Abstain from all appearance of evil.1 Thessalonians 5:22(KJV)
So often as Paul draws his epistles to a close, he gives a list of wise instructions on godly living with the view to developing a Christ-like nature, where the man or woman of God may learn to grow in grace and mature in the faith - in the power of the Holy Spirit. One such instruction, which follows a call to worship the Lord in spirit and truth is to: abstain from all sorts of evil.
To separate ourselves from all sorts of evil does not only refer to worldly activities.. like the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the pursuit of the ungodly works of darkness, but also to refrain from those supposedly Christian activities, which are carried out in the flesh, for the praise of man, the gratification of self - or which fly in the face of the Word of God.
Our worship should not be to indulge in an emotional experience or for personal pleasure, but should be to the glory of God, where our conscience is quickened by His holy righteousness. Our religious activities should not be for the praise of man, or for self-elevation, but so that our heart and mind is nourished and enlivened by His Word.
Our devotion should be to fulfil the will of God and our delight should be to open up our heart to His love. Our choice should be to submit to the leading and guiding on the Holy Spirit in our life and our prayer should be that we are willing vessels to be used by our heavenly Father - for His will and to His glory.
When the man or woman of God seeks to abstain from all appearance of evil, for the right reasons, our times of worship will not only glorify God, but also rejoice our heart. Our devotion will be a willingness to carry out the will of the Father in all we say and do, and our delight will be to know more and more of our heavenly Father so that we may become a vessel through whom He pours out His love and grace to all those we meet.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may abstain from all appearance of evil for the right reasons. May my conscience be quickened by Your righteousness, may I feed on Your word by faith with thanksgiving. May I look away form my self to the beauty of Who You are and open up my heart to Your heart of love and grace - and may I devote my live to do Your will, to the glory of You holy name, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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