The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

12/06/2013

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A Level Playing Field


"Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed which amounts to idolatry....... But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, ,malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices and put on the new self...." (Col.3:5, 8-9).

When we were very young and played games, there were rules for the game that we adhered to, even if we made them ourselves. When we later played on a more organized level, there were officials like umpires and referees that insured that certain rules were obeyed. All of these things leveled the playing field... By this I mean that everyone competed by the same set of rules. When we decide to follow the Lord, it is imperative to acknowledge that He wants everything we have. He doesn't just want part of, but the whole package. He accepts the good parts and the warts... That competitive part of us sometimes sees life behavior through oddly tinted glasses. We see the sins of others like the Pharisee of Luke 18.... "God, I thank you that I am not like the other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector" (V 11). We may look at a particular weakness in others and try to justify our own behavior because we don't have that one, but one that we might consider less offensive. The apostle Paul had a way of leveling the playing field. He did so by compiling lists of bad behavior like the one above. So that we wouldn't be tempted to say, "O, I don't struggle with that one, " he says: "Well, how about anger, lying, or cheating?" Just as he made list of good behavior, (Gal.5:22-23) he also lets us know about all the things that God did not want us to be involved in. We may have once walked in some of these things freely, but need to understand that God doesn't tolerate it any longer. The lists are there just like the umpires and referees... The playing field is level, and we must all live according to the rules. I know that people who are much more godly than than I am, like Paul himself, struggle with sin. He died to that part of himself as we must do, and realize that following Jesus is a better way to live and that sin should not be a part of our lives.. The playing field is level for all of us....

Have a great day... Make a difference... Love mark Phil.4:11

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