Proverbs 1:22-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV) 22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple-minded? And how long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn back at my reproof behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2020 — Christian Publishing House Blog
Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?”Acts 5:3 (NRSV)
Lying has consequences, or at least should. Today it would appear lying has become an art form, even garnering praise from others as somewhat noble! What a sad commentary on contemporary life. One can expect to find lying in the secular realm since it is predominately under the influence of old slew foot himself Satan, the father of all lies, but when it is pervasive in the church then we have a real systemic problem.
Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be charitable and sell some of the land they owned and give it to the Apostles. They did so but instead of giving as they said they would they withheld a portion for themselves. When asked they said that the amount given was the full amount they got on the purchase. They were struck dead for lying! WOW, now that is quick, and some might say extreme, punishment for what many would say was a small matter. To God however, this was a big deal.
Could you imagine, during an election season, what would happen if candidates running for office would suddenly drop dead while speaking to crowds? If this happened on a consistent basis do you think these politicians would end their constant lying? Why did God treat Ananias and Sapphira so harshly? Because they had taken an oath to God and lied while under that oath. Know anyone who has lied under oath? I can name a whole House and Senate full of liars and deceitful people. They all took an oath by swearing to God to uphold the laws of this land and defend the Constitution and have gone about doing as they please, while enriching themselves in the process. Now I don’t know about you, but a huge part of me wishes lying members of our political class would start dropping dead while speaking! Some might even be thinking of that used car salesman who sold them that lemon last year. Lying is serious business and God does not take kindly to lying lips.
22The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. Proverbs 12
So then why do liars seem to prosper and get away with their multitude of falsehoods? Why isn’t the damage they do being punished to vindicate the victims? Those who wield unfettered power continue to gain even more power by deceitful practices and seem to be immune from any law and order, where is God?
9The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare. Thessalonians 5:9-10
We’ve heard the old adage that give a man enough rope and he will hang himself, well this could be said of God who allows evil men and women to continue in their wickedness with the hopes that they will repent and turn from the evil ways, however, if they don’t judgement will be sure, swift and final!
Lying is a BIG DEAL, and there is no such thing as a little lie. Ananias and Sapphira learned too late that telling lies under oath is a death sentence!
I suspect before long to start to see corpses piling up around State Houses across the country and in D.C.
|My Dear Shepherds, It is certainly easier to imagine the Apocalypse now than it was a year ago! Jesus’ commands to have our people ready and waiting for his return seem more urgent. In Luke 12 Jesus told us to “be dressed ready for service … like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet.” Peter asked, “Lord are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”|
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Luke 12:42-44)(Luke 12:42-44)
There is our job: To be faithful and wise managers, providing food on schedule to those in the household we oversee. Food service doesn’t have the cachet of greatness or prestige but that is our job. We’re quartermasters behind the lines, feeding the troops their rations. The measure of our success is a well-nourished flock, soldiers who don’t wilt in battle. As Dallas Willard wrote, “Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them.”
Pastors who love teaching the Bible sometimes assume that as long as they exposit Scripture for their people they’ve fed them well but, frankly, some pastors hide poor shepherding behind good preaching. We must feed our household as Jesus did, with the Word applied, visualized, and embodied by us. Pastors, breathing the Spirit, must incarnate what we preach. Most important is that our people see the love of Christ in us—in the grace we distribute like bread and the ways we wash their feet.
This isn’t the best time to evaluate our work, especially not by the often accepted metrics of pastoral success. Wait till Jesus returns. Feed your people now, day in and day out, meal after meal so that they are healthy, ready, and watching.
Christ’s promised reward is unsettling: “… he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” When I read promises like that (“take charge of ten cities,” is another), I think, You know, I’m tired of being in charge of things. How about if I just sing in the choir. But the work of heaven will be different. We may need a new word for it. “Work” is too weedy and weary. To begin with, our new responsibilities come because of the delighted trust of our Master. “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Look at that! He’s kept track of those countless small things we did in his name!
Not all our earthly accomplishments will matter then. Our pride-infected, misdirected, faithless work will have been incinerated like wood, hay, and straw. But when we did what the Lord assigned to us, when we built squarely on the foundation of Christ, when we fed, led, and guarded his flock faithfully, our humble work here will be seen there by Jesus as gold, silver, and jewels, the very building blocks of the New Jerusalem.
But there’s more! Our Master will also say, “Come and share your master’s happiness.” Managing God’s possessions in the New Jerusalem will come without weeds, without hassles. No problems to solve. No touchy people to shepherd. Everything to which we put our hand is glorious, every person is beloved, and everything is awash in the bright glory of God.