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I was watching a TV special the other night, one of those funny ones where they highlight the best of Super Bowl commercials both past and present. As was expected, the old "Mean Joe" Green Coca-Cola commercial won for the best of all time. Beginning to end, the show was filled with some great commercials--funny stuff. Scattered throughout, however, was the normal mixture of trash. Too much flesh here; crude comments there. It made me mad that (again) this is what we have to watch for as we gather around our TV sets this weekend with our families.
With that, I went back to a devotion I read earlier this month from Tony Evans (Dallas pastor and author). He gave some great principles for moral purity. I share his principles below (italics) and my thoughts (regular print). Hope they encourage you this week and the days ahead:
- Anyone can commit immorality. Never, ever believe that you are above the ability to commit a sinful act. Most great moral failures came about as an accident because someone believed they "would never stoop so low." Believe you can do it and you will if you are not kept accountable.
- Past spiritual success does not guarantee future success. What you learned yesterday helps you build for tomorrow, no doubt. But your past makes no guarantees for your future behavior. Live for today. The past is gone and tomorrow may never come.
- Recognize the power of passion. Augustine said, "There is nothing more powerful in bringing down the spirit of a man than the caress of a woman." Don't play with passion because you WILL get burned.
- God will hold you responsible. Every sin is against God. Every failure is a choice you make. Take responsibility for those poor choice. Make corrections...not excuses. God doesn't play when it comes to our failures. But He does offer grace.
- You are not a helpless slave of your passions. Once again, you cannot change your past but you absolutely can determine what happens with your future. Don't make excuses.
- If you have sinned, there is hope. Always. It's never beyond God's grace and forgiveness. You must begin with confession (agreement with God that your behavior is wrong) and follow with repentance (a conscious decision to turn 180 degrees from that behavior and choose to do what's right).
Hope you have a great Super Bowl weekend. Whichever team you choose, hope you enjoy the fellowship of someone this weekend as you enjoy the game. I'll see you back here next week. Remember, we are only on the Ridgeview site from now on.