avoiding sin involves our interest in doing it. Once dedication to making the changes becomes a starting point and we believe that God will prevail in us, our devotion to changing our behavior will grow. This is God’s will, but learning means taking the time to move devotion interest to a lifelong passion for living a sanctified life.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for making us holy through your Son, Jesus Christ. Sometimes our process of living the sanctified life seems slow. Forgive us when we become anxious with our slow pace to overcoming sin in our lives and remind us that changing behavior may be a process in some things that is the work of a lifetime. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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