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Outward appearance or inward brokenness?

The Gospel of Mark chapter 7 - Outward appearance or inward reality, which one matters more to God?

JESUS AND OUTWARD APPEARANCE

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So much sin

My Christian friend, are you discouraged today because though you want so much to be more like Jesus in his character, but still see so much sin in you? Don't be. I find it in me so too.

And if you wonder, 'but what about other "godly" Christians, don't they struggle with sin less?'. No. None of us are sinless. And if we are honest, all of us would have to admit we struggle with sin in one way or another on a daily basis. But little by little as we trust Christ, we will sin less.

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What message are 'you' hearing?

Galatians 3:2
"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?"

What do you believe in? Or rather I should ask, what message have you heard or are still hearing that you now believe in?

Faith in faith is no faith at all. But equally faith in a wrong message is not the faith that will justify or save you.

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"The God of heaven will set up a kingdom"

In Daniel 2:31-45 the prophet talks about the king's dream, the statue of gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay as the different kingdoms which were and were to come.

And then he mentions a rock that struck the statute, which are all the different kingdoms and crushed them to powder which the wind swept away. That Rock became "a huge mountain and filled the whole earth".

Daniel 2:44-45a says,

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Perfection, imperfection, and hope

Psalms 119:96, "To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless."

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What is good, and what is better for Christian singles?

I have met many frustrated, miserable, confused and disappointed Christian singles, including me, in my many years as a Christian. And many times because of bad or not very helpful advice from our Christian friends and leaders.

So let's seek God's wisdom from the Bible on the issue of singleness and marriage. The Apostle Paul says this to the confused believers in Corinth.

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Our "heads held high"

Leviticus 26:11-13 says,
"I will put my dwelling place [tabernacle or presence] among you, and I will not abhor you [because of your sin]. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high."

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"The renewal of your mind"

There are scripts that play at the back of our minds and they talk lies to us.

These scripts make us self-absorbed and preoccupy us with ourselves. They make us unhappy and miserable and empty. You know what I'm talking about.

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Anxieties, humility, God, and Satan

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." (1 Peter 5:6-9)

Humility is not something the world likes or promotes. But a humble person in God's eyes is a picture of a true devotion to God.

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Freedom in Christ

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

Christ has already set us free from our need to measure up to God's, ours, or other people's standard of good or righteousness.

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