Paul Tripp compares living in our world to life in “a broken down house” where none of us is guaranteed a problem-free life. Instead, the plumbing doesn’t work, the roof leaks, and things don’t work right.
Neither are we guaranteed all the time we would like to accept or reject the gospel. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” None of us are guaranteed tomorrow!
Joshua 21 & 22
Broken Down House
1There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Certainly, there are laws of sowing and reaping and we shouldn’t think we can live any way we desire without consequences. Galatians 6.7-10:
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
But even when we desire to live righteous lives, we should remember that we live in a world that Paul Tripp compares to “a broken down house” where the plumbing is bad, the roof leaks, and things don’t work right. Our world, our bodies, and even our minds, have been damaged by the effects of sin in the earth. Things happen: disease, natural disasters, and calamities of every sort. None of us is guaranteed a problem-free life. In fact, we’re not even guaranteed tomorrow!
And when it comes to God gracious gift of salvation through the gospel, neither can we take it for granted. It’s a dangerous thing to bank our eternity on the fact that we were raised in a Christian home or we’ll get our lives right after we’ve had our fun.
2 Corinthians 6.1-2:
1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
If you’re not sure you have a right relationship with Him, please don’t think you’ll always have another opportunity.
Even as believers, we have no guarantees. Let us live everyday as fully and as mindfully as if it was our last.
Today’s Other Readings:
Joshua 21 & 22:
On Being Lights to the World
I found it interesting that the Levites were given cities in the territories occupied by the other tribes rather than isolated in their own territory. This enabled them to be examples to the people, but also put a responsibility on them to live upright lives.
Like us, their walk was to match their talk. Paul said we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5.20), lights in a dark world (Phil. 2.15), and that our goal in life should be to please God (2 Cor. 5.9).
When Jesus was asked, what the greatest commandment was, He summed up all the commandments by saying we are to love God and love others (Matt. 22.36-40). The more we seek to fulfill those two commandments, the more we will reflect Him and bring much needed light to a dark world.
Pause & Think
Did you notice that verses 7 & 11 repeat the same thing?
“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
When God repeats something, especially in the same passage, it means pay attention! He even added the word “Selah” after verse 7. “Selah” means pause. I have always thought of it as an encouragement to stop and think about what was just said.
In Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney talks about the connection between Bible reading, meditation and prayer and how one should flow into the other. I was thinking about that as I read verse 7.
So pause and think about the fact that the Lord of hosts—the Lord of all the armies of heaven—is here with us. His Spirit indwells us. He is our Father. He is the Creator of the Universe and He not only sees fit to have a relationship with you and me, but He says He is our refuge and our very present help in time of trouble! Pause and think about that and allow it to overflow into prayer and praise!
The Way that Seems Right to Us
Verse 12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
We must be led by God and His Word. So often what “seems right” to our natural way of thinking is counter to God’s plan and purpose.
Our natural mind asks, “How could God expect me to stay in an unhappy marriage?” But God says, “All things work together for good …” (Rom. 8.28-29).
We’re tempted to think, “It’s impossible to be happy about a trial,” yet God says, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials …” (Jas. 1.2-5).
We think, “I need to make something happen.” God says, “… those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength …” (Is. 40.31).
The fact is God’s ways appear upside down when compared to man’s thinking: give and it will be given to you, die and you will live, hold on to your life and you’ll lose it.
Everything, including our ability to think God’s way was affected by the fall and by our own sin. Only by His grace, His indwelling Spirit and His Word are any of us capable of living God pleasing lives. May we pray with the psalmist:
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way (Ps. 119).
What about you?
Is there some area of your life where you have been following what seems right to you, but God says something different?
Are there areas of your life where you are more like the world instead of light to the world? Have you taken God’s grace for granted? What’s the focus of your life—the things of this world or being rich toward God?
Pause & think!
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