Saturday, August 27, 2011

God, My Heart, and Music - Bob Kauflin

Recently, I've been reading through a book entitled "Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World". It has been so good so far! Very encouraging, assuring, and convicting.
I wanted to share on the topic of music. It has been heavy on my heart for the last couple weeks and I want to share what I've been reading, learning, and studying about it.
I'm just going to quote straight from the chapter "God, My Heart, and Music" written by Bob Kauflin. I'm going to take bits and pieces from each paragraph of the main points that have struck home for me.

"In twenty-first-century America, we love our music. Satellite radio, CDs, streaming Internet, and iPods enable us to live our lives to a constant soundtrack. Walk through any public venue and you'll see dozens of people oblivious to their surroundings, tuned in to whatever's pouring through their ear buds. For many of us, life without music would be unthinkable, undesirable, and unbearable.

Do you ever think about the effect all this music might be having on us? On you? Is it all innocent entertainment? Can we listen to too much music? Could there be consequences we're completely unaware of?

As a professional musician for the past thirty years, and someone who has over forty days of music on my iTunes, I've asked myself these questions more than once. It only makes sense to find out if so much music is a good thing or a bad thing. And if you're a Christian who listens to or makes music in today's culture, you should be asking yourself these questions as well.

What motivates us to like the music we do? Is music entirely neutral? Why does music affect us so deeply? Does the music I listen to affect my thoughts or behaviour in any way? Does it say anything about my relationship with God? Most important, are my music choices consistent with the gospel that has saved me?

If these questions don't seem important, think again. Music can be more dangerous than most of us realize. It has the potential to harden our hearts and weaken our faith. If fact, a wise Christian understands that listening to music without discernment and godly intent reveals a heart willing to flirt with the world.

Without discernment we won't be alert to the effects music might be having on us. Without godly intent we'll be listening to it for the wrong reasons. We'll be failing to fulfill the purpose for which Christ redeemed us. Paul tells us, "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We were ransomed from hell so we could glorify God.
Music is one more way God intends for us to do that.

It's Just Music - or Is It?
Music can be simply defined as an organized combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm. For non-musicians, melody is the part you can whistle, harmony describes the music that supports the melody, and rhythm is the beat.

Those three elements in themselves carry no moral value. There are no "evil" melodies or "false" rhythms. Music alone is incapable of lying to us or commanding us to do wrong. Music by itself is also unable to communicate "truth statements" to us. A melody can't unpack them meaning of Christ's substitutionary atonement, a chord progression can't clearly articulate that God created the world, and no beat can express the meaning of the incarnation.

But music affects our emotions in profound ways.

No, music can't save us. But it can deeply affect us.

The passions music draws out range from noble to base, from simple to complex, from God-glorifying to sensual. That's why people who write advertising jingles, pop songs, and film scores can make a decent living. They know music speaks powerfully to our emotions. Most of us are touched by the music we hear, even when we're unaware of it. In fact, sometimes we realize how music is affecting us only when we notice it's not playing anymore.

Because music can't be handled, smelled, or seen, it tends to get its meaning from the things that surround it. Sometimes those associations are positive, like a song from your wedding or carols on Christmas Eve. But sometimes we associate music with negative, even sinful, things. And if we don't realize what music is "carrying", worldly attitudes and desires can influence and affect our unsuspecting hearts.
I've found music can be a carries of at least three elements: content, context, and culture.

Philippians 4:8 should guide our media choices. That same verse provides God's standards for content in the songs we listen to. It tells us what music should lead us to think about.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil. 4:8)

These biblical standards instantly bring into question much of the music that's currently popular and available to us. When I don't even consider ungodly lyrical content in the songs I listen to, I'm allowing music to seduce me.

It's not uncommon for Christians on Sunday mornings to worship Jesus for His substitutionary death on the cross, then sing songs during the week that exalt the sins He died for. We sing, "My chains are gone, I've been set free," then remain enslaved to lyrics that promote fornication, profanity, anger, godless pleasure, sensuality, and materialism. "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so" (James 3:10). James is right . These things ought not to be so. But when someone expresses the concern about song lyrics, we usually have a ready reply: "I don't even listen to the words. I don't know what they're saying."
My response is, "Why not?" Christians, of all people, should be asking what songs actually mean. We're to "do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). And if we "never" listen to the words attached to music, we're training ourselves to tune out the content of songs and simply allow the music to affect us. That makes it all the more difficult to focus on the truths we sing on Sundays. we tend to be more influenced by the sound, beat, and tempo than the word of Christ we're proclaiming.

