Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK EIGHT
ORBIT – DAY THIRTY EIGHT
Hello and welcome to another edition of Orbit, the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Whether you’ve been with us from the start, or you’re just joining us now, you’re very welcome! Hopefully this will help you to spend a few minutes with God each day – and either get it off to a good start or a sound conclusion.
BIBLE READING – Romans 13: 11-14
It’s a slightly spicy one today, but no-one ever claimed that the Bible was U-certificate…
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Why should we try to live our lives in the way that God intends for us? It’s an honest question, so challenge yourself to come up with an honest answer.
I know that if I’m honest, When I was growing up I learned to fear God, and his judgement on sin. I got myself believing that God would be furiously angry with me, any time I so much as punched my brother in the arm. I thought that the Christian life was all about not stepping out of line at any moment, so that God would remain happy with my behaviour – and although that might sound slightly ridiculous, I wonder how many of us subconsciously still spend our lives thinking in the same way?
Paul doesn’t say anything of the sort here. He does tell us to “put aside the deeds of darkness”, and to avoid getting drunk or having casual sexual relationships, or even engaging in jealousy. But the reason behind it is not about avoiding God’s wrath at those things. Instead of giving us a hard shove in the back to steer away from the desires of the flesh, he gently pulls us towards a lifestyle that honours God.
Here is the transformation that has taken place in my own understanding of sin over the last few decades: we don’t avoid sin because of the threat of punishment, but rather as a response to the grace that we have already received. Jesus has already dealt with sin – taking it as far as the east is from the west – so choosing to honour him with our lifestyles is about living out our gratitude for his grace.
In the short passage, Paul reminds us that our eternal destination is not the brief life that we experience on Earth. And with that in mind, with the knowledge that Jesus has opened up a way for us to overcome sin and live forever with God, we choose to live his way. Should a Christian avoid getting completely drunk? Absolutely yes. Will God unleash some terrible punishment on them if they do? Absolutely not. This is amazing Grace, and therefore we give it the response that it deserves – making a deliberate choice to prioritise the things of Heaven over the things of Earth.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I thank you for your incredible grace. I thank you for the truth that you have taken my sin “as far as the east is from the west.” I thank you that there is nothing I can do to make you love me more, or less. Please help me to live my life as a response to that grace. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Think about your lifestyle – the way that you live, and the choices that you tend to make. Are there any areas where you know that you’re not completely living God’s way at the moment. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you see those places where your life may not be completely aligned to God’s way, and to show you how to make a change. Perhaps even make one decision today to do something differently as a result. We’re going to be no more prescriptive than that; this is between you and God.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!