SUNDAY 22ND JULY 2018 MORNING PRAYER DEVOTION
SCRIPTURE READING:- 1THESSALONIANS 5:12-24
TOPIC:- ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL
TEXT:- 1THESSALONIANS 5:22.
The word “abstain” has it meaning, to be able to restrain oneself from doing what you enjoying doing. Net dictionary says that abstain is, “to hold oneself back voluntarily, especially from something regarded as improper or unhealthy.” i.e. “to withhold oneself.”
Another definition by Merriam-Webster dictionary is if you “abstain,” you’re consciously and usually with effort choosing to “hold back” from doing something that you would like to do. Abstain meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary is, “not to do something, especially something enjoyable that you think might be of help.” Definition of abstain by the free dictionary is, “to keep oneself from doing, engaging in, or partaking of something.”
With all those above, we can conclusively state that “an abstainer” is someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline. And that is what our today’s topic is all about. See 1Thessalonians 5:22.
But foremost, we must understand this that, we are only commanded to abstain from what looks like evil, i.e. not the evil, (the sin) that we must abstain from alone, but the appearances of evil, (the approaching sins). Those sins must not be mentioned in our lives. And that is the reason today, we are discusing about some of the appearances of evil which we have to abstain from.
Some Of Things To Abstain From:
1. Lust: What we are to abstain from is the lust, and anything that can give way for the sins of fornication and adultery. Note Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:8. Remember that Jesus explained it even better in His sermon on the mount, (note Matthew 5:27-28). For examples: (kissing/romancing; pornography books/films/pictures; sex urge, counseling opposite sex in a secluded place; partying/clubbing; etc). See 1Corinthians 6:18-20.
2. Evil thought: No one can know what is in your mind, i.e. the evil you are thinking, except God alone. So, that evil you are about to execute against your fellow human being, that you are still nourishing in your heart, it’s what today’s topic is saying that you must abstain from. Please! Do away with it. For example (the anger; the fight/quarreling; the gossiping; the backbiting; the malice; the rebelling; etc). Abstain from all, it’s the appearance of evil. See Matthew 15:17-20.
3. Worldly dresses: If there are no differences between you and harlot in the way you dress, then be ready to go to hell. You are the light of the world, you are the one to lighten the world, and not the other way around , i.e. not that the world should change you. The first thing to be seen physically on you when you arrive/approach any place, is the way you dress. So, your dress must not tempt others to sin. (Note what Paul said, so as not to make other people fall, in Romans 14:21; 1Corinthians 8:13). See also 1 Peters 3:3-4.
4. Evil communication: Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. Just as iron sharpens iron, Proverb 27:17, so also, lion begets lions. The company you keep will either marry you or make you. For you to be successful and make it in life, you must be nurtured/trained/mentored by Godly, successful person. See 1Corinthians 15:33; Galatians 6:7-10.
1. I refuse to go to hell, you all appearances of evil in my life, what are you waiting for, disappear now by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. I command every evil thought working against my living holy, wither to the root now by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
3. I have determined to abstain from all appearance of evil henceforth, oh Lord my God, help me to maintain my integrity in You, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Happy Lord’s Day!