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“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:22-23).
Identity theft is a major and growing problem and as the economy deteriorates and people get more desperate, they are turning to electronic thievery. Identity theft is one of the most serious crimes in the United States – one that can take hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars for victims to clean up. According to the Federal Trade Commission, as many as 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year, including 400,000 children. A person’s identity is valuable to them and to a thief. We should all take care to protect our identity from getting into the wrong hands.
But, as Christians, there is another identity that is more important and more valuable and that is our Christian identity. When we are saved, we are set apart. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) That is my spiritual identity and far more valuable than any other identity a thief could take from me.
Much like “dumpster divers” who sort through trash to find a receipt, check or anything else that would reveal our financial identity, Satan dives into our heart with his intention to steal our spiritual identity, our moral purity and he does it subtly by using a morally corrupt secular world to do his bidding for him to lure us into compromising our spiritual identity.
If you ever wonder about the kind of world we live in just look around and look at the news. Here are just a sample of headlines from my local paper over the past few days: “Judge Charged in Stripper Inquiry,” “Former State Official Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography,” “Most Floridians Okay With Gays and Lesbians Adopting.” The incoming Secretary of the Treasury, the top financial post in the federal government admits that it was an oversight that he did not pay his taxes over a number of years, notwithstanding repeated notices from the IRS and now he going to be in charge of the IRS.
The most dangerous word for Christians is the “C”, word “compromise.” I can handle it. It’s okay to watch an “R” rated movie. After all the story line is great, the acting superb and I can overlook the profanity and close my eyes during the morally impure scenes. It’s okay for me to regularly go to lunch with my secretary. I can make sure that nothing gets out of hand. And, the list could go on and on.
We are twice born creatures trying to live in but stay apart from a once born world. There are traps everywhere we look and the bait is so tantalizing. We live in a world of moral arrogance and it is spiritual adultery to pursue the pleasing values of this world while pledging our love for God.
That which we observe, we soon focus our lives around and then we accept as acceptable behavior and then embrace it and ultimately participate in it. That is the normal progression for moral degeneration and don’t think for a minute that Christians are immune from Satan’s temptations. I am not and neither are you.
So how shall we then live? The wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure (James 3:17), not the wisdom of the world. If we surrender our lives to God and resist the devil, he will run from us. (James 4:7) James best sums it up, saying that we aren’t faithful to God and are in love with the world then we are God’s enemies. (James 4:4)
The writer of Hebrews summed it up pretty well saying “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering” (Hebrews 10:22-23).
Don’t risk losing your spiritual identity for it is the most valuable thing any Christian has, more valuable than anything in this world.
(a thought on life from John Grant)
Questions: How can we keep ourselves pure? Do you spend time watching “R” rated movies or are you indifferent to news articles that oppose the principles set out in the Bible?
About the Author John Grant
Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Joy and Gladness, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog