“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.”
Does this describe you before Christ? It does me. I hate to admit that, but I was all those things. Paul nails it. Do you know why? Because he was the same way. Do you remember Paul (Saul then) before the Damascus road? I am sure Paul was reflecting on his own life before Christ as he wrote these words to Titus.
What a change Jesus makes. We stop being so foolish because we trust His wisdom. We begin to obey out of love for our new Master. We exchange the slave chains of lusts and pleasure for being a bond-slave to Jesus. We lay down malice and envy for love and mercy for others. We love rather than hate. With Christ in our life, our past is laid to rest.
Take this verse and make a list of these “not so nice” qualities. Get your children to give you examples when they or someone they know have acted this way. Ask them why they think the Lord doesn’t want that for us. You may be surprised. They may name you. Now, don’t be offended. It should give you a wake-up call that they are watching all the time.
It is important for your children to know that at salvation Jesus gives them all the power they need to overcome these old, nasty actions. But they have to submit to Him daily, really every second. They may be young, but their flesh is strong. Help them learn how to overcome the desires of the flesh by bathing them in the Word and guiding them into Spirit-filled living.
How are you doing with your flesh today? Left on our own we are doomed. We cannot defeat it. But we don’t have to. The Spirit of the living God dwells within every believer empowering us to conquer the flesh. It is He who loves rather than hates. It is He who chooses to obey rather than disobey. Let Him have all of you today.
Lord, I yield my spirit to Your Spirit right now. I desire to walk in obedience. I will not succumb to the desire of my flesh this day.