Friday, March 20, 2009

Student Devotions - We Have A Problem

Good morningg students,

I hope everyone survived the week. We are going to have to have a little chat about honesty and deception when I get back. It appears that some of you were abusing the privilege of your computers and others stole candy from the Merit Store.

My conern is that some of our youth do not truly understand the difference between right and wrong. For some of them wrong is only when you get caught so that if you do not get caught there is no guilt associated with doing wrong. It is like the mentality of most Quebec drivers. They are willing to go 10, 20 or 30 km/h over the speed limit without feeling guilty as long as no police are around. However, as soon as the police are there to enforce the law these drivers slow down to the speed limit. If not then the police will provide the guilt in the form of a ticket.

It works this same way with some of our youth. They know the rules, as in what is right and what is wrong but a lot of these rules are not followed when the parents are absent. They feel no guilt in ignoring the rules. However, when parents are around they back off of their behaviour and follow the rules. If not then the parents will provide the guilt in the form of some sort of punishment. This is not obedience. This is conformity.

The problem with conformity is that it does not change the heart and it is from the heart that we find true obedience. With conformity the behaviour is only modified in the presence of authority but authority is never always present. As soon as that authority leaves the restraints are thrown off and people do whatever they feel like doing. This leads to all kinds of depravities such as stealing, bullying, various violent acts, sexual immoralities, and so on. A person who is not governed by a morality of the heart will do whatever he wants to whomever he wants.

The problem for these people is that Yahweh is always present. Whether they want to recognize it or not he is the authority and everyone will answer to him.

Yahweh is like a dad who hopes the very best for his kids. He has raised them in the knowledge of right and wrong, he is there to help them with making the right decisions, he has taught them to love by his example and he is hoping they will choose the path he has helped them understand. He longs for the best for all of us. But he is also a dad who will make the tough decisions when he has to. The worse thing a dad has to do is remove a child from the family because of his or her behaviour and thus endangering the rest of the family, but he will make that decision. Remember:

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

Scripture also warns us:

For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31)

This authority is real and is always present. This authority is the Father and he wants our obedience to come from a heart of love. Anything else is just conformity and conformity will never protect us from offending the Father. When we love our teachers we obey them to please them. When we love our parents we obey them to please them. When we love Jesus we obey him to please him. It does not get any plainer than that.

Please, do not be conformed but instead transformed. It is the only thing that will change your unwanted behaviour. Ask yourself right now if you are proud of what you do in secret. Would you want it revealed to everyone in your life? If not then know your need for Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can change you so that you no longer do what you do not want to do. Trust him.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

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