Friday, February 21, 2014

Are Our Priorities in Order?

If the Lord came at this present moment to take the faithful home, would He take one who has intentionally been putting off doing right? Would He take one who weekly sheds his Christianity as often as he sheds his Sunday clothes? Would He receive the one who has been bored with short periods of worship, has found teaching others a chore, or visiting the sick an imposition? Would He take the one who must be continually prodded into doing what he ought to do?

I'm afraid that many have no idea what it means to serve the Lord. I'm concerned for those who have relegated the Lord to only a small portion of their week. I fear for those who have become so preoccupied with material things that they have neither time nor energy to be concerned about the wretched condition of their souls.

When we decide to serve the Lord, we need to know what is involved. Our obedience to the Lord needs to be without reservation. It must be complete. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." 1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..."

What about you? Do you have your priorities in order? Is serving the Lord your main interest? Your honest answer to these questions may very well determine where you will spend eternity.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Seriousness of Sin

Today, few people take sin seriously. It has become commonplace for comedians to base their jokes and skits on such sins as adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, and other things which should be taken very seriously by those who desire to go to heaven and escape hell.

Have we, the children of God, heard these types of jokes so much that they have become funny to us? The writer of Proverbs said long ago, "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor" (Proverbs 14:8-9). He's saying that the prudent think seriously about the way they should conduct their lives, and those who joke about sin are fools.

Sin isn't funny; its tragic. It's too deadly to joke about. Sin entered the garden of Eden and separated man from God. Problems, sorrow, suffering, and death often come either directly or indirectly as a result of sin.

The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death." If sin is a laughing matter, we should be able to laugh at the grave, don't you think? But one has a very twisted sense of humor if he can stand beside an open grave and laugh. To be eternally separated from God in a burning hell just isn't funny. Neither is sin, which is the cause of this just punishment.

Sin is no joke. Let's remember the terrible consequences of sin when we're tempted to smile at it. Remember, sin is a very short word beginning a very long sentence.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Is Your Chief Concern?

Where is your heart today? Or, perhaps, the question should be "What are you concerned about today?" Are you more concerned about your clothes, car, or home than your neighbors' souls, your children's souls, or your own soul?

Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The all important question, therefore, is, "Where is my treasure?" Jesus in essence declared; "Don't set your heart on worldly materialism; instead, let your interest be in that which lasts forever."

In Jesus' time, just as in ours, great stress was laid on personal apparel. Jesus was showing that we should not be anxious about something the moths will eventually eat. He said in Matthew 6:28-30, "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

We should never put undue value on clothing, or on any other material or worldly thing. Jesus emphasized that we shouldn't worry about earthly things. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

Are you out chasing the advertisers' concept of the great American dream? Or are you laying up treasure in heaven?