Carey Lewis Devotions
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Self-Denial (Part 4: The Myth Of Freedom)
For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
2 Peter 2:18-19 (NKJV)
In this Scripture, Peter warns followers of Jesus about false teachers. He's not talking about the blatant 'bad guys' of the world, of whom we are tempted to think, 'They're going to hell in a hand basket.' But never forget...

God loves them. He 'Desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Timothy 2:4). Even more: 'Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand' (Romans 14:4).

But most importantly, 'The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost' (Luke 19:10), and we're supposed to be following His lead. That's called a love walk--not a sinner's stomp. So don't get confused.

God is talking about false prophets within His church, and many of us have become their duped followers: 'For the time will come when they {us} will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables' (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Therefore, 'Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good' (1 Thessalonians 5:21), including teachers, preachers, and prophets. Because to follow the good ones is to follow Christ and His Word... but to follow the bad ones is to walk a broad path, which becomes a slippery slope spiraling down.

Remember the bad ones will be good talkers, but the self-denial and love of others that Christ commanded will neither be taught nor exampled by them. To follow them is to follow a myth of freedom.

To Be Continued...

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Denial series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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