Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 21 August 21:
Psalm 97:10 — O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
Hate has motivated many people to kill. Love should motivate Christians to kill too – “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) To love God and others, we must hate and “put to death” the sin that is abhorrent to God; that separates people eternally from God; that drove Jesus, our Lord and Savior, to the cross; that kills and destroys; and that wars against love in this broken world. To take sin lightly is to love little, minimalizing the Passion of Christ and disregarding the plight of those trapped in sin. To love our enemies as Jesus commanded, we must go to battle, not against them but against the sin that is enslaving and killing them, being very careful not to get wounded by sin ourselves — “And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Job 1:22-23) “Be angry and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
How you feel about sin is based on how much you really love God and others. Do you really hate sin?
- Proverbs 8:13 — The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
- Amos 5:15 — Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
- Proverbs 6:16-19 — There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
- Romans 12:9 — Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
- Psalm 45:7 — You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
- Revelation 2:6 — Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
- 1 John 3:8 — Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
- Psalm 26:5 — I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
- Ephesians 5:3-21 — But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 21 August 21: Today, consider your attitude towards sin, and pray that God will give you a heart that sees sin the way He sees it.