Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11.
Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted, and thus degenerating into “lusts, which war against the soul.” Peter’s admonition is a most direct and forcible warning against the use of all stimulants and narcotics. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character.
Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system degrades the higher and nobler faculties….Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers.
The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned. . . . If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold, the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.
Maranatha p. 81
—– Praises…my grandson Ben’s surgical procedure went fine and he is now home with a cast from his waist down. Pray for speedy and full recovery from his broken femur. Linda
—–Irene H had knee surgery yesterday. Please pray for full and speedy recovery and that the rehab will be successful. Linda
—–Please pray for a young couple who are going through great trials. Pray that God will take control of the whole miserable situation. L
—–Please pray for my grand-niece Amanda who has severe adhesions and is in great pain. Rose
A normal part of a child’s development is to think of who they would like to marry when they grow up. I was no exception. Even though I lived in a neighborhood where most of the people were elderly, there was a boy named Gary, who lived several blocks away who used to come to my house and play. Over the years, our friendship deepened until we used to plan that when we grew up, we would marry. His goal was to be an architect and often drew floor plans of what our house would look like. It was a completely normal part of growing up. It was all in innocence.
Our friendship even survived my moving to the other side of town when my mother got married again. We didn’t see each other as often, but we did keep in contact. When he was in his late teens, however, I no longer heard from him. A mutual friend explained the reason. Gary had become acquainted with an older man who led him down the wrong path. He had changed completely. He no longer had the same goals and desires. He dropped out of college and drifted farther and farther from his old self until he hardly seemed like the same person. It was very sad.
Amos asked, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed? How careful we must be in choosing our friends. How discerning we must be in deciding which voice to listen to. How vital to our present and future happiness it is that we follow the path our Great Leader speaks about, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt 7:13-20
Paul advises, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hat said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Cor 6:14-7:1
May we choose our friends well, for they can draw us closer to Jesus or farther away from Him. May we allow our Best Friend to change us into His Image. May we “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure: for if [we] do these things, [we] shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10, 11