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A New Obligation

Words of Faith Final

A New Obligation
Words of Faith 9-14-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 8
    [12] Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation‑‑but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. [13] For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, [14] because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Here is a question! Does our freedom in Christ leave us "without obligation?" Since we are no longer "leashed" to the flesh, does that mean we are in no way "obliged" or obligated? Not at all. We have an obligation, not under the law of sin and death, but under the law of the Spirit of Life.
    But if we are no longer obligated to the sinful nature, what is our obligation? We are obligated by the Spirit in us to put to death the misdeeds of the body by the power and presence of His Spirit.   
    Though we walk in the power of the Spirit, it is still a decision we must make to put to death the deeds of the flesh. Anything that we can do to remind ourselves (and our flesh) of the presence of Christ in us will help.
    Some people use a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelet as a reminder. And what is the power of asking "WWJD?" It is not just to try and do what Jesus would do, but also to realize that whatever I do or say is something I am forcing Jesus in me to do or say. Wow. That stings.
    I must realize that the movies I go to, He is forced to attend. The images I view, He is forced to view. The gossip I enter into, He is forced to overhear. The truth is that Christians force Jesus to watch and hear many things that they would never bring before Him when in a "church mode."

     As bought and paid for children of God, we are obligated by the Law of the Spirit of Life to make some changes. We are obliged to provide better hospitality to Jesus than our flesh would normally choose.  
     We are obliged to "practice the presence of Christ" in our lives. That means that rather than focusing our awareness of the presence of Christ into compartments of life called "worship" or "church" or "small group," the Spirit of Christ in us calls us to a constant and daily awareness Him.
     This need not be "weird" or contrived, such as talking aloud to Jesus in public places or appearing to "hear" Him when He, in fact, usually does not distract in such ways. Rather, our goal can be to walk through our day deliberately aware of His presence and strength. We can watch for Him in every circumstance and encounter.
    The power and privilege of such deliberate awareness of Christ are immeasurable as He guides and empowers the believer. The obligation of this privilege is also powerful as we give careful consideration to the places we go, the things we do, the words we speak, and the heart's motives.  

     Lord, I am obliged to clean a few things up if You are going to live in me. Give me Your power to remove that which is unclean from my life. Make Your presence apparent to me this day so that all I think, do, and say may honor You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2021 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.