WORD FOR TODAY

Philippians 2:14-15(WEB)
“Do all things without murmurings and disputes,that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world.”

THE DANGERS OF IMMORALITY

SEVEN DANGERS (PART VII)

THE DANGERS OF IMMORALITY

“Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin.”- James 1: 14-15

This is the final piece of the ‘Seven Dangers’ series and it is captioned ‘The Dangers of Immorality’.
Through the previous six pieces, we learnt about the clear and present dangers of idleness, unforgiveness, idolatry, ignorance, ingratitude, and intolerance. We also related how these attributes are inter-related, as one may lead to another; also we have seen through the previous write-ups how believers have neglected these practices and how they have now become impediments in the lives of so many believers.

Immorality can be termed as an act that violates some moral (honest, decent, proper or right) lawsnorms or standards. We can also define immorality as an evil or wicked conduct or character trait. Immorality is simply a sinful display (it does not matter if it is concealed to humans or not, because God sees all things).

Immoral acts are usually fuelled by inordinate lusts, emotions and passions. The perpetrator always thinks he/she can control it, but before long it gets out of hand and they lose control and begin to wonder what happened or where did the plan go wrong? My friend, it was wrong from the onset. The story of Samson (Judges 13-16) readily comes to mind; he honestly thought he was in control of the situation until Delilah’s persistence got the better of him and he let out his secret which in turn led to his fall. Such passions and emotions are still destroying Christian lives today. Just as Samson was left dejected, so are many believers today.

One writer correctly stated that immorality begins in the mind and then proceeds to the imagination, and thereafter to our actions. In other words, when we allow our thoughts to dwell too long on inappropriate desires, we will begin to identify with the object of such desires and then physical consent will follow. We must as a matter of all seriousness, control our thoughts; refusal to do so will definitely lead to some sort of immoral acts which is dangerous.

It is no wonder we admonished through the word of God to ‘keep watch over your heart with all care; so you will have life’-Proverbs 4:23 (RSV). The mind is an awesome gift from God, and it should be used to draw us closer to Him through prayer and godly reflection.

 

Lustful thinking and sexual immorality are two vital areas that have taken stronghold on mankind’s activities in today’s world. Even believers are not spared, as they do not regard ‘visual lust’ to be sinful. Consider this for a moment- Christ stated in Mathew 5:28: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Does the statement strike a chord in your heart? If it does, you need to ask the Holy Spirit for help to overcome this clear and present danger because the end is disastrous.

 

There is an old and true saying: “Sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs you more than you are willing to pay.”  I got this from (http://www1.cbn.com/escaping-sexual-sin-consider-the-consequences).

Do not be selfish, consider your relationship with God as well as your relationship with others. When we get into sin, it affects our relationship with God and with our fellow humans. Are you really willing to risk it all for a few minutes (or hours, or even days) pleasure?

It is God’s will for us to rise above temptations and walk in righteousness, but we must first of all be humble through submission to the wisdom that God gives to us via His word. One important way to can conquer temptation is by pushing aside our selfish desires and giving serious consideration to how our behaviour would affect our walk with the Lord, damage the cause of Christ, and destroy our families and the lives of others.

I hope this post (and indeed the series) has blessed you. Stay blessed and pass it on.

Further scripture reading:
Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthian 10:8; Romans 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8; Psalm 119:9; Proverbs 4:23–26; John 8:11; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 6:18–20; 10:13; Ephesians 6:17; Timothy 2:22; Galatians 6:7-8.
 

 

 

Seven Dangers (Part VI)

The dangers of intolerance 

As we continue the ‘Seven Dangers’ series, the dangers of intolerance is what our spotlight settles on currently. We have covered five other dangers namely, the dangers of idleness, unforgiveness, idolatry, ignorance, and that of ingratitude. As stated in the first of the series, indulging in one may lead a believer into the other as most of them are inter-twined, and they act as stumbling blocks in the lives of believers because much attention is not paid to them.

Intolerance could be defined simply as the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviours that differ from one’s own. In other words it is the refusal to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one’s own.

Intolerance is the direct opposite of tolerance. Tolerance is never mentioned in the Bible as a virtue, except in the sense of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering (Ephesians 4:2). When we speak of tolerance, what comes to mind these days is quite different from what the bible instructs. In the scripture what tolerance means is respecting people (including their ideologies and behaviours) and treating them kindly even when we believe they are wrong (Luke 6:27-36). We are instructed to show kindness and mercy because these traits are Godly and they glorify the name of our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16); but it is funny to note that the world encourages people to tolerate all sorts of behaviours and ideologies except biblical truth. Don’t you just wonder why authentic Christian doctrines are ferociously attacked or played down? People just do not want to hear the gospel truth.

There is so much wickedness and malice in the world today that people show little mercy or toleration of the wrongs done them by others; yet these same people expect leniency when they err. We are living in dangerous times and we are strongly encouraged through scriptures to make the best use of time and understand what the will of God is concerning us (Eph. 5:15-17). The attitude of being intolerant did not just come up at once, it gradually snuck up on believers through increased interactions with the world at the expense of the word. Christians began to react to situations like non-believers and instead of considering what the will of God was concerning an issue, they just simply took the position that best suited them or the people surrounding them. Slowly and steadily, instead of exhibiting kindness, Christians began to show wickedness; and instead of compassion, they exhibited malice; the list is endless.

