Saturday, September 19, 2009

Devotional - A Different View Of Things

Good morning everyone. I hope your Saturday is starting off well. Mine started with the sound of my children in the kitchen making me breakfast in bed. It is not Father's Day and it is not my birthday; they just decided to make me breakfast in bed. Somehow that simple thing makes up for all the hard work of cooking, cleaning and laundry during the week. I wonder if that's how Jesus feels every time a sinner kneels and asks for forgiveness? Does he think, "It was all worth it"? We are continuing with Galatians 4.

There are a lot of activities that Christians are involved in that they need to stay clear of. They seem like simple fun things, even innocent but some of these things are demonic and have a way of possessing the mind and heart. These things include a little thing like horoscopes. With the dawn of FaceBook and its applications all kinds of "fun" things have crept into our lives. Paul had a warning for the Galatians along this same line:

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. vs. 8-10

So many of us do not understand how much control these things had over us. At least a recovering alcoholic or a former addict understand the power that things have over them and they seek support and encouragement to stay free of these things. We know that our bond to sin was broken when we died with Jesus but sin is still a powerful thing and draws at us. We need to be aware and seek the company of other recovering sinners as well as keep our eyes on Jesus.

We are playing with fire when we entertain things like horoscopes and all such things. They are a distraction to us. They actually cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus even for a moment which can utterly destroy us. But this is also true for many other activities, such as dating non-believers, filling our day with music that denies Jesus, filling our minds with images of rape and murder. It is hard to avoid some of these things in our day but it is even more dangerous when we seek them out. The latest craze is romanticizing vampires which is romanticizing the demonic. Zombies are also on the rise. I realize I would never be able to convince people that things that entertain us also have an effect on us, but they are effective in that they distract us from the holy purpose of Jesus in us. They also impede his Lordship in us.

It all appears like fun, and that is where the enemy is hiding his trap for us in the Western world. He use to hide it in religion, then in intellectual pursuits, and I am sure it is still in those things, but more and more he hides himself in the entertainment of this world. After all, that is what our lives have become, a constant pursuit of entertaining ourselves.

But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Do we really want to be enslaved by these things again after having received such wonderful freedom? Only you can be the judge of where you are with Jesus. Is the passion still burning bright? Are you keeping it fanned into flame by service, worship, prayer, fellowship and the Word of God? Is that video game improving you? Is that movie making you a better person? Is your horoscope able to give you hope for your future? Is the music inspiring you on to greater things? What does not add to you is taking away from you. It is making you weak and eventually miserable. You are being enslaved all over again. I know many will just shrug it off but write it in your calendar to come back and see me in a couple of years and we will measure the spiritual progress you have made.

I am not an old man trying to belittle the values of our youth or anyone else for that matter. I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who is pointing out what I see and have experienced for myself. I invite you to take a look around and examine your own life. Ask the Spirit to lend you the eyes of Jesus so you can see for yourself. If you are willing to be honest then the Spirit is willing to reveal such things to you. Just don't lie to yourself when you see the truth.

As we conclude for today I want you to ponder this question as you run around completing your Saturday to-do list: Why am I here? We'll consider this further on Monday as we look at whether it is better to know Jesus or be known by him.

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