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Addictions and Delights

July 18, 2017

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Addictions and Delights

We probably all know someone trying  to lose themselves  in an addiction  of some sort.     People knowingly become addicted  to drugs,  alcohol,  porn,  etc.,  as a means  of escaping the realities  in life.

But,  there are “acceptable” addictions  that people claim  are not only harmless,  but are beneficial  and desirable.     Yet,  people knowingly use  these things  to escape the reality  of reality.     These supposedly harmless “addictions” could include work,  friendship,  food,  and “an open mind”.      Wow!     Those can be “addictions”?

After Jesus suffered,  was crucified,  and resurrected,  He appeared  to His followers  a number of times.     On one occasion,  Jesus made Peter think  about his priorities  (his “addictions”)  in life.     Peter had to humbly figure out  if he was more “addicted” to his own desires  and fears  or to the reality  of the Lord God Almighty’s love  for his life.

Three times  in John 21:15-17,  Jesus asks Peter,  “Simon,  son of John,  do you love Me  more than these?…….      Simon,  son of John,  do you love Me?…….      Simon,  son of John,  do you love Me?”

The questioning embarrassed  and exasperated Peter,  as he recollected  how just a short time before,  he had denied Jesus  three times,  when Jesus was  on trial.

Satan knew  that deep down  Peter valued his life  more than the suffering  of Jesus.     So Satan played  on Peter’s fears  and Peter’s evaluation  of the reality  of God’s love  for him.

Satan knows a lot  about us, too.     He is fully aware  of our “need”  to be more successful  than our peers.     So,  he gets us  to be workaholics,  ignoring family,  God,  and friends.

Satan knows  how we value friendships  in this impersonal world  and will do most anything just  to feel accepted  by others.     That can lead us  away from God  by leaving us  no time  to devote  to God  —  or it can impel us  to follow ungodly advice  and lifestyles  —  all just because  we want a friend.

Satan realizes  our need  for food  and also,  how we might use food  to satisfy other secret longings.     So,  a good thing can  end up harming us  as we over indulge.

And then,  Satan fully knows  our fears  about being labeled as “close minded”,  radical,  too “religious”  or stupid.     Our fears  about being politically incorrect  push us  into going against our conscience  and then dragging around  our guilt  until we finally end up  running away  from God  —  just to escape  the feelings  of guilt.

If there is anything  we love  more than God,  Satan can use that  to manipulate us  and drag us away  from our Lord.

We need  to “delight” ourselves  in the LORD  every day  of our lives.     We need  to find our greatest joy  and pleasure  in living  in the reality  of God’s love  for us.     How can anyone  do that?

First,  we need  to study God’s word enough  to realize  it is eternal truth.    Psalm 119:24 says,  “Thy testimonies also  are my delight;  they are my counselors.”     God’s testimonies  to us  are all  of the lessons  He teaches us  throughout His word.     Those words  have been proven  to be eternal  and they are a trustworthy guide  for our life.

God’s word is filled  with consolations  for every single kind  of problem  we have to face  in this world.     So,  Psalm 94:19 says,  “When my anxious thoughts  multiply within me,  Thy consolations  delight my soul.”      When we go  to God’s word  for consolation,  we will find a true comfort  that leads  and strengthens us  in righteous living.     We don’t have to worry  about being misled  when we feel  down-and-out.

As we look  at all that God has created  in all of its glory  —  the stars,  universe,  tiny atoms,  flowers,  animals,  the list could go on forever  —  we can see  how there is a perfect love  in each  of these creations  of God.     These wondrous creations  are miracles  that form our entire environment  and benefit us  in untold ways.     True scientists know  this is all God’s work  as they enjoy  studying it.    Psalm 111:2   “Great are the works  of the LORD;  they are studied  by all  who delight  in them.”

As we study God’s commandments  and guide  for right living,  we see a loving wisdom  that far surpasses anything  mere humans could come up with  on their own.     That is why  it is vital  for us  to totally “delight”  in studying  the way God wants us  to live.     It will lead  to our salvation  —  which is God’s loving desire  for us.

So,  then we can proclaim  with the psalmist  in Psalm 119:16   “I shall delight  in Thy statutes;  I shall not forget  Thy word.”

And we will acknowledge  the truth  of Psalm 119:92   “If Thy law  had not been my delight,  then  I would have perished  in my affliction.”

Our addictions  in this world  come from our fears  and sinful natures.      Our “delight”  in our LORD  is God’s gift  to us  when we turn  to Him  and love His salvation  for the reality  it is.

Then  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Our Lord  is the most wondrous Teacher  and Friend.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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