18. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (NIV)
It’s not what you claim to be, or what religious ceremonies you honor, nor is it your style of worship that distinguishes you from the demons, or others who say they believe it is what you do when no one is watching. It is the motive behind your deeds. It is not enough to merely have faith nor is it enough to have merely good deeds when others are watching. Now I am not talking about a mistake we all make mistakes (I make a lot) but I am talking about the next level of spiritual maturity. The bible says you are set apart, a royal priest hood, a holy nation so what sets you apart? Not to be harsh but just for discovery ask yourself these hard questions: Is it that I claim to be a christian that makes me one? Is it that twenty dollars I gave to feed the hungry? I can’t answer that for you. But I can say we will all have to have an answer for everything we did and didn’t do one day. But I can say that it is a process of following, of putting off and putting on. It is the motive behind all that you do and don’t do. It is only fitting we start this 30 day challenge with putting off malice. Malice is a noun. It is an intention or evil desire; ill will. In terms of the law it is wrongful intention especially as increasing the guilt of certain offenses. Start today by putting off anything that may have a hidden agenda, or even may have the potential to cause someone else an extra measure of guilt. Put off evil desire, and put on the grace of God toward others.
Grace is a measurement. If the way we see others is filtered through eyes of grace we will look on them with more love, understanding, and compassion. You are going to need grace to get through the next 30 days of this challenge and the rest of your life if you plan on walking in love like Jesus.
1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Why rid yourself of these these things? Because they have evil intent and foolishness all over them!
Let’s pray this today:
Lord we know that on our own we are not good. We ask you the holy spirit to help us put off malice today and reveal any areas where we may have hid malice in our hearts. Help us put on grace. Help us see others with grace. In Jesus name Amen.
May you be blessed and encouraged.
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