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In the world, but not of it…



Can’t help it…I do love the Midwest <3

I am catching up with a couple of my devotional readings that are too big to lug in a suitcase or carry on. Last night I read several days from one I received for Christmas called, Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner; Harrison House Publishers.

The writing for January 27th is based on Hebrews 12:1. In this passage we are encouraged to lay aside anything, including sin, that is distracting us or inhibiting us from completing the work God has called us to do.

Renner points out in the writing that in the translation from Greek, the writer is pointing out that our environment can be a deterrent to our fulfilling the purposes God has for us.

So not only our sin can set us back, but our environment can as well.

He urges believers to be very intentional in leaving situations that are causing their faith to waiver.

Now this is a very individual thing; thanks be to God!

Depending on the gifts and talents, and the way God has wired us; one believer can be in a situation that strengthens his faith, while another in that same situation would be in danger of being led astray.

It all is a matter of the purpose God has for each individual.

It is up to each of us to determine if our environment is drawing us nearer to Christ or pulling us further away.

In the Hebrews passage there are two forces described at work on our faith: one is the great cloud of witnesses and one is the sins and circumstances (or environment) of distraction and hindrance.

What is spurring you on in your faith or what is hindering you?

These are important questions to ask, because in the end…it is your faith that will matter.

I took some notes on ways to pray for myself and for those I love in regard to holding fast to faith, and wisdom to be in places that nurture that faith:

* Pray for an environment that will keep faith alive and strong

* Pray for open eyes/enlightened minds/tender hearts that will recognize the relationships and places that need to be avoided so that faith will not be negatively affected.

* As these environments, settings and relationships are revealed; pray for strength to make the right choices and courage to make the breaks where they are needed.

* Pray for wisdom to avoid these people and places.

We can not hide from the world, but we must guard our faith and be strengthened daily in our walk so that we can be Christ IN the world.

It takes humility to recognize that I simply do not have the strength to face the temptations of certain situations and courage to avoid them. Yes, Jesus is my strength, but He is also my Shepherd and I need to follow Him.

God promised to provide a way out from all places and relationships that would tempt me away from Him, but I must look for the exit sign and take it.

God bless you as hold fast to faith and as you intercede for others in the Body <3

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