Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Blest Are The Pure In Heart"1 (Lyrics)
Recently, I attended a tent revival meeting, and the evangelist made a statement that really surprised me. To paraphrase, he said that he doesn't concern himself about the contentious issues between the church and the world. The Bible is clear; God's Word on these topics is crystal clear, and God is not influenced by our opinion of His requirements. It's His game and His ball, and we need to follow His rules.
Society today is full of anything and everything. There are no boundaries or places that we cannot go; there is almost nothing that society will not accept. Unfortunately, this ungodliness is reflected in our churches as well, to some extent. Without mentioning specific issues, the churches are all struggling to walk the fine line between God and the world. They want to please God and yet not alienate the world. Good luck with that!
Here are some Scripture passages that are pure and transparent. They are straightforward, and there is no layering in any of them. They mean exactly what they say:
John 8:32 – Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (NIV)
John 14:6 – Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NIV)
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
God has made His will known in the Scriptures, and above all, He wants our obedience, because it is proof to Him that we put Him first. All through the Old Testament, the Israelites were falling away from God, being influenced by worldly gods. After being disciplined by God, they seemed to get back on track for a while, only to follow the next wrong path. It sounds familiar, doesn't it?
To disobey His rules is to sin. Sin is a word rarely heard anymore, but although we like to pretend that it's old-fashioned, God definitely knows what it is, and He sees it in us. Our churches like to focus on preaching God's love, which is undeniable. However, they need to get back to teaching about the wages of sin. In 1947, Peter Marshall, a chaplain to the United States Senate, said, "Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything."
We are assuring eternal damnation if we continue to follow the way of the world. If preaching salvation is not the role of our churches, I wonder what is. Society is not our boss — God is! Let's get back on track in our corrupt western world, preach the way to salvation, and try to save a few souls in these latter days.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, help us to realize the honour, glory, and power in Your name. Help us to remember that You are author of all that we know, and that we owe You our love and obedience. When we have to choose between You and the world, may we always choose You, the truth. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
AMEN! Well said, Karen!
Well said and Amen! Blessings.
Well done, Karin. Please write again.
We do indeed live in challenging times, but Amen to what you said.
Thank you for this straightforward, inspiring meditation.
Grace and peace.
Right on! I believe it is much more critical for us to be relevant to God, than it is for God to be relevant to us.
Karen, Amen and Amen to a much needed message for our godless age. Thanks for sharing this timely devotional. Blessings.
Thank you, Karen. I used the Peter Marshall quote myself a few weeks ago. It is as true now as it was then, if not more so.
Wow! What a great reminder of what the church is all about (or should be)! You must be sensing too that time is short! It feels like that to me, anyway.
God bless you for your great ministry.
Excellent and very timely devotional, Karen! Society is tending to easily follow the ways of the world of late. Hopefully soon, society will stop listening to the noise around and heed the still small voice that speaks to us daily.
Do continue to write! (and have a happy Civic Holiday weekend!)
Thank you for your devotional. It is sadly true that some churches are trying not to offend but its at a great cost! I’m thankful that our pastor of many years has preached the whole council of God and has tackled head on some tough passages that others may want to ignore.
I trust that the church you attend also preaches the truth of Scripture without compromising integrity.
Well ‘said’ Karen as you developed the content of this day’s Devotional, with its words used, and quoting those N.T. verses. The advice which I used many times many years ago but then forgot, “Unless we continue to stand for something, we will surely fall for anything” ought to be taken to the world for it is what humanity, particularly to strengthen Christians, should repeatedly hear. Sorry Karen, but I cannot think of a single word to enhance your remarkable subject to make it more fit for reading.
May our God and His Son Jesus our Lord and Saviour continue to bless you real good.
Thank you, Karen for your wise words.
Every day, first thing in the morning, my husband and I have a quiet time together. This morning, we started reading Luke 17:: from V 20.
Then we discussed just how much our Lord is being rejected at this time in history. Then we read your very good devotion for today. What a confirmation! It is very sad that not all ‘Christians’ see the truth of just what is happening to our faith in today’s world. Bless you for writing a truth so clearly. Thank you, may the Lord be ever near to you.
Thank you for those strong words of wisdom, words that need to be spoken and followed more often and more loudly in our churches.
Blessed devotional. Right on track.
We must have and share basic gospel. We must speak and live, “God loves you. God gave his Son to save us from our sins. God will walk with us daily and guide us”.
For His sake. Amen
Well said, Karen! I couldn’t agree more. Some churches are afraid of losing members (and their money) if they speak the truth. They forget that God is in control of all of that. We’ve become so afraid of saying anything that might be found controversial that we’re as lukewarm as Laodicea. I believe our purpose in writing these devotionals is to speak God’s truth to the world. Keep it up!
Thank you, Karen, for your courage to speak truth in today’s world. It’s not easy to take a stand against the world and its ungodliness. When we regularly attend ‘church’, it is a shame that God’s truth comes to us sometimes from unexpected sources and surprises us! I’ve found that even among the ‘godly’, my stand for God’s word versus the world’s is a very unpopular stance. Stay strong and know that you are not alone in your convictions! There are still a few of us left!
Dear Karen Abbott,
I have had a few teachers who became my personal saints.
Very little is “crystal clear” when reading the Bible. In particular, the concept of sin as breaking certain “rules” is really problematic. Which “rules” do you have in mind? Jesus certainly “broke the rules” in demonstrating a better way in his time. Prophet Micah probably gave the best summary of what is required for daily faithful living: “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.”
I note you suggest we are living in “latter days.” Of course neither of us know the times and seasons in relationship to the end or our end. Certainly there are ample reasons for concern regarding the economic disparity and racial and religious prejudice which feed the violence of these days. On the other hand, I rejoice the congregation I attend demonstrated biblical hospitality by sponsoring and welcoming this past week a Moslem Syrian refugee family and last year the session overturned the General Assembly for full acceptance of the LGBTQ community. So there are positive signs of doing justice and loving mercy in the midst of a broken world and for that we can be glad.
Thanks Karen for your thought-provoking reflection. Your message is timely and helpful. The fundamental issue is, “Who is is our boss? God or the world? No matter what the world says, it is God’s liberating word that must be obeyed.”