Are you discouraged by society’s evils?
The request of the righteous. The sin of society sickens the soul of the saints. We are tired of hearing about crime. Where is virtue? Where is truth? Because we yearn for right, we grieve over the presence of wrong. We pray for God to “cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue” Psalms 12:3. We live in a difficult time. We weep over the corruption in the world, Psalms 73:16. Evil people flaunt their wickedness. They claim victory because they think they have a right to say whatever comes to mind, Psalms 12:4. In spite of their brash claims, however, a man does not own his tongue, Psalms 100:3; I Corinthians 6:19,20. Rather, because of the tongue, he possesses “the power of life and death,” Proverbs 18:21. For he will “give account on the day of judgment for every careless word” he has spoken, Matthew 12:36,37.
So writes Ed Mathews in today’s devotional, based on Psa 12.7.
The least harm that sin can do to you is disastrous for the kingdom of God, for it will cause you to waste your time. You know you are to make the most of your time. You should take advantage of opportunities. Serving the Lord, your family of faith, and your neighbor is your task in the short span you have on earth. O Soul, there is much destruction in sin, and many ways it will destroy. But consider that, if Satan can get to you do nothing or to occupy yourself with trifles, he has neutralized you for doing good. And the failure to do good is a great evil.
What concerns us most? If you look at church bulletins, it’s physical health. They’re chock full of notices of sicknesses, surgeries, and accidents. Where are the notices about spiritual weaknesses, failures to obey the Lord, prayers of repentance, confessions of weakness?
Why are we squeamish about spiritual needs?
Are we pretending to be a house of sinless saints, rather than a hospital for struggling people? Are we not missing something here? Are we failing to be honest about sin in our midst? Are we accommodating to a culture that refuses to acknowledge sin? Have we lost our mission of getting ourselves and others to heaven, so that sin is taken seriously and its influence duly dealt with?
People think they’ll find truth and good things by looking within themselves. Jesus said otherwise. This is what you’ll find.
One writer said one step to happiness is to label our negative feelings. Let’s go one further: one step to the joy of being forgiven is to recognize and confess the evil in our hearts and the sinful practices of the flesh.
Focus question: What things lurk in my life that defile me and prevent me from fellowship with God?
Le Carré wrote of a female character in The Honourable Schoolboy that she “could spot a sin before it was committed.” I know one or two people like that. And I’ve probably been like that once or twice.
I read the devotional yesterday, even though I didn’t get anything posted. And today’s.
In the cause of Christ, profession and practice must go hand in hand. If the mind is twisted and the conscience numbed, nothing worthwhile can be accomplished. The world turns away from the Good News when a believer is no better than an unbeliever.
Ed’s emphasis today is on practicing what we profess to believe, using Tt 1.16 as the leading verse.
A good reminder on my spiritual birthday.
Focus question: Where is the fine line between accepting ourselves with our foibles and weakness and justifying sin in our lives?