Don't misunderstand me. Listening to a song with sexually suggestive lyrics won't cause you to run to the Internet and start downloading pornography. Hearing a song with profanity doesn't mean you'll be peppering your conversations tomorrow with four-letter words. But over time the lyrics to songs can weaken our defenses, blur our discernment, and redirect our affections toward the world. Listening to music is never neutral, because our sinful hearts are involved.

Music with ungodly lyrics can persuade us to love things we wouldn't ordinarily love - specifically the "desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions" (1 John 2:16).
We're foolish to repeatedly subject ourselves to songs whose lyrics could dull our conscience and make us glory in sinful desires rather than the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:14).

Sometimes we pride ourselves in what we can handle, as if exposing ourselves to temptation were a virtue.

If we're concerned about the seductive effect worldly lyrics can have on our souls, we won't be racing close to the edge of sin, seeing how much we can take in before it finally starts affecting us. We won't be tempting ourselves with music that contains profanity, sensuality, rebellion, or other worldly attitudes. We'll want to stay as far from the edge as we can.

Culture isn't the same as worldliness. Our society's cultural makeup has both positive and negative characteristics. We can seek to relate to our culture without it being worldly. But worldliness - self-exalting opposition to God - is present in every culture and can be found in anything associated with the music we listen to: packaging, advertisements, pictures, and web sites, as well as a musical artist's clothing, attitudes, and interviews.

Many of the songs at the top of the charts are filled with ungodly aspects of our culture, stemming from the lives of those who make and market the music. see if you can recognize any of them in your favourite music:
  • independence and rebellion ("I am my own authority");
  • emotionalism ("To feel is to know");
  • temporal narcissism ("Five years ago is ancient history");
  • love of pleasure ("It's all about me");
  • sexual immorality ("Marriage and purity are so yesterday");
  • transience ("Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die").
You might not intentionally and enthusiastically embrace any of these values. But all of them can find their way into our hearts through the music we enjoy.

It's important to note that music and its associations don't create sin in our hearts - they simply reveal what's already there. If I value what I feel over what I know to be true, I'll tend to listen to music that feels good rather than music that's good for me.

At this point, maybe you'd like me to suggest a list of artists or music styles that every Christian should either pursue or avoid. Sorry, but that list doesn't exist. And if it did, I'm not convinced it would be helpful. What appropriate for one person to listen to might be sin for someone else because of the differing associations we make. We rarely hear music in a vacuum. Depending on the state of our hearts, any song we hear is a potential carrier of worldly values and perspectives.
Rather than a list, I offer you two questions.

First, does the music you listen to lead you to love the Saviour more or cause you affections for Christ to diminish?
Second, does your music lead you to value an eternal perspective or influence you to adopt the mindset of this "present evil age"?
Answering these questions honestly is an important step toward making wise decisions about the music you listen to and living a life worthy of the gospel.

If we don't take the time to soberly evaluate our music listening habits, we can become oblivious to the worldly propaganda music carries. We can be led into compromise. Here are some of the signs that you're already there.

You seldom or never use Scripture to evaluate your decisions about music.
Hopefully, you've seen by now that while Scripture may not address specific styles of music, it does address the hearts that are listening. We may assume God gave us music just to make us happy, not holy; He actually gave us music to make us happy and holy.

Music is far too significant a part of our lives for us to assume it won't affect us. Proverbs 14:15 reminds us, "The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps." Discernment in music is simply one part of  the overall discernment we're called to exercise as disciples of Jesus Christ. Unexamined listening habits leave us at the mercy of our own sinful desires and the influence of a godless culture.
Another area Scripture addresses is how our music listening affects those around us. Jesus strongly warned those who caused little ones to sin (Luke 17:1-2). Does your music provide a temptation for new Christians, younger siblings, children, and non-discerning peers? How are you demonstrating love to others through the music you're exposing them to?

