And Be Honored

Word of the Lord
2 Thessalonians 3:1 NASB

“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you…”

Imagine with me, for a moment, this scenario: A man and a woman have been married for awhile. When they got married, they took vows to love, honor, and cherish each other, regardless of circumstances beyond their control (such as poverty and illness), and to be completely faithful to each other, forsaking all others, until death separates them.

But, then imagine with me, as well, that one of them broke those vows right from the start, via infidelity and lies to cover up the adultery, and this has continued throughout the course of the marriage. The injured spouse, though, for some time now, has been self-sacrificial in trying to heal the marriage and to get the unfaithful spouse to come clean, to repent, to be faithful, and to be truthful, but to no (or to little) avail. And, then the unfaithful spouse says, “I appreciate your sacrifice.”

Would you say that the unfaithful spouse really appreciates the sacrifice of the faithful spouse? Or, are these just words, with no meaning behind them?

Union with Christ

Well, when we come into union with our Savior, Jesus Christ, by his grace, through faith, the Bible describes that union as likened to the union between a man and a woman in marriage. It is a sacred relationship, and the marriage bed is to be kept pure (undefiled). Jesus also said, in essence, that if someone even looks lustfully at another that he or she is committing adultery in his or her heart, for it is not just men who do this.

Well, the Bible talks much about spiritual adultery, too, and how our relationship with Jesus Christ should also be kept pure (undefiled) and unmixed with the world of sin. It speaks much, as well, to the fact that our minds need to be renewed, and pure, and that the focus of our minds needs to be on Christ and on things above, and not on the things of this earth.

Our minds, as well as our behaviors, need to be in line with God’s Holy Word, and we are to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, no longer living to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh.

To Appreciate

Now, going back to the scenario between the husband and the wife…

If the unfaithful spouse truly appreciates the sacrifices that the faithful spouse is making in order to try to heal the marriage, and to deliver the unfaithful spouse from the pit of hell, then what should that look like?

Well, the word “appreciate” means to value, regard highly, place a high estimate on, esteem, prize, respect, honor and cherish. These are not just words. If we truly value, esteem, highly regard, prize, respect, honor and cherish someone, it should show in how we treat that individual. We would not willfully do what causes that person harm, but we would purposefully do what we know is for the other person’s good. We would not continually engage in what we know will destroy the relationship, but we will do what we know will be honest, healthful, healing, loving, kind, and honorable.

Well, the same applies in our relationships with our Lord God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. We are to honor our relationships with our Lord as we are to honor our relationships with our spouses. We are not to just spout off words of honor, but to truly honor (glorify) our God by what we do, what we think, what we value, and what we esteem. And, we are to give that same honor to God’s Holy Word, and to not just read it, but to do what it says, and to treat the Word of the Lord with the highest of regard, evidenced by how we live our lives day in and day out.

His Sacrifices

But, it goes one step further than that. I believe what the Lord is doing here is paralleling the sacrifices of a faithful spouse, who is trying to bring the unfaithful spouse to repentance, with the sacrifices that our Lord made for us in dying for our sins so that we could go free from slavery to sin and so we could live to Christ and to his righteousness, and enjoy sweet fellowship with our Lord.

If, when we say we believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, that we appreciate what he did for us in giving his life up for our freedom, then that should be reflected in how we live. We should not honor him just with our lips, but with our lives. And, if we truly appreciate his sacrifice, we will not dilute his gospel message to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh, so that we can go on in our sins without guilt.

For, when we claim to have believed in Jesus Christ, it is the same as taking marriage vows. For, to believe actually means “being persuaded,” and to be persuaded means to be swayed, converted, convinced, confident in, and won over to what you say you believe. And, if converted, then you are reborn of the Spirit, and if reborn, then you have died to your old life of living for sin and self and you now, by the Spirit, live to Christ and to his righteousness.

Not All Have Faith
2 Thessalonians 3:2-5 NASB

“…and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”

The unfaithful spouse does not have faith in the marriage relationship or else he or she would not be living in adultery and telling lies to cover it up. Yet, the unfaithful spouse wants to remain married, but for what reason? He or she wants the benefits of marriage, but minus the responsibility, and that is the way it is with many who claim to have faith in Jesus Christ.

