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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Ongoing Struggle

This is what we're called to, this new life in Jesus.

Therefore let us seek above all to root out the vices and plant the virtues; let us root out pride and sow humility, let us pluck up wrath and lay down patience, let us prune envy and plant good-will.

  - Columbanus, Sermon II (Irish, 7th century)

...put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

  - Ephesians 4.24

The Christian life is an ongoing struggle to shed the old ways of sin and self, and to be clothed about with the new ways of Jesus and His righteousness.

It is not an easy row to hoe.

So much militates against us, not the least of which, the many distractions and diversions that rush at us daily from work, family, pop culture, the Internet, and who knows what else. We hardly have time even to think about growing in the Lord, much less to invest any real energy in doing so.

But this is what we're called to, this new life in Jesus. If we do not take it up, or if we take it up merely half-heartedly, then we must seriously consider whether or not we really know the Lord at all.

Jesus has said, "Follow me." He walked the path of holiness and righteousness (1 Jn. 2.1-6). Paul wrote, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 11.1). His instruction is that we should bring holiness to completion in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7.1). John calls us to walk the path of holiness, in the footsteps of Jesus (1 Jn. 2.1-6), expecting to see Him one day face to face, and preparing each day as if this might be the day (1 Jn. 3.1-3). And Peter calls us to walk in holiness and godliness, as though the Lord were coming again in the next moment (2 Pet. 3.11-13).

Given such testimony, how can we be anything other than earnest in the pursuit of the Lord, devoted to laying aside every sin and weight of deceit, and pressing on in our race toward maturity, our eyes fixed squarely on Jesus (Heb. 12.1, 2)?

But it just doesn't happen. Not like we might expect anyway, given the millions in this country who claim to be "born again."

Are you one of those? Claiming to be born again and certain that you're going to heaven when you die, but unconcerned to fight the good fight of holiness and righteousness in this life?

Jesus calls us to follow Him, and He walked the path of righteousness, service, witness, self-denial, and death. If we do not follow Him on this path, dear friends, how can we claim to be following Him at all?

T. M. Moore, Principal

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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