January 13 The Strength to Say No

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 4:6–8

Key verse: Romans 6:19

I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

An inevitable result of walking with the Lord in daily relationship is an increased desire to see your character shaped according to His will. In his book The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges explains,

As unbelievers, we formerly gave ourselves to developing habits of unholiness—what Paul called “ever increasing wickedness” (Romans 6:19). Every time we sinned … we were developing habits of ever-increasing wickedness …

But now, Paul declared, just as we formerly gave ourselves to these wicked habits, so we are to give ourselves to developing habits of holiness … We are to put off our old self—our sinful disposition and habits—and put on the new self, with its character and habits of holiness. To train ourselves in godliness (1 Timothy 4:7) is to discipline and structure our lives so that we develop godly habits …

Though we are to deal with these habits of unholiness, we must not try to do it in our own strength. Breaking sinful habits must be done in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and in dependence upon Him …

Therefore, in dependence on the Holy Spirit, we must systematically work at acquiring the habit of saying no to the sins that so easily entangle us … The more we succeed in saying no to our sinful desires, the easier it becomes to say no.

Dear God, break the bondage of sinful habits and desires in my life. Give me the strength to say no![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 14). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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