In preparation for this Sunday's sermon from Matthew 11.16-19, 25-30, I ran across this quote from one of the early fathers of the Christian faith.??
Cyril of Alexandria??
Stand apart from the inclination to love sin and to love the flesh. Turn to deeds worthy of praise.??
The deeds we perform are a consequence of where we are on the inside. It's like fruit: if the tree is rotten, so is the fruit. So naturally we want our soul to be healthy so that our deeds are healthy. Cyril is talking about more than doing good things, though. Deeds worthy of Christian praise would be a life that is in tune with and in worship of God.
We talk a lot in the Church about getting folk's lives back on track. Well, honestly, it really does start there. A good, healthy Christian life starts with changes. Sometimes we're knocked off our horse by God and a dramatic change takes place, moving us to begin to live better, more faithful lives. Other times, we enter into a process ??? a journey if you will ??? and we find God along the way because we committed to a path and trusted that God would act in that process.
Either way, the Christian life begins with recognizing sin and moving away from a worldly way of life. Cyril's encouragement for us is that we must begin to live in ways that praise would be offered for those actions. Live a life that is honorable, in other words. The hidden (and often not-talked-about) reason for this is what that kind of life can do to you and for you. An honorable life will change you.
Let a life worthy of praise bring blessing, perspective, mercy, and love into your heart. Making the small changes and entering onto the path of Christ-like behavior will open you up to God. Take that path, and may God reveal to you a life of honor and grace.??
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