Are you friends with the world or with God?

April 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
(James 4:4 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to think about what this passage means?

I know that the world has its moments of beauty. A sunrise on the ocean. A sunset out west. The leaves in the fall. The view from the mountain top. All of these things are beautiful. These are glimpses of what God had intended for us to experience in this world, but then sin was allowed into the world!

The very nature of sin is death.

It is not the world as created that brings hatred toward God. It is the sinful nature that was allowed into the world. It is what humanity has become in the world. It is an attitude. It is the sinful nature that we must not be friends with, for it is the nature of sin to lead us into places where we do not want, where we do not need to go.

Are you a friend of sin?

I honestly don’t think that I can get any more direct, any more blunt than that question.

Think about your friends. Do you turn your eyes away from the things that they do that they shouldn’t do? Do you accept the sins as just a part of them as they are? Now, consider the general world of sin that James 4:4 refers to. Do you accept the sins of the world simply because they are part of what makes the world as you know it? I am sure that people make excuses such as that is just how things are. Living in the world does not mean that you have to be accepting of the world. It does not mean that you have to become friends with the very sin that has cast all of humanity away from God.

Think about that last statement.

God cannot associate with sin. If we accept the sin of the world, then God cannot associate with us. We have become an enemy of God. Salvation requires repentance. We must turn away from sin in order to turn to God.

Which way will you turn?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Has the thief stolen too much from you?

January 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
(Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NIV))

God rejoices even when a person who has sinned his whole life repents and performs one righteous thing before death !

Don’t take this statement to mean that we can live our lives with little or no regard for righteousness and then turn to God right before we die. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. We may never get the opportunity to repent of all of the things that we do. It is true that some people have that opportunity, for they do not die a sudden death. However, Satan rejoices when he can cause one of us to miss out on salvation. We literally miss the mark that God has created for us and we miss out on the promises that He has given to us.

Too many people think of sin and salvation only as being able to have eternal life with God. They do not realize that God blesses now for our attempts at righteousness. These attempts show a desire to walk with Him. They show a desire to love as He loves. They show a desire to learn and mature. Righteousness is not an outward task, but rather it is an inward desire. It is a desire that drives us to seek after God’s own heart. When we seek after His heart, we put the sins of the world behind us. We turn to the One who created the world. We tell Him that we desire to be as He created us.

For those who repent upon their death bed, I know that God rejoices, but I also think that He is saddened because of all of the missed blessings that He desired to give them when they were alive.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Has the thief stolen too much from you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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