How are you at saying “No?”

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
(Titus 2:11-12 (NIV))

How many of us are capable of saying “No” to the ungodliness and worldly passions that constantly bombard us from all sides? How can we live according to God’s Word when all around us is sin and chaos?

We would all like to think that we say “No” to everything ungodly that comes our way, but we are only human. We all need to turn certain areas of our lives over to God and not take them back. Not a single one of us is perfect in our walk, in our faith. We all fail, sometimes miserably. Even when we strive to live upright and godly lives, we don’t always do as we should.

It is by God’s grace that we are not held accountable.

I can imagine that many of you read that and stopped dead in your tracks wondering why I would say that. Let me explain.

Once we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are given grace. All of our previous sins are forgiven. Our slate has been wiped clean. Once we receive grace, we do not become perfect creatures instantly. We still have our old habits and our old sins that the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome. We have made a choice to live godly lives, yet, we will stumble. We will fail to listen and we will do things that will break the very heart of God. What makes the difference at this point is the fact that we have made a commitment to Jesus. If we strive to follow Jesus, then our sins will be forgiven.

It is said that Christians are not perfect, just forgiven. There is so much truth in this. I know that I am far from perfect. I know that I have done many things just in this time period that we call today. Still, I know that I am forgiven. I rest assured on the promises that God has given through His Son, Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

God’s grace, once granted, will continue as long as we strive to do what is righteous in His eyes.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
(Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV))

We are to strive to be like Jesus. We are to strive to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions. We are to strive to be self-controlled. Sometimes we will fail.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:10-11 (NIV))

God never fails. When we fail to say “No,” simply turn to God and repent. He will be there with open arms.

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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