This morning I read a book in the New Testament called 2 Peter and came across this statement in Chapter two verse 19:
“People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” (NIV)
This sentence struck home as it made me reflect on the many masters I have had in my life. Over the course of the last 27 years of my life, I was mastered by anger, fear, jealousy, greed, lust, money, and power. I knew that these masters were very harmful but I turned my back on my Christian beliefs after a personal relationship imploded in 1986. For 27 years, I was everything but a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Fast forward to the past three years. Today I have a loving Christian wife and we have prioritized our lives to work towards serving only one master: Jesus. Here are some specific actions I took to rid myself of destructive masters:
In 2015, Carrie and I found a great local church in New Jersey, led by pastor Christian Andrews. While Christian may not know it, his passion for Christian living and the power of his sermons awoke my spirit and restored me to my faith that I abandoned in 1988. God used Christian to get my life back on the right path. You see, my masters had been whispering in my ear for 25+ years that the pleasures of the flesh were more exciting than a commitment to Christ.
On April 14, 2017, Carrie and I moved to Royal Palm Beach Florida. We found a great church, that is 3 miles from our home called Christ Fellowship. We have made an effort to attend church every Sunday and we are planning to get involved in local groups and outreach programs. You see, my master called “time management” had been whispering in my ear that I didn’t need or have time for Church.
On Nov 13, 2017, I made a commitment that I would no longer make excuses for not starting my day praying and reading the Bible. Every morning since then, I start my day with a Jesus First strategy. Then I invest in my health and go to the gym. Then I can start my day with both spiritual and physical energy. You see, my master called “work” had been whispering in my ear that I didn’t need or have time for investing in my Christianity.
It has been a slow process, and the work to restore my spiritually continues. I never realized just how harmful those other masters were to my entire being. The master (sin) that Jesus told us to avoid negatively influenced the way I viewed people, relationships, my work life, and the things of this world.
Who are your Masters? There is only One master that will give you true peace. I can confirm this truth from my own experience. Worldly masters are hard to defeat but that God that we have the power to overcome the power of sin in our lives.
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16 NIV
Thank you, Joe Pecoraro, my NPHS high school Physics teacher, for sharing the Gospel with me in 1977. That moment changed my life forever. I will always think of you as I reconnect with the spiritual gifts that I received through faith in Christ over 40 years ago.