This Week's Gospel Sermons
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November 24, 2013
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, REDEEMING THE TIME, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
GOD sees “time” as important, to be used with profit—mainly, for the SOUL.
SATAN sees “time” as unimportant (precisely because God places a value on it) and plentiful, to be wasted or used in a way which gratifies human indulgence—he incorporates his view of “time” in those he influences, so that they will, in their use of it, express their independence from God.
MAN is ambivalent toward “time.” In managing earthly affairs, or achieving earthly goals, thoughtful men place a high value on it, planning ahead, and cramming days full of some purposeful activity toward a stated purpose. But, when it comes to spiritual development, and a life lived in serving God and others, most see it as unimportant, or to be taken for granted.
To God, our use of time, and our priorities in deciding when, on what and how long we spend it in His service, says a great deal to Him about the nature of our love, faith, and commitment to what should be the most significant part of our life (Matthew 6:33).
As with all else, what “time” we have is a gift from God, and we are appointed stewards of it—and expected to make a proper use of it as He intends it.
In the very nature of the case, how much and what quality of life we can apply to any given “time” is uncertain. “We know not what will be ON THE MORROW” (James 4:14).
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away … SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:10-12).
This is yet another thing we must answer for. One thing for sure, a moment wasted is a moment GONE … never to be reclaimed … truly, we must “redeem the time”! — Aubrey Belue
What “Choices” Involve
Adam and Eve made a “choice” when they ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). What they did not realize at that time was that the choice INVOLVED the loss of their earthly paradise. In addition to the desired result of greater knowledge (and perhaps the pleasure of eating), there was that unintended result.
A CHOICE WILL INCLUDE THE TOTALITY OF THE OUTCOME FROM IT.
Temporarily thoughtless and prideful, David caused Israel to be numbered. But, in addition to the desired result of ascertaining the strength of his army, there was the unintended consequence of the loss of 70,000 lives! (2 Samuel 24). Even (and perhaps especially) a “king” can be shortsighted, to the great hurt of many others.
Needless to say, his action with Bathsheba NEVER envisioned the drawn out consequences which affected both his family and the kingdom for the rest of his life (2 Samuel 11).
Just so, the drug addict made a bad choice to even begin, but NEVER envisioned the sad end toward which that first “puff” took him (it WAS involved in that choice!)
The lazy and selfish or self-willed parent chooses his choice to treat his children with benign neglect or a guidance of convenience for him, but NEVER envisions the unruly teenager or the socially unfit product which is included in such a choice.
In the blindness of “love,” a young man or woman CHOOSES a mate of a different spiritual background and commitment, but NEVER envisions the unhappiness and failed goals which such a choice includes in the majority of cases.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; CHOOSING rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: FOR HE HAD RESPECT UNTO THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REWARD.” (Hebrews 11:24-26). — Aubrey Belue
The People Imagine
A Vain Thing
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed” (Psalms 2:1-2).
That question suggests the natural consequence of the position that Jesus occupies now:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18).
The sense is, “what are people thinking (imagining), that they would array themselves and their intentions against the Christ?”
It can only end in their complete destruction, as verse 9 suggests:
“Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalms 2:9).
There is such a great disconnect in the minds of those who would, either openly or “privily,” stand in opposition to God. They, against all reason, imagine themselves safe before a God whom they refuse to honor by submitting to Him.
Even those who are familiar with His power and purpose, and think themselves aligned with Him because they “love” Him, but purposefully reach beyond His authority, and show contempt for His words and demands, must be included. Anyone who will not bring “every thought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4) should “feel the heat.”
Friend, brother—don’t make this mistake! YOU will, either now or later, “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11). He may not deal with you directly for taking liberties with His word or life now, but the day is coming! It is “vain,” and so much more, to expect different. — Aubrey Belue