Proverbs 23:17

Do not let your heart envy sinners,  But live in the fear of the Lord always.

There have often been times when I regard strangers with a certain awe.  Not because of anything spectacular they might have been doing but more so with what they weren’t doing.  Too often I feel like I live this Christian life in judgment from other Christians.  What I should or shouldn't drink, watch, do, etc.  So sometimes I look across the street at the pagans who live there and I wonder what it's like to be "free" from that judgment.

In a way, I envy their "freedom" to do whatever they want with a clear conscience.  I say "freedom" because we know that sinners aren't really free, just as we know that there is no condemnation under the law for me and my choices to drink this or watch that. But Proverbs tells us here that my heart doesn't need to envy sinners.  More to the point, it says that I don't need to envy those who don't fear the Lord.  

I think that's where our focus needs to lie.  Proverbs also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Fear of the Lord is a big deal in the rest of scripture as well.  So maybe I don't need to focus so much on the judgment from fellow Christians, or the supposed freedom that the sinners have, but on fearing the Lord and living my life in a way that reflects that.

Posted by J.T. Nanney with


Galatians 2:17-3:9

​How do we act when we are with others?  Do we just try to fit in or do we stand up for the truth? Paul doesn’t shy away from correcting Peter. Peter was falling back into following the Law when he was with the Jews. Paul tells him that we are first of all sinners and that it is only through Christ that we are justified and not through the Law. It is not by works (observing the Law) but by faith in the blood of Christ that we are redeemed.            

What an amazing message it is; grace is a gift freely given to us by Christ and he wants us to share this incredible and liberating message with the world. And unlike when we were under the Law, we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Our goal should be to share the love of Christ with others through words and deeds, because when you really think about it, this is a message too great to be hidden!

Posted by Greg Mortimer with

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