Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have. Hebrews 13:5, R.S.V.
Achan had fostered covetousness and deception in his heart, until his perceptions of sin had become blunted, and he fell an easy prey to temptation. Those who venture to indulge in a known sin will be more readily overcome the second time. The first transgression opens the door to the tempter, and he gradually breaks down all resistance and takes full possession of the citadel of the soul. Achan had listened to oft-repeated warnings against the sin of covetousness. The law of God, pointed and positive, had forbidden stealing and all deception, but he continued to cherish sin. As he was not detected and openly rebuked, he grew bolder; warnings had less and less effect upon him, until his soul was bound in chains of darkness.
Shame, defeat, and death were brought upon Israel by one man’s sin. That protection which had covered their heads in the time of battle was withdrawn. Various sins that are cherished and practiced by professed Christians bring the frown of God upon the church….
The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of the God of Israel and bring weakness upon the church, a reproach that is not easily wiped away….
Christianity is not to be merely paraded on the Sabbath and displayed in the sanctuary; it is for every day in the week and for every place. Its claims must be recognized and obeyed in the workshop, at home, and in business transactions with brethren and with the world….
It is better to die than to sin; better to want than to defraud; better to hunger than to lie. Let all who are tempted meet Satan with the words: “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee”
Conflict and Courage p.119
—–Please pray for Eric and all of the other policemen in this time of unrest and violence. Ron
—–Please pray for B who has a job possibility that if it is the Lord’s will, he will get it. L
In the 1980’s, my mother’s friends, Mary Esther and Ray, were going to drive from Florida to Michigan to visit their relatives and asked my mother if she’d like to ride alone. My mother was happy for the chance to see her sister. Auntie Joyce was also happy that my mother was coming to stay for a week or two. The two women had a wonderful visit together. They fed the ducks in a nearby pond, went to the park, talked over “old times,” and just enjoyed being together. While Joyce was showing her flower garden to my mother, she noticed a pansy growing through a crack in the sidewalk. Instead of taking a picture of the pansies in the garden, my mother took a picture of this little pansy who brought beauty in spite of its hard surroundings.
The harsh environment where that little, yellow pansy grew, caused it to stand out, to be recognized as something special. Just as that pansy grew beautiful amidst difficult circumstances, so our Great Creator bids us to “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, [ shining] as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life” for all around to see. Phil 2:15,16 We must, before this harsh and evil world, develop a character like that of our Saviour, Who tells us, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16
In order to shine brightly, our Great Redeemer allows unpleasant circumstances to “polish” us. If we will cooperate with His polishing process, we will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of [our] Father.” Matt 13:43 Polishing is not always pleasant and it takes a struggle to yield to the Master’s Hand, yet it is necessary. Paul speaks of this process,” My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Heb 12:5-15
May we allow Jesus to “will and to do of His good pleasure” that we may reflect His image is my prayer. Phil 2:13