Your passion for Christ has waned; your passion for music hasn't.
There can be many explanations for our diminished zeal for God. Sometimes the most obvious reason is that we're feasting regularly at the world's table of delights.
When the music we regularly listen to glories in what should shame us and directs our minds to earthly things, we're being more than unwise. We're exposing ourselves to a message associated with the enemies of the cross - the cross that purchased our forgiveness and freed us from the bondage of our sinful desires.

Music is meant to be a means of bringing glory to God, one more way in which we can "proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9). I want to suggest specific steps to help us use music in a way that benefits our souls and honours the Saviour.

Evaluate your current intake of music.
Areas to consider include how much music you listen to, what types, in what situations and times of day, and for how long. Ask your friends, parents, or a pastor to get their perspective on whether your music listening is characterized by biblical discernment and a desire to please God. Make sure they give you an honest answer. It could be the means God uses to deliver you from the world's grasp.

Delete or throw away music you'll listen to only if you backslide.
When we become Christians, God transforms our hearts. We're no longer those who live "in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind' (Eph. 2:3). Pursuits we once found appealing no longer interest us and at time even repulse us.

Listen to music with others.
Part of the joy music communicates comes from sharing it!

Make music rather than listen to it.
Producing music ourselves frees us from thinking that the joy music provides depends on technology.

Keep track of how much music you buy.
Broaden your musical tastes.
Listen to old music. (hymns)
Intentionally thank God every time you enjoy music.

Music is a gift from God. But God never intends His gifts to replace him as the object of our desire and delight. Music may be able to calm our hurried spirits, encourage our troubled hearts, and strengthen our weary souls, but not like our Saviour can. He has redeemed us by his death, sympathizes with us in our weaknesses, and is able to give us mercy and grace in our time of need (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 4:15-16).
Music, like all of God's gifts, is meant to draw our hearts and attention to His glory, His power, and His love.  

Music is a precious gift, but it makes a terrible god.
By God's grace, may we always know the difference."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Time for Everything

Sitting at the kitchen table, a cup of tea and a piece of toast (with nutella on it of course!), and my Bible open........Lord, teach me, mold me, and forgive me for when I have been hypocritical. Oh, I get so distracted with the things of the world that I put off my personal devotion time with the Lord until later in the day. I think that other things will satisfy me. And sometimes, for the moment, they do. But not eternal satisfaction. I lose interest and then desire more because it wasn't good enough in the beginning.
Spending time with my heavenly Father - talking to Him, asking Him questions, listening to what He has to say - that truly satisfies my soul, and my desire to want more is a good desire, because it's eternal.
When I read the Word of God, I can't help but be amazed each time at the beauty of the words on each page. I can't read a paragraph without finding numerous things in it that encourage me or convict me. It makes me think of Hebrews 4:12 which says, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Scripture is amazing - every word is God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16)
It pierces my soul and reveals my sin. There are hundreds of thousands of phrases that are like a line of music in my heart - there is nothing more beautiful, more precious, than the words of our Lord!
"Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path."
Psalm 119:105

"In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was
God." vs.1
"And the Word became flesh, and
dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the
Father, full of grace and truth." vs.14
John 1:1;14

Lord, you are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds.
And nothing I desire compares with you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Blessings of the Family of God

