Deny Selfish Pleasures (and an excessive Christmas).

Deny selfish pleasures.

Self-indulgence disgraces the Lord, for it was his self-sacrifice that gave you the promise of life. Self-indulgence also discourages other Christians who may be weak in their faith and looking to you as an encourager. Pursue what is right and acknowledge Christ with your unselfish conduct. If you know how to do the right thing and choose not to, your sin is greater because of your knowledge. But if you conquer temptation and give yourself entirely to God, he will work mightily in you. Deny selfish pleasures.

Remember this! In the last days there will be many troubles, In the past we also were foolish. We did not obey, we were wrong, and we were slaves to many things our bodies wanted and enjoyed. We spent our lives doing evil and being jealous. People hated us, and we hated each other. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was shown, he saved us because of his mercy. It was not because of good deeds we did to be right with him. He saved us through the washing that made us new people through the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:3-5

You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures. James 4:2-3

Christian, Christmas is a time for celebration, not acquisition. Before you indulge yourself or your loved ones this year, think of those with too little or none at all. What will you do, give yourself more, or give to those who have nothing? What decision will please your Lord? Do the right thing, deny selfish pleasures. Give, not to earn love, admiration or praise, but to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Give!

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I am a depraved, morally bankrupt wretched sinner through and through. I’ve attended church sporadically most of my life, haven’t spent a minute in seminary and only recently gave the Bible more than a cursory review. I’ve attended exactly one theology class and I dropped out of that. However, in spite of my moral infidelity, I’ve come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned my salvation isn’t the result of what I do, but rather what Jesus has done on my behalf. I didn’t find the Holy Spirit, He found me. And in our relationship I have invited Him to change me, to use me for His purpose, to conquer my will with His own. Praise the Lord, for even an unworthy, chronic sinner like me can experience and give testimony to His glory!
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