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Saturday of Lent 3

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. ó 1 Thessalonians 4:3Ė8

Many Christians spend many hours pining over very specific details about Godís will for their lives that God doesnít provide in His holy Word. As the well-known hymn says, ďMany spend their lives in fretting over trifles and in getting things that have no solid groundĒ (LSB 732, stanza 3). This certainly isnít Godís desire for His children. There is freedom in decisions such as whether to buy a certain house or not, which college to attend, or which pair of pants to wear. Of course, there is ample direction in the Bible for how Christians are to love their neighbors as themselves. Thereís even ample guidance in the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism, which provides points of meditation for pastors, laity, husbands, wives, children, employees, employers, and nearly every vocation imaginable.

Godís word clearly reveals what is virtuous: Loving God and loving the neighbor. With this, mankind is given more than enough for a lifetime of prayer, repentance, struggle, and encouragement without having to delve into those things which are not revealed. It is manís unending game to create works hoped to be pleasing to God, but God is already pleased with us through faith in His Son. Christ is not only our justification and righteousness, He is also our sanctification. In Him, our consciences are freed to strive towards a life in this world lived in service towards those who need our mercy as our hope is in the life of the world to come through the mercy shown towards us.

Dear Heavenly Father, grant us peace through the forgiveness of our sins and remind us of the freedom we have to serve our neighbor as Youíve commanded. Amen.

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