Church family.
What a blessing they are!
God has been so kind in blessing me with this family!
Last night, we had a new family at our church over for dinner. They have the most adorable baby boy and two very sweet little girls. They have only been to our church service twice, but I feel like I've known them forever. We connected immediately and they already feel like family. What a blessing!
I am so encouraged when I meet another family who is serving the Lord with their whole lives and it just spills out of them when you first speak with them. And to feel like family after only a few hours together - I realize it is because we are family in Christ, and what an encouraging thing that is!
This family has been a huge blessing to my parents mainly because of their passion for God, His Word, and their eagerness to start serving in the church. Now this family is unique. They didn't just "find us one Sunday morning" as they drove past. They've been planning on coming for many months. However, they had to sell everything to move here and had to wait for the government to give permission for them to leave the country. This family was led by God to move from South Africa to Canada - from Canada to British Columbia - from British Columbia to the small town of Chilliwack - for the purpose of making Valley Heights Community Church of Chilliwack their new home church! Now that is just amazing to me! Out of all the little places in the world, the Lord directed them here!
This family had to sell everything from their home in South Africa in order to move to a new country, with a new language and a whole different way of living! God is so gracious and has finally brought this family to our church after many months of waiting and praying, and already, they have been a huge blessing in my life!
My "real" family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents - all live in Ontario, so we rarely get to visit them as they live on the other end of the country. I miss them very much, but still, there is something so precious, so close-knit about the family of God. Fellowshiping with people who are in awe of their Creator and who have sacrificed much to serve Him - this is my family. This is our family. You and I are family in Christ and to know that I have thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world - that is incredible. Oh for that day when we will all live in heaven in the presence of God for eternity together!
Psalm 95
Sing to the LORD a new song,
   for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
   have worked salvation for him.
2 The LORD has made his salvation known
   and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
   and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
   the salvation of our God.

 4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
   burst into jubilant
song with music;
5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
   with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
   shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
   the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
   let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the LORD,
   for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
   and the peoples with equity."

Our God is an Awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
with wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an Awesome God!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wash Me Clean!

"Wash me thoroughly from my
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me....

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within
Do not cast me away from Your
And do not take Your Holy Spirit
from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your
And sustain me with a willing spirit."
Psalm 51: 2-3; 10-12

"When I kept silent about my sin, my
body wasted away
Through my groanings all day long.
For day and night Your hand was
heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as
with the fever heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, "I will confess my
transgressions to the LORD";
And you forgave the guilt of my sin."
Psalm 32:3-5

My heart aches. Lord, why do I continue to sin against You? I have failed You in so many areas of my life. I feel as though my sin is too great to be forgiven. But then...I am reminded of your promise. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all my sin. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

I would never want anyone to think more highly of me than they should. Rather, I would desire them to think more lowly of me because they don't know my heart my what I struggle with inside. There is nothing to hide. There is nothing to lose. I am a sinner saved by grace, but I struggle.

I lack joyful obedience and struggle with a rebellious spirit.
I speak before I think and I lack humility.
Pride runs through every vein in my body and is a daily war to overcome it and replace it.
I want things to go my own way and I want to be my own authority.
I struggle with the need to forgive and to ask for forgiveness.
I am double-faced at times and I try to be someone who I am not.
I don't keep short accounts with others and when my unrepented sin begins to pile up, my heart is weighed down and I give up on any chance of changing.
I feel like I have failed my God-ordained authority. I know that the greatest freedom comes in submitting to that God-given authority.
I want others to think well of me, and yet I know in my heart that it would be hypocritical for me to make believe I am all that I want them to think I am.
A resolution of Jonathan Edwards has stuck with me the last couple years and I have pleaded with the Lord to help make it a reality in my life.

"Resolved never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life."
Oh, if that were only true of me. I want to be resolved, by if this were the last hour of my life, I know that I would fail. I am a wretched sinner saved by the pure mercy of God and there is nothing I could ever have done to be deserving of the love God has for me.
Although I struggle with so much sin and pride in my life, I desire so much to overcome them and to be like Christ.

I desire to obey my parents and God-ordained authority joyfully and to respect their leadership and decisions.
I desire to be humble and to think carefully before I speak.

I don't want to be double-faced, but rather, I want to display the life of Christ through my thoughts, words, and actions.
I desire to keep short accounts with my family and friends and to humble myself and to ask for forgiveness.
I desire to lay down my pride, my sinful choices, my lack of submissiveness for Christ and to give Him my all so that I may serve Him whole-heartedly with a clear conscience.
All of this is impossible without Christ. I will never be perfect here on earth as Christ was, and I will continue to sin. But I have no pleasure in my sin and I know that with God's help, I will be able to overcome my sin and live a God-honouring life.

Romans 6:5-7
"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin for he who has died is freed from sin."

