Christianity 201

October 1, 2019

Envying the Lost?

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

Once again we return to the blog Brothers of the Book, written by Bill Hood. Click the title below to read this at its source.

Let Not Your Heart Envy Sinners

Proverbs 22:17–24:22

Our world is all about pursuit of selfish pleasure, and by worldly standards the most selfish seem to succeed. Brother, Let not your heart envy sinners!

When I came to the following verse in today’s reading, I knew it had to be the focus of today’s commentary.

Proverbs 23:17-18 ESV
“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”

I have long lamented what I consider to be one of the biggest challenges to American Christians. It seems to me that we American Christians are far more influenced by the world than we influence the world. That is not how it is supposed to be. In the book of Acts, we read of a riot in which Christians were dragged to the town square for stoning because they were turning the world upside down; they were challenging the way the pagan world lived.

Acts 17:6-8 ESV
6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.”

Further on in Acts, we read of another mob dragging Christians before the civil authorities because Christian teachings threaten their way of life. (Acts 19) America, it seems to me, is the Mecca of self-centeredness. Our culture is toxic. Just view our television, movies, or video games. Listen to the lyrics of our music and read the content of our books and magazines. Sex and violence, money and debauchery seem to be the man-made gods of our society. What happens when Christians stand up and share Christ, share Christian values? Christians are dragged before the media, our modern town square, with outraged cries demanding we be silenced. This in itself is enough to cause many Christians to avoid sharing Christ, and we need to address our fears of such treatment if we are to be obedient followers of our Lord and Savior. Before we can even deal with that, however, we must deal with the fact that our society has infected us with the fleshly disease of self-centeredness. We are influenced by the culture around us and, wishing to be like everyone else, we allow ourselves to become infected and this sickness to distract us from who we are and our purpose for being here.

Brothers, let not your heart envy sinners! They pursue filth! You are meant for greater things! The wealth of eternity is yours as a child of The Living God! Why would you want anything less? You have a future and your hope will not be cut off. Stop letting the world influence you. Start influencing the world for Christ. Expect to be dragged before the public for verbal stoning, but also expect to be joyously escorted before your Lord and Savior to receive your eternal reward! I can withstand the slings and arrows of this dark and dying world because I know what I have in eternity. How about you?

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Dying to self, living to serve!

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