Running Toward or Away From
TITLE: Running Toward or Away From
DATE: June 12, 2019
TEXT: - 1 Timothy 6:11-12 - English Standard Version - 1 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Chickens. I like chickens as much as the next man. I like chickens in soup, barbecue and casseroles. I don’t like chickens in my bedroom, living room or bathroom.
Unfortunately, according to an article carried by Reuter’s News Service, people in rural Egypt have a custom of keeping chickens in all of those rooms. It’s a custom which has lead to problems. You see, some Egyptian chickens have avian influenza, the disease which you and I know as the bird flu.
Each year dozens of people contract that deadly illness.
Now the people in rural Egypt are not fools. They know the bird flu is nasty business. That’s why, when they see a bird get wobbly and rubbery, they get rid of the birds. They don’t have the birds checked… they get rid of them.
Some put their chickens in a sack and drown them in a nearby irrigation canal; some get rid of the diseased birds in different ways. None of the ways are sanitary; none will keep the flu from spreading.
It’s a dangerous practice.
Of course you might sensibly ask: “Why don’t the people do the smart thing? Why are they putting themselves and their families at risk?” Good questions. There is an answer. The answer is: because.
When I asked, “Why?”; their reply was: “Because…because it didn’t seem dangerous; because it was exciting; because I knew I could handle it.” They gave a lot of different “because” answers, but they all boiled down to: “I wanted my will, not God’s will.”
Sort of sounds like the excuses Adam and Eve made after they got caught gnawing on the forbidden fruit, doesn’t it?
You might want to know that God has a solution to temptation.
He says, “flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” In other words, God is saying, ‘Don’t bother to see how close you can get to temptation before you get messed up; don’t see how long you can play with it before it burns you.
VERY loosely paraphrased, God is saying His people, the ones who know Jesus as Savior should lead a life in which they run like the dickens from the bad stuff, and run as fast as they can for all the good the Spirit wishes to give.
To that end, we pray:
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father; sin, Satan and the world have put together temptations which have my name on them. They have worked hard to find those things which will draw me away from You. Send Your Holy Spirit upon me that I may flee from them and follow the Savior Who conquered all temptation so I might be forgiven and saved. In Your Son’s Name, I pray. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html
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