Guest Blogger Jenny Clenenden
I am so excited for my Guest Blogger Jenny Clenenden. She is technically my pastor’s wife. To me, she is just a friend. Richie and Jenny are people who are the same whether they are speaking from the pulpit, sitting in my home, at a restaurant, or in their home. They are the same, which speaks volumes to who they are as believers and friends.
They have an insatiable love for Jesus and their recent miracle gives people such hope. That, is for a different blog though because I do not want to take away from this message that Jenny wrote for all of you.
Being Tricked into Sinning
Has the devil ever tricked you into sinning, then condemned you afterwards? Unfortunately, the devil is good at that. We have to learn his tricks and resist him – so he will flee!
With God’s help we can abstain from the passions of our flesh which wage war against our soul. You know what I’m talking about…the things we do or the times we don’t listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and we feel bad for going too far in our freedom after the fact. God gives us lots of freedom, but we need to make sure we are not abusing that freedom. Think about the freedoms we have, but may abuse …what we eat or drink, how we spend our time, what we do with our money, how we use our giftings, talents, and calling …
So, how can we find a balance in our freedom and honor everyone in authority over us? How do we find the boundaries in our freedom and have the strength to abstain from going too far, having too much, or using our time and money wisely? Why should we not go past those boundaries and possibly choose to abstain altogether?
Let’s Read 1 Peter 2:11-17
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
1 Peter 2:11-17 ESV
1 Peter 2:11-17 shares we are free (from the Old Testament Law), but in our freedom we need to not go too far. Our conduct should still honor everyone in authority over us.
I love how The Message says it:
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.
Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.
Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.
Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order.
It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society.
Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.
Treat everyone you meet with dignity.
Love your spiritual family.
Respect the government.”
1 Peter 2:11-17 MSG
What are these verses speaking to you?
I pray you would bring conviction to our hearts if we need to change our attitude and actions. Show me how I need to submit to the authority you have given me in my church, in my home, at my workplace, and to the government so I reflect God. I pray for those in authority over me. Bless them and help me honor them. Let the honor and respect I show silence ignorant accusations against You. Help me to represent You well and not abuse the freedoms You have given me. Teach me the boundaries with what I eat or drink, how I spend my time and money, and how I use my talents, giftings, and calling. If I can’t stay in the specific boundaries You give me, show me if I need to abstain from certain freedoms so I don’t excuse Your freedom to do evil. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.