Living Free - Apr. 24, 2009

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Today's Scripture

"But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.“ Ephesians 4:20-24 MSG

Thoughts for Today

If we are truly living under the banner of God, his character should be increasingly evident in our lives.

We live in a world that waves a banner of compromise. Compromise can be a good thing—but not when it comes to compromising our integrity, compromising our obedience to God, compromising our devotion to him.

All of us face choices every day. Where do I draw the line on what television shows or movies I will watch? … Do I respond in anger—or in love—to the person who has hurt me? … Will I lie for my boss? … Just how honest should I be with this client about what we can and cannot do for him? … She will be angry if I admit I started that terrible gossip about her. Should I tell the truth and risk losing her friendship?

Each choice we make forms a building block in our character development. Will we choose the world's way … or God's way? Will we live under the banner of compromise … or under the banner of God?

Consider this…

Are you compromising in some area of your life? Compromising your integrity or your commitment to God? Ask God to reveal these areas of compromise and to help you do the right thing—even if it is the difficult thing.

Even though doing what you know is right in God's eyes might seem difficult right now, his way is always the best way. Sometimes, growing in his character requires difficult decisions. The good news is that we don't have to be alone. As we fully commit to Jesus, he will be with us every step of the way—guiding us and enabling us to choose his way, to walk under his banner.

Prayer

Father, help me live a "God-fashioned life." Renew me from the inside out, reproducing your character in me. I know this is a lifetime process, but help me continually move in that direction. Help me not to compromise, but to choose your way in every situation. In Jesus' name …

These thoughts were drawn from…

Knowing God My Father: Applying the Names of God to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This curriculum is designed to help people strengthen their relationship with their heavenly Father by applying His names to their personal life. Along with helping Christians know God better, it can serve as an evangelistic tool by giving a true picture of God to people who may have a distorted view of Him because of an absent or abusive earthly father who did not or does not provide for them. This group can also help men who want to be better fathers. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

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