More than a StartBro. David Chancellor
3/18/2007 11:00 AM
1 Corinthians 10:1-12
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
A good start is a good thing. Many came out of Egypt and made a good start, but a good number of them never made it to the promised land. We must also be careful to make it all the way through to heaven. It’s important that we be faithful to Christ. We don’t want to let the things of this world prevent us from making it through to heaven.
The Israelites, on various occasions, got off and followed after things that destroyed them. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." We don’t want to fall and be taken up in the wrong things. We’re not free from influence. It is important to keep our eyes on the goal and be aware what is working to influence us.
They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
God brought them out and took care of them. He led them and provided for them. The people weren’t happy and whined and complained until they got it. But they also got leanness in their souls. There may be times where we get what we want, but to our detriment. We want to seek God to have him bring our desires in line with his will, so that this is not the case with us.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Israel was looking down on others as wicked and sinful, but they had gone beyond the wickedness of Sodom because they had turned away from God’s covenant. The immorality of Sodom was very wicked, but even more than this was their pride, abundance and idleness. These roots brought forth much more wickedness. The immorality comes from the idleness and what people feed their minds on. When people spend five hours a day on TV, how much time are they spending on their souls? Where does the Lord’s work get done when people are spending that much time on idleness? How can I expect to prosper in my soul if I have a lot of idle time that isn’t spent on God?
Pride is such a sneaky sin. It cleans up nice, but it destroys the soul. We don’t want to get lifted up in ourselves and despise others. We want to care about the poor and needy. We need to be able to relate to others as an equal, regardless of their condition. This isn’t patting sin on the back, but it is realizing that without what God has done for us, we could very well be in the same condition. There is so much to pray for and so many that are in need. Don’t get caught up in chasing after entertainment. There’s an appropriate time for entertainment, but it shouldn’t be our only focus. Keep God and your soul as your priority.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
God allows us to go through things and we can grow in that. In times of prosperity, we can feel like nothing could ever go wrong, but we need to take heed lest we fall. Without God we can get into trouble. We don’t want to lose sight of our dependence on God. He needs to be our first priority. We need to continually draw on the source of our strength.
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
Jesus was trying to help the Jews to realize they weren’t any more special than anyone else because of their heritage. Just because someone doesn’t hand you a responsibility doesn’t mean that there’s nothing for you to do. God has something for you to do. Seek his face that you not be found idle. God can open doors before you to get you to where you need to be. He can herd you to where you need to be. There is work we can do that is of more value than what the world sends around to fill our time. God has more for us to do than focus solely on entertaining ourselves. There is more for us than just pursuing the things that are