17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Paul starts out this section by asking the people not to walk as the Gentiles walk. He describes this as walking in the vanity of their minds.
I remember walking like that. I was raised in the church. My mom was the Church secretary for the First Congregational Church in West Boylston Massachusetts for most of my formative years. She was also the board secretary. So we were at every church function that ever happened. I was in the choir, I was an acolyte, I got confirmed and everything seemed to be going the right direction. But in my senior year in high school I started to experiment with drugs. Back in those days we did LSD on sugar cubes. That’s how I started. I got in with a great bunch of guys and we were there hippies of the senior class. This was in 1969-1970. We were true flower children
During the summer of 1970 high was the only word I knew – LSD, pot, speed, booze.. My mind was so messed up. I drugged up shortly after I started college, I got mononucleosis. I missed five weeks of college, which meant five weeks of chemistry and physics labs. I had no desire to go back even though they offered to let me start over again on full scholarship. I was a smart kid. I turned it down and took a job in the factory where my mom was then working. But high remained the main word. It was definitely the vanity of my mind. I thought I was doing so good and I was so messed up. I was so thankful for that day that I accepted Jesus Christ in my life and got turned around. What was your experience before you knew Jesus?
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
There’s no doubt that my understanding was darkened. I was so alienated from the life of God. I had many people try to get me to church but they had no success. I classified myself as an agnostic. I believed there was a higher power but I didn’t think it was the God they were talking about. And that was the ignorance that was in me my heart. I was definitely blinded. I had been raised in the Bible and worked in the church, even assisting in Sunday School, but it did not follow me because I became blind to it.
I was no doubt past feeling. My heart was cold and unyielding. I had a few girlfriends but most of them were just passing girls who satisfied my lust. I never developed any close relationships that lasted. It was all fun and games and it was for my pleasure. I was definitely greedy in that area. It was not a fun way to live when I look back on it, but it sure seemed fun then.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
But that’s not my Jesus. And I have learned Him over the past 40 years and He has been so good to me. Two years after I got saved, He brought me to my wife and we’ve been married for 38 years. We have had our struggles and I have had my struggles with my past but she has stuck by my side all the way through and I haven’t always deserved it. He gave me an angel and I didn’t deserve that either. He gave me three daughters and five grandchildren. He has blessed my life abundantly.
I have also learned that he wants me in Ministry and right now this blog and my Palms and my other blog are my Ministry. I am restricted at home with cancer so I can’t go out and do the evangelistic work that I love to do. My church is losing our pastor (he’s retiring), and I am usually the fill in guy. Some would like me to be the pastor. At this time I can’t go to my church because there’s mold in the building and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Please pray for my church.
I have learned that Christ wants me to love all those that he puts in my path and all those that I can reach. And I have to do a better job doing that. I’ve learned of His peace and His undying love for me.
I’ve also learned to be humble, and that I must keep my pride suppressed. Ny wife is my helper there. I have learned to praise Him in any situation at any time of day or night. I’ve learned that He is worthy of every word of Praise that I can lift up to His name. I have learned that the world will reject Him and will reject me, but that cannot keep me from lifting up His name at every opportunity. That is what I’ve learned about Christ and there is so much more. It is a much better life and I plan to live it as long as I’m on this Earth, which will be a long long time