“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”Romans 12:9, 21 NLT
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
October 31, 2014
Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
“All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
There is a delightful little story of two angels who stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the guestroom. Instead they were given a small space in the cold basement.
As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”
The next night the two angels came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest.
When the sun came up the next morning, the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was perplexed and asked the older angel, “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you fix a hole in his wall. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.”
You see, things aren’t always what they seem. The Bible promises us that “all things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). Surely you can trust the Lord to work things out for your good during this strange season of craziness in our topsy-turvy world!
Just remember, things are not always as they seem.
From the daily devotional Rylisms.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
In order to fully and faithfully understand the cross, we need to begin where it all began…literally. We need to go back to the Garden of Eden, where God brought His creation into being and pronounced it “very good.” Why do we have to start there? Because it’s there where we see God’s perfect will in play. It’s there where we see things the way He intended them to be. It’s there where we witness the standard of life that all of us were supposed to experience and enjoy. God did something-something very good, something that was perfect and required absolutely no revision or improvement whatsoever. Everything was in balance and harmony. Creation was perfectly in tune-from the birds of the air to the creatures of the sea, from the canvas of constellations to the grass-gilded hills and valleys. Every animal, every insect, every single thing was just as it should be. Nothing was out of place or less than perfect, including man. Imagine it: an existence without fear, without illness, without pain, without guilt, without frustration or angst. Man had a conscience that was completely clear, without spot or stain. No evil or impure thoughts, no harsh or hurtful words. Everything about man and everywhere he went was “very good.” Again, this is where we need to begin, because it’s the essence of this “very good” existence that the cross is founded on. It speaks of a reality that every human heart longs for-a return to Paradise, a restoration to a former glory that we’re instinctively and curiously aware of. The cross plays a pivotal part in getting us back to that place, to the place where we belong. Creation was perfectly in tune. Every animal, every insect, every single thing was just as it should be. Nothing was out of place or less than perfect, including man. Think about it…
– Bob Coy
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
A farmer was showing his fine orchard to a friend who admired its neat and regular appearance. “But,” said the friend, pointing to a peculiarly shaped tree, “if that were my tree I’d root it up in order to preserve the uniformity of the orchard.” The farmer smiled and said that he was more interested in the fruit than in the form. “This tree,” he said, “has yielded me more fruit than any of those trees that conform to a more regular pattern.”
Sometimes Christian workers may become so accustomed to doing things in what they consider the traditional or time-honored way that they forget to evaluate its productiveness. We must remember that doing something because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t necessarily make it the best way.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Sunday night we were blessed to have The Godsmen with us to provide praise and worship music. They did a fantastic job, too, by the way. Their first song was one I really like and you may be familiar with, I believe it’s called Bread Upon the Water. The song speaks of casting our bread upon the water, helping our brothers by sowing a good deed that will come back home to us, which got me to thinking about our attitude of service and worship.
I wonder how many good works or deeds are done with the expectation of receiving back for our service? While I believe that we are often blessed for doing things that pleasing and obedient to our Lord, I don’t think that the thought of what we might reap ought to be any type of motivation for our deed. Scripture teaches that God judges our heart’s intent. If He looked at the intent behind a service and saw that we were motivated by self how do think He would feel? Rather if the motivating factor were obedience and love, won’t The Father be well pleased?