I have taken these 35 reasons from Alex and Brett Harris's blog:

35 reasons not to sin:
1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
4. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
5. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
6. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
7. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
8. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
9. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
10. Because my sin saddens the godly.
11. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
12. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
13. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
14. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
15. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
16. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
17. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
18. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
19. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
20. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
21. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
22. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
23. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
24. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
25. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
26. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
27. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
28. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
29. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
30. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
31. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
32. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
33. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to believe.
34. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because it is worth anything on it's own.
35. Because I promised God He would be Lord of my life.

Believers are dead to sin, Alive to God.
1 Corinthians 7:23  "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men."

How can I thank the One who died for me and has forgiven me of all my sins - past, present, and future. I will serve no other - only Him alone!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living God's Standard

I couldn't hold the tears in.
I couldn't explain what I felt.
Why is this happening and why do I feel like I'm standing alone?
Is there no one like-minded or am I living too radical?
I was struggling with thoughts like these this past weekend and my heart was so heavy with grief, I wasn't sure how to respond in a godly way.
A group of young people from my church had been discussing their media choices, particularly movies and music, with each other and I joined in the middle of the conversation. The first words I heard as I entered the group shocked me and I had to stop my jaw from dropping open. Some of them were discussing, almost bragging, of how they had watched this R-rated movie on a historical war. My first instinct was to say, "Excuse me? Did you just say 'R-rated movie'?" I knew such movies existed, I just never thought I'd hear a group of young people from my church talk about them in a positive way. Instead of speaking up right away, I listened for a while as he gave a couple excuses as to why the movie was OK to watch. The excuses were, "Well, it's a movie on a war in history, therefore, it's like watching a history lesson." or "Well, there was a few swear words, but you couldn't really hear them clearly because they were said as bombs were going off." or "Not all violence is bad. Not all R-rated movies are bad. They can be historical or even made up."
Well, I couldn't believe my ears and hold in my thoughts any longer. I started by saying that I'm going to say this out of love because I care for their souls (Eph. 4:2) - I think that there is nothing God-honouring in anything that has been said. I reminded them that we should only be filling out minds with things that are true, lovely, honourable, right, and pure (Phil. 4:8), so how could we as professing Christians, watch an R-rated movie with a clear conscience? My heart was so burdened and my sorrow only became deeper as I realized that the group of young people started to defend the movie, instead of Scripture, and that they were offended at me.
I didn't want to offend anyone, but I realized if I did, then maybe it meant they were convicted.
Well, I removed myself from the conversation and the group eventually dispersed. I walked and prayed and cried out to God and pleaded with Him to open these blinded eyes and to forgive them. I didn't understand why, I didn't understand how they could do this, but I did understand that God had plan and purpose for allowing me to hear their conversation.
God answered my prayer while I was still praying...
One of the girls who had been standing in the group of teens came over to me and asked me if I was really bothered by the conversation. We hugged and I poured out how I truly felt, and she listened with all patience and kindness.
This whole time, I had been feeling all alone as though I were the only one to stand up for God's truth and live God's standard. But all along, the girls who had been in the group were all right behind me in their convictions and standards. They had just been afraid to speak up, fearing they might damage a friendship. Eventually, three other girls came over and we all talked for a long time about how we should be living our lives set apart for Christ alone and not conforming to the world.
Philippians 1:27 says, "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."

As I shared my burdens with these girls, I realized that they were all burdened by similar things. We sat down together and decided to have a prayer time together. As we did, we all broke down into tears and pleaded with the Lord to save these lost souls, to tie us closer together in Christ-likeness, to break down the walls of pride in our own hearts, to humble us and give us a heart of compassion for those who don't know Him, and to calm our hearts, knowing that He is fully in control.
I have never been more encouraged than that night - praying with a group of young ladies who all share a deep passion for Jesus Christ and His Word, and who desire to live a life that is evident to others by our fruit. We decided to try and be more bold in our convictions and to stand together behind God's Word as the ultimate authority and power to change hearts and minds.
I am so encouraged to know I have like-minded friends and that we are all still growing and learning and can do it together!

Colossians 3:12-17
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Romans 12:2
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Romans 13:14
"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."

1 Corinthians 10:31
"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Galations 5:16-23
 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Philippians 3:7-11; 1 Peter 3:18; Colossians 4:2; Ephesians 2:8-9