Words of Faith 1-21-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Peter 2
 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Eugene Peterson, in The Message, renders our verse this way: So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy, and hurtful talk. That says it well.
But precisely what is it we are to clean out of our house as we follow Jesus?
Malice means evil intentions. When our purposes do not match those of God, we may have malice in our hearts. When we do something that appears to be right, but we have ulterior motives. When we pay a compliment to gain favor, give a gift with the intention to control, or speak a blessing with the hope to influence, we may have malice.
Deceit means anything hidden or crafty, done with stealth or in secret. Anything that cannot be done in the open is deceit. Anything we hide from others is deceit. Even parts of our life deemed to be "private" that are really just sin, are deceit.
Hypocrisy comes from the Greek word for drama or actor. In Greek drama, the actors wore masks to portray the character in the play. Jesus had scathing words for people who wore religious masks. We are not to act the "religious" role and then live differently when off of the stage of church.
Envy means to feel ill will toward someone because of jealousy. It is a feeling that can sneak up on us. It may come disguised in a variety of spiritual sounding expressions.
Slander means any evil speaking. It does not even have to be false. Even if we feel right or righteous about our cutting words, when we speak badly about another person, gossip behind their back, or just talk about them out of their hearing, we break a basic principle that Jesus set up. If we have a problem with someone, we should always speak first to that person.
Well, how about it? Now be honest. As you look in the mirror of God's Word, do you see a person that you like? No? Then, clean house.
Do you see bad feelings toward someone? Bad blood between you and another? Bad thoughts? Clean house. Is there anything you have said or done in secret? Anything about which you have not been entirely in the open? Anything that you have had to whisper about because to say it aloud would be a shame? Clean house.
Have you been wearing a mask? Acting like one sort of person with one group but entirely different with another? Speaking out of two sides of your mouth? Clean house. Do you have places where you feel like you are on stage? Clean house.
Have you let jealousy get out of hand to where you actually dislike people that you envy? Clean house. Have you spoken badly about anyone? Anyone? Clean house.
Make a clean sweep. Need some help? I can recommend an excellent cleaning service.
Lord, God. Sweep clean the corners of my soul by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Cleanse me from anything that is not an honor to You. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, 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, 2010 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.
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