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The light that Jesus put in our hearts will spotlight the sinful cravings that must be denied

Do as I Do
Exceeding in Righteousness – Part 3

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:20-29

Key Verse: Matthew 5:20

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Our part in living out God’s righteous work in our hearts is to continually say no to the flesh—our human cravings that are sinful. The light that Jesus put in our hearts will spotlight the sinful cravings that must be denied. We no longer will ever enjoy the sinful pleasures of the flesh like we did before Jesus. Caving into temptation will always result in shame and guilt—a godly sorrow over our failure. Our job description is found in the Apostle Paul’s personal testimony: “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Second Peter 2:19 tells us that we are a slave to whatever controls us. As Paul described in his life, we must also make sure that sin does not make us its slave. We must beat our body into submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, we must discipline ourselves, with the help of God’s Spirit, saying “no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12).

The Spirit that lives in us who have asked Jesus into our hearts, motivates us to do this work of self-control. This is not a “salvation by works” plan. It is giving God our best, from our hearts, to stay in step with His Spirit.

Father, I give you my best effort today, to honor you and shine bright in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.