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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Not a Hint

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place,

Ephesians 4:3,4a

Part of getting better at anything is failing. This is especially true when it comes to cooking. And I’ve cooked up some real clunkers that were so bad that there was no saving them. Even the dog turned her nose up on them.

Early on I got confused and used tablespoons of salt, pepper, and dry mustard instead of teaspoons. That meant I used three-times the amount. Those deviled eggs tasted like they were from the devil himself.

Or the time I burned a large pot of homemade spaghetti sauce. No matter what I did, the whole thing tasted like charcoal. That included the pork, veal, beef, and Italian sausage I had put in the sauce.

When you make a mistake like this, you want to try and save it. But no matter what the YouTube or DIY videos said, or what food bloggers suggested, there was only one thing to do. And that was to dump the whole thing in the trash.

And while I’ve gotten better over time and through practice, there is one thing that I refuse not to do. There’s one part of cooking that I will not try and fake. There is one thing that I just won’t go around – and that’s measuring.

If it calls for a tablespoon, I get out the measuring spoon and carefully fill it up to the top. I always use a measuring cup for flour and sugar when baking.

I’m especially panicky when it comes to vanilla extract. It’s so powerful that one slip and you’ve got something that beats you over the head with vanilla. There is no undo button to press. Once the vanilla extract is in, it’s in. There’s no way to take it out.

The same is true with sin. Sexual immorality, impurity, and greed are very powerful. A little bit changes everything. That’s why there’s not to be any of it within God’s family. The same is true for obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking.

And how much of these things are allowed? What’s the measurement written on the God’s recipe? None. Period. Not a drop. Not a grain. Not a hint. Not a whisper.

This list is very interesting to me because while these things that are absolutely, always forbidden, different uses of the same things aren’t.

  • Sex isn’t forbidden, but sexual immorality is.

  • Talking isn’t forbidden, but foolish talk is.

  • Joking isn’t forbidden, but coarse joking is.

All three of these are good. They were created by God to glorify him and to be a blessing to us. But when contaminated with immorality, foolishness, or coarseness, they lose their beauty and value. They become dirty. Poisoned. No longer good for anything.

The other thing I notice about sex, talking, and joking is that they are all things that require more than one person. God designed sex between one man and one woman in the protection and freedom of marriage. Talking and joking also require at least two people.

These things are not just out of place sometime, but always out of place. There is never a time or place that these things are to be part of God’s people. There is no small amount that will bring any glory to God or good to his people. There is not to be a hint. Not a whiff. It’s always to be zero. Nada. Zilch. 86.

So, in this world not just filled, but overflowing with sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking, what are we to do? We can’t run and hide in a hole in the ground. But we can live through it, in spite of it.

Jesus says that we are in the world, but not off it. While we are in this world, his followers will be hated. He also says that we will need protection from the evil one.[1] And with all this evil and bad people in the world, what does Jesus do?

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

John 17:18

He sends us into this world that’s rotten to the core. That’s filthy beyond anything we can imagine.

While there’s not a hint of it within his people, we’re still going to be exposed to it. His solution is that we are to be kept clean by Jesus himself and his truth[2]. So, we better stay close to Jesus and his truth all the time.

Noodling Questions

  • Describe what it means to be one of God’s holy people.

  • What do you feel when you’re called one of God’s holy people?

  • How successful would you grade yourself at being one of God’s holy people?

[1] John 17:13-16 [2] John 17:17,19

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