In the past three Facts we discussed steps we took to help get Kevin back on track spiritually. We now conclude with two final points on how we sought to prepare Kevin to victoriously win over Satans future attacks:
5. Embrace the absolute necessity of doing life together with a group of vital believers where genuine care and accountability are high values: Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Heb. 10:24, 25; Eph. 4:15, 16) (See Jms. 5:16; Ecc. 4:9-12)
6. Decide that by Gods grace you will never again (1) put alcohol to your lips, and (2) you will never again frequent bars and similar environments. Acknowledge that for you booze and bars are not an option for the rest of your life. "Everything is permissible for me"–but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me–but I will not be mastered by anythingDo not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way (I Cor. 6:12; Pro. 4:14, 15).
Recently I listened at length to an old friend of many years who was once a powerful force for Christ. About twenty years ago he got off track by succumbing to his greed and lust. Now in his later years, hes on his second marriage, regretting he divorced his first wife and also regretting he married his second wife. His adult childrens lives are in chaos. Said he, I wasnt there for them. Translation: I was out whoring around. The depth of sadness in his eyes was truly heartbreaking to behold. He has repented and is walking with the Lord, ministering to men struggling with problems similar to his. But the raw reality is that he is an expended old man living with profound regret.
How true is Proverbs 5:11-14: At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly."
QUESTION: How are you doing at the core? Are you solid or shaky? Is there dry rot or true integrity in the secret crevices of your heart? Are you daily making decisions that indicate you are heading in the right direction that will culminate in a God-honoring finish? If not, what do you need to change today?
PRAYER: Lord, if I am honest, Kevin could be my twin brother in the sense that I too have my Achilles heel spiritually. I repent of my pride and smugness, and acknowledge that without your sustaining grace I am one heartbeat away from disaster. I appropriate your remarkable promise that we are more than conquers through Him who loved us and the One who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world. (Rom. 8:37b, I Jn. 4:4b).
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight HillViews: 48