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1 Corinthians 5

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
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“The LORD reigns, …Great is the LORD in Zion;
He is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name–He is HOLY…
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool; He is HOLY…
You were to Israel a forgiving God, though You punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain,
for the LORD our God is HOLY.” (from Psalm 99 NIV)

In Your holiness, Lord, You can have nothing to do with sin. Sin is not part of Your nature, nor do You condone it in Your creation. Because of Your holy love for me, a sinner, You chose to make a way to free me of that sin in me that keeps me from You. Through Your sacrifice of Jesus, I am made clean, holy and pure, as You desire for my life to be.

Thank You, too, that You made provision for my frail humanity: Knowing that I’d falter, You offer Your grace, mercy and forgiveness when I confess my sin to You, admitting that what I sometimes do is not in obedience to You. When I confess it, You promise to forgive me and purify me.

You have knit Your people together into one tapestry that You hold up for the world to see the woven image of Your Son, Jesus. Yet, when some of those threads, belonging to You, begin to unravel, become discolored or frayed, the image of Jesus cannot be seen clearly by this world. That’s when You call on one of Your people to gently, lovingly correct me or fellow sisters and brothers.

You desire purity … and that can’t happen when lives are cluttered with compromise, rebellion, and outright wickedness without remorse. Sin in the Body left without being confronted can damage the entire body, just by one person’s example and influence.

Paul wrote, “…you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when one of your Christian companions is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as an acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders [unchurched] do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house” (v 10-11 MSG).

Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for being a holy God. I’m grateful for the way You blend both aspects into the way You handle us, Your children. Teach me Your ways. Give me YOUR eyes to see others as You do, so that when I encounter such brothers or sisters, You will make me a reflection of Your holiness AND mercy in their lives. Make me just like Jesus whatever it takes. Amen.

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