BE YE SEPARATE – 5
As we have acknowledged the many sins and distractions or encumbrances that separate us from our Lord (Heb.12:1), we must lay them aside. These entangle us in the things of the world. Have you ever been entangled in a berry patch? Sometimes it is difficult to get out. Our friends and family can get us caught up in ways that hinder our growth in Christ. 1 Cor.15:33
In writing to Timothy, Paul gives several examples of distractions. 2 Tim.2:4 Can you imagine a soldier leaving a battle to care for his store. Ho, hum! I must stock the shelves. And then go back to the battle. We are in a battle. Our goal is to please the One who enlisted us – Jesus Christ – when we became a Christian. 2 Tim.2:3 Separation sometimes involves hardship but the battle is the Lord’s. 1 Sam.17:47; 2 Chron.20:15
The second example is that of an athlete. 2 Tim.2:5 A marathon runner does not see someone he knows on the sideline and leave to visit for awhile, then continue the race. 1 Cor.9:25,26 As a Christian we have rules and goals and we must not become distracted in order to see our hope accomplished.
The third example is the life of a farmer. 2 Tim.2:6 The farmer does not plant the seed and let it go, then expect to reap a crop. 1 Cor.9:10 Many other tasks are to be performed to harvest a good crop. So it is with the Christian. We cannot expect the act of baptism, although necessary, to get us to heaven and think that now we are “safe” and have nothing else to do.
It is of utmost importance that we do not let distractions take us away from our goal of pleasing our Lord. These distractions can be sin or hindrances to standing firm in the faith. 1 Cor.16:13 In order to stand firm our armor becomes very necessary. A review of this cannot happen too often to impress it upon our minds. Eph.6:13 Truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word Realizing that the Holy Spirit dwells within us will give us the power to stay on track. 1 Jhn.4:4 Living a life of prayer will keep our minds captive. 1 Thess.5:17 (our mindset)
1 Cor.10:5 (keeping our minds captive)
Dedication was very important in the O.T. The altar was dedicated. Num.7:11 In 2 Chron.6 Solomon prayed a prayer of dedication of the temple. 2 Chron.7:1,2 Later when the temple was rebuilt, Ezra together with priests, Levites and the rest of the exiles celebrated the dedication of the temple. Ezra 6:16 Other dedications were held in the O.T. So what happened when something was dedicated to God? It was devoted to a special person (in this case-God) or to a special task. It was set apart. It was consecrated. Jesus attended a Feast of Dedication in Jhn.10:22.
We dedicated our lives to the Lord as we became a Christian. Rom.12:1,2 In some Bible versions this chapter is called Dedicated Service. Truly it is. We offer ourselves to the Lord for we have been bought with a price. 1 Cor.6:20 At our very best, we are as filthy rags. Isa.64:6 But Jesus took upon Himself all of our sins and put His righteousness on us. 2 Cor.5:21 Our dedication needs to be to Jesus as our all in all.
It also takes motivation. We need to act out our dedication. 2 Cor.5:14,15 We have been given so much. How could we sit and do nothing? Jam.1:25 Paul speaks to the Ephesians that they were created for good works even though works do not save us. Our dedication is shown by our good works. Eph.2:10 We are motivated with zeal in doing everything we can for the Lord. Titus 2:14
With our dedication and motivation to serve our Lord, we remain separate from sin, distractions, and things of the world. 2 Cor.6:17,18 With God’s promises we continue to cleanse our lives and our spirits and continue to perfect our lives in holiness to please our Lord in the fear of God. 2 Cor.7:1