Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"Life or Death?"

    Our earthly lives offer to us many choices to either partake of the world's pleasures, or of the pleasures of God.

    "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:24-25).
   "Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures" (Psalm 36:8).   

    Scripture acknowledges the obvious "for a season" enjoyment of sin.  Unbelief and disobedience to God would have no appeal apart from offering some form of fleshly satisfaction.  Death ensues thereafter, however, even in the experience of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Sin keeps us from experiencing the Life of our lives who dwells within our born again spirits.  It also leads along thorny pathways, and may also result in our Heavenly Father's chastening and scourging if we fail to respond to His Spirit's conviction.  For the Christian, this is "death", again in the sense that we have the potential always to know the joy of "life more abundant" promised and given by the Lord Jesus (John 10:10).   Sin hinders such glory, even as the Apostle Paul wrote concerning believers, "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).         

    The pleasures of God often come with death also.  "If ye through the Spirit do mortify (kill) the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13).  Trust and obedience frequently require our determination and the Lord's enabling to put to death the fleshly impulses that lead to sin if not overcome.  When through the Spirit of God we remember and affirm the Truth of God in times of temptation, we kill the imposter that offers momentary pleasure, but "bringeth forth death" in the end (James 1:15).  We either kill or we die.  Again, the choices are ours in our present life.  Our experience largely depends on our understanding and confidence regarding which pleasure offers genuine life, and which offers death.  "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

    Faith and obedience to God proceed from His life, and lead to His life.  Anything other or anything less constitutes death.  Choices will lie before in this day regarding our thoughts, our attitudes, our beliefs, our words, our actions, and our relating to God and man.  We may drink of the living and eternal "river of Thy pleasures", or of  "the pleasures of sin for a season" that offer momentary satisfactions, but lead to death all too soon.  We may choose death, or we may

"Choose life."
(Deuteronomy 30:19)
"To live is Christ."
(Philippians 1:21)                                                                                                                                                      

Weekly Memory Verse
     Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21)

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