They see their relationship with Jesus as one-sided devotion. God does everything for them, but they do nothing. In fact, they feel they are not required to do anything – no repentance, no obedience, no faithfulness (fidelity) and no submission to the authority of Christ and His Word.

They have been fed a bucket full of lies that have convinced them that all they have to do is proclaim faith in Christ and “appreciate” (intellectually or emotionally) his sacrifice for them on a cross, and accept his forgiveness, and now they have eternal life guaranteed, no matter how they live from this moment on. But, this is NOT what the Bible teaches! Please KNOW THIS!

Needed Deliverance

We need deliverance from these perverse and evil people who are spreading these lies and who are living immoral and wicked lives. We need deliverance from their influence over our minds and our behaviors. And, the Lord is completely faithful to deliver us out from under their influence, but we have to do what the Lord commands. And, our hearts need to be directed into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

So many Christians who are “struggling” with sin, i.e. who are giving into it regularly, feeling as though they can’t resist, are believing the lies of Satan and his hordes who are preaching this false grace gospel which requires no repentance and no submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

They are believing the lies that they cannot change, or that they are destined to keep struggling and giving in, but not to worry, because “God’s grace covers it all,” so they say. That is a cheap grace which does not deliver the sinner from his sin but that leaves him floundering in his sin without hope of deliverance, but only a false hope of heaven one day.

Our Responsibility

If we want deliverance from bondage (addiction) to sin, and if we want to be delivered from the influences of evil and perverse people, who are spreading lies, then we need to do what God’s Word says we must do.

It says we must not be in intimate fellowship with those who are the ungodly, or with those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are living ungodly lifestyles, but that we are to come out from among them and to be separate (2 Co. 6:14-18; Rev. 18:1-8; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Thess. 3:6-15).

Even where physical separation is not always completely possible, we can still remove ourselves from their influence by confronting the lies and exposing them for what they are, and by proclaiming the truth in opposition to the lies. We can come out from among them by not allowing their words or their actions to influence us away from God or to feel as though we can continue in willful sin against God without consequence.

The Days are Evil

But, when we do this, we must be prepared for a backlash. We must be prepared to be hated, rejected, mistreated, abused, persecuted, abandoned, falsely accused, and the like. For sin hates righteousness. Evil hates good. So, when we speak the truth in love, and we confront evil for what it is, and we call people to repentance and to obedience to our Lord, we should expect that things may get worse for us, not better.

But, we must be willing, as Jesus was willing, to lay our lives down to see others go free from their addictions to sin. We can’t glaze over the truth of the gospel so as not to offend people, and so as to have them still like us and include us. If we do that, we are not acting in love, but in selfishness, thinking only of ourselves, and not of the eternity of those we claim to love.

The truth of the gospel is that, if we say we are in fellowship with God, but we still walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (wickedness) we are liars, who do not live by the truth. We will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If you walk according to the flesh, you will die in your sins, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then you will have eternal life with God.

[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Jn. 6:35-66; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; & 1 Jn. 1:5-9.]

So, choose today whom you will serve – the flesh? Or, the Spirit?

Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Adelaide A. Pollard / George C. Stebbins

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

Sunday, June 24, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for your blood sacrifice on that cross so that we can be free from our bondage to sin.

6 thoughts on “And Be Honored

  1. That’s a unique perspective, Sue. Thank you for sharing this. I think obedience comes down to belief (you act on what you believe to be true). But the overriding factor is love: we follow what we love the most. This has been wandering around in my head for a while, and some day I plan to post a blog about it – maybe it will clarify for me. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! We live what we truly believe, and we follow after what we truly love. We may profess one thing, but live another, because we don’t truly believe what we say we do, and we don’t truly love who we say we love. It is lip service only, with no real devotion or commitment behind the words.

      Thank you, Kathy, for sharing all of that with me. When you do write about this on your blog, please nudge me so that I don’t miss it, for I would love to read what the Lord teaches you on that subject. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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