One of the most amazing twists of this age is the deception that we all must be tolerant of each other’s beliefs, ideologies and behaviours. This deception has brought us to where we now find ourselves; a situation where the church is being forced to act against the tenets of God and please humanity, all in the name of tolerance. Christians are being forced to condone homosexuality, corruption, divorce, Abortion, infidelity and other ugly acts because we found ourselves yoked together with unbelievers. We must tread with utmost caution if we must defeat this terrible trend.

This is my parting shot, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”- Gal. 6:7-10

 

Attitude of Gratitude

Lord, sometimes I forget: I have SO much to be grateful for. Thank You for AIR to breathe, clean water to drink. Thank You for the people in front of me—my family and dear friends who have stood beside me through my darkest days. Thank You living inside me and for using me to bring light into the world. Help me maintain an attitude of gratitude, God. Amen!

SEVEN DANGERS PART V

Dangers Of Ingratitude

In continuation of the seven dangers series, we delve into the dangers of ingratitude. This is one common attitude displayed by humans (Christians and non-Christians alike). It seems to me that as humans, as we grow in strength, wealth, numbers, stature, wisdom, knowledge etc, we also grow in pride, egotism, negligence and ingratitude.

Ingratitude simply refers to an attitude of unthankfulness, lack of appreciation or forgetting to gives for an offer/gift received. This attitude is frowned upon by God and in several places in the scriptures, we are enjoined to be thankful first and foremost to the Almighty God for His goodness towards mankind.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  -I Thess. 5:18

There is a maxim that says that ‘those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’. It is for this reason that we have identified these dangers and highlight them in order for Christians to avoid such pitfalls as ingratitude.

When we do not appreciate what we have it leads to ingratitude; also when we fail to express our gratitude, we fall into the sin of ingratitude.

The world today is filled with grumblers, complainers and people who take things they have received from God for granted. They focus more on their immediate wants and needs, not realising that God has provided for them, things they did not even ask Him for.

In today’s fast-paced world, most people seem to not have time for gratitude.  Work, family pressures, varying appointments among many other activities have taken our priorities and there seems to be no time or space to be thankful (especially to our Creator).

Though we enjoy countless blessings such as shelter, food, health, family and many others, yet we take these things for granted. We easily remember the problems, economic crisis, difficulties, needs and wants that we forget to be thankful for the things we enjoy so freely.  Compare with Psalm 68:19 which says,’ Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation’, and we can see there is a problem somewhere.

It is amazing to note that it is those who do not have a working relationship with the Almighty that thank Him the most. It has been like that since time immemorial. (Read Luke 17:12-19 for confirmation). We have allowed ourselves to be carried away by the world’s system that we have forgotten that we (Christians) are in this world but not of this world (John 8:23).

As bothersome as this situation may be, personally I am not surprised because the bible pre-informed about these things. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-4, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, UNTHANKFUL, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”. These are the days but must we be the ones who will portray the negative aspects of the last days?

Showing gratitude is a sign of meekness not weakness. We incur God’s wrath when we show ingratitude.

I conclude with this interesting piece I got from Pastor Andrew Pappoe’s Facebook page: ‘Many years ago, as the story is told, a devout king was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. He prepared a large banquet for them. When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king’s table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room. The guests were furious and asked permission to seize the tramp and tear him limb from limb for his ingratitude. The king replied, “That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does three times each day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you area satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God, or expressing one word of thanks to Him.’

Let those who have ears, hear what the spirit is saying.

Scriptures for further study:
Psalm 100:4; Romans 1:21; 1 Chronicles 29:10-14; Psalm 92: 1-2; 1Timothy 6:17;

Epilogue
‘Gratitude is the antibiotic of the soul to cure a variety of the world’s ills. It cuts the bark of our hard hearts and nourishes the very spot where we are grafted into Jesus Christ Himself, and restores a sense of closeness and intimacy with God.’- Sharon Jayne (http://sharonjaynes.com/the-danger-of-ingratitude-2)

 

 

 

Deep Thoughts

‘Instructions are the highways for high flyers’; this profound statement was made by a preacher in a gathering in 2010 and it has remained stuck to my memory ever since.

‘A life without instruction is heading for destruction.’ This striking post was taken from the page a dear friend of my wife on facebook, I had to comment on her post (something I rarely do). It took my mind straight to the preacher’s statement above. It also triggered some deep thinking within me throughout that day. I had the following impression in my mind as a result.

No matter how skilful or experienced an aircraft pilot is, he/she needs instructions from air traffic controllers to ensure smooth take-off and landing, to direct them around unfavourable weather conditions and keep them at safe distances from other aircrafts when they are air-borne, as well as ensuring smooth flow of traffic with minimal delays around the airport.

The decisions every pilot takes depend largely on information got from the control tower; this in turn leads to the success (or otherwise) of the pilot’s career as well as saving lives and properties. Just imagine for a minute, a pilot who neglects the instructions of the air traffic controllers.

As we navigate through existence, we all need instructions to arrive at any given destination and at any point in time. Those to heed instructions most likely arrive at their ‘given’ destinations with minimal delays than those who caution to the wind. There are so many things to say but so little time and space to put them out, so I will just leave it here and provoke your own thought too.

I know for a fact that ‘Instructions are the highways for high flyers’ and ‘a life without instruction is definitely heading for destruction.’