The Connection Between “Denying” and “Looking”
I find it somewhat difficult to “deny myself” something that I really want or really want to do. I’m basically a selfish creature and I want what I want. Perhaps you suffer from the same selfish tendencies. What can help me and you? One thing that can surely help deny something today is to look forward to something tomorrow. I have never been a dieter but I think that one way someone can deny himself a whoopee pie today is to look forward to the way he will fit in his high school jeans for the upcoming reunion. The apostle Paul sees this kind of relationship for the follower of Jesus.
In Titus 2:11-13 we read this: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Note the relationship between denying today and looking for something else tomorrow.
An effective tool against temptation is to look to the future. Though sin might be pleasing for a season of time, that season is fleeting and does not compare to the reward that we shall receive when Jesus returns. If you have nothing to look to, you probably will not deny today. But the gospel gives us a very wonderful hope that we can look to tomorrow to help us deny the works of the flesh today.