“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NKJV)
Perhaps the only state worse than wrong doing is wrong being.
We need to guard against becoming comfortable with a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s will and way. This is what the Bible calls “sin.”
Oswald Chambers eloquently describes the peril of a conscience that is no longer troubled by wrong-doing: “One of the penalties of sin is our acceptance of it. It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin.”
Stay close to God through obedience to His scriptures, and through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, and gathering with other members of the family of God for worship and fellowship. If you persist in these things, you will develop a heart that is sensitive to what pleases God — and what does not. This is the sure path to life, peace, and joy. – Luther
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11, NIV)
No pain, no gain.
The book of Hebrews concludes its encouragement to godly discipline by reminding the reader that the practice of discipline — though inconvenient and painful in the moment — produces peace and righteousness in those who persevere in it.
God’s recipe for peace and righteousness confounds “conventional wisdom,” which continuously seeks the short-cut or an “edge.”
The question for you and me is whether we will believe God and submit to His discipline in order to apprehend the peace we desire; or will we spend our limited time on this earth trying to prove Him wrong by seeking peace through other means. – Luther
“But a beautiful palace does not make a great king! Why did your father Josiah reign so long? Because he was just and fair in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He saw to it that justice and help were given the poor and the needy and all went well for him. This is how a man lives close to God.” (Jeremiah 22:15-16, Living Bible)
Reject the notion that possessions make a great person; or are the evidence of God’s favor.
Yes, it is difficult to reject this kind of thinking when it is so prevalent and so prominent in our society; but Jeremiah reminds us that it is the practice of justice and fairness — particularly for the benefit of the least of our neighbors — that pleases God.
It’s not about what you have. It’s about what you are! – Luther