Hosea 7:8

  • Jan. 4, 2012
  • #7743

Joni shares that there is no room for moderation when it comes to sin.

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends."

You know, as we head into the New Year, it’s only natural to make resolutions…exercise or eating. You know, a lot of people are talking about doing things in moderation: watching your weight, only eating chocolate or sugar or salt in moderation. Or how about eating junk food in moderation? I have a friend who has made a resolution to enjoy only one frappaccino a week from McDonald’s (not long ago she gave me a sip of that stuff; oh my goodness, I am so sorry she did...all that chocolaty-coffee goodness!). Sure, as Christians we should take care of our bodies, but even enjoying "junk food" in moderation is no sin, right?

But spiritually speaking? That’s another thing. There is absolutely no "moderation" when it comes to allowing "junk" thoughts, bad feelings, or impure actions. In other words, God does not want us to tackle sin in moderation. There’s no half measure, so to speak, when it comes to ridding ourselves of the sins that so easily beset us. I mean, look at Colossians chapter 3. It says, "We must rid ourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips." Did you hear that? The Bible is telling us to rid ourselves of all such things. And "all" is a big word. As we head into this New Year, let's pursue spiritual health by refusing to allow such things even the smallest place in our lives. It really is about seeking to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and our neighbor as ourselves. When it comes to loving God and others, we don’t do it in moderation. It’s all or nothing. 

My pastor, Bob Bjerkaas, preached on this very subject this past Sunday and he said (and I quote him here), “There is no place I can think of in all of scripture where God says to us, ‘If only you would not steal or lie as often; if only you would be less unfaithful to your spouse; if only you would worship false gods only half as much…’ The Bible doesn’t talk that way. God neither asks for nor does he accept half measures. That’s what Hosea 7:8 means when it says that Ephraim is a cake half turned over. God won’t put up with that – "half-baked" obedience is unacceptable to Him. Rather, he tells us to, "Be holy, because I, the Lord your God am holy."  

When I heard our pastor say this, it hit me: I cannot decide to be half holy. I cannot decide that I will keep five commandments, out of the ten… or that I will keep the Ten Commandments only half of the time. God calls me to serve Him with a whole heart, all of the time. Now, of course, you and I are going to fail, but as I head into this New Year with you, I'm encouraged that although I fail, Christ succeeded! And by trusting Him to stand for me, in my place, before a holy God, His death is accepted for mine, and His perfect life is credited to me. Oh my word!  What a merciful gracious God we have! And you know what? As I move forward into 2012, it makes me want to leave behind all my half-baked, half-measured efforts…it makes me definitely not want to live the Christian life in moderation. I know you want to join me in this – so don’t forget to drop by my radio page at joniandfriends.org today to get your copy of our Bible Overview…it’ll be a great resource in helping you leave behind anything half-baked and live moment-by-moment, humbly depending upon the Spirit of Jesus. That’s our goal for 2012, right?? Right!

© Joni and Friends

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