Monday, December 6, 2010

Against the Tide

"He who is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev 22:11)
Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

In order that you may survive these evil days, spare no pains to live holy. As the world becomes filthier and filthier God commands His people to become holier and holier (Rev 22:11). Go up and up on the rungs of the ladder of holiness and never come down.
Those who came out of Egypt perished in the desert because of lust for evil things, idolatry, sexual immorality, testing God and murmuring. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they are written for our instruction, on whom the ends of ages have come" (1 Cor 10:6-11).

There is filth in the media, both electronic and print. The very air has become sin-toxic. Bribery, crookedness, extramarital affairs, love of money and lack of love have become common. Temptations abound. But for every temptation God has provided a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). His grace is sufficient for any situation. God works in us both to will and to do and we are to work with Him as well (Phil 2:12, 13). Let us not blame the circumstances or the society. Joseph lived holy in Egypt. Daniel lived holy in Babylon. Dare to swim against the tide! It's not easy but not impossible.

"Everyone does it!" This is the common excuse. But aren't we "the royal priesthood" (1 Pet 2:9)?
Only the backboneless say "yes" to sin. If we do not conform to the filthy, the world might mock at us. If we embrace filth, we will lose eternal life. Which is important? Let us hold fast our courage which has a great reward.
Our cities are becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin is the fashion. God's destruction of those cities is "an example to those who afterward would live ungodly" (2 Pet 2:6). The challenge: "What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?" (2 Pet 3:11).

The secret of holy living is in the mind: a transformed mind that refuses to be conformed to the standards and the trends of the world (Rom 12:2). Keep the mind ever under the Blood of Jesus. Don't entertain the suggestive thoughts of the tempter. Take refuge under the shade of Almighty. Run to Him and hide in His Name. Absolute safety is there only!
"Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be!"
(Robert Murray M'Cheyne, 1813-1843)

The more you Share...

Reading: Matthew 9:1-8
"He who believes in Me, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water" (Jn 7:38)
God wants us to share the faith in us with others. Sharing increases and improves our faith. "He who waters others will himself be watered" (Prov 11:25). Let us meet in the Bible a few folks who shared their faith with others.

"Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And large numbers of people were brought to the Lord" (Acts 11:24). The faithful sharing of the Gospel by an individual was responsible for an explosive Church growth. Do we see regular additions to our congregations? If not, our lethargy is to be blamed.

Oratory skill is not a must to share our faith with others. All we need to do is to present the Gospel in simple language. Eventhough Paul was a learned man, he never depended on his knowledge and skill. He trusted in the power of God's Word. That was the secret of his successful ministry (2 Cor 2:1-5). The Gospel itself is the power of God to save anyone who believes (Rom 1:16).

Four Friends
"Four men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a mat...Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralysed man, My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:3-5). There's no greater service we can do to our friends than to bring them to Jesus. They cannot make it themselves. They have given up on themselves. No case is too difficult for Jesus. He will be pleased with our faith and concern for others. He will honour our humble efforts. Our faith will be further strengthened and rewarded.

Mummy & Granny
"I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois" (2 Tim 1:5). These are the words of Paul to Timothy. Ladies should be encouraged here. Even if you are not able to go out as much as you desire, there are ample opportunities for you right at home. When you share your faith with your family folks and neighbours, wonderful things will happen. It may not be done in limelight, but your name will be in God's Book of World Records as Eunice and Lois. Church growth in a strong non-Christian Community in and around Sivakasi, a South Indian town known worldwide for making crackers, has been mainly due to women- folk sharing the Gospel with others on one-to-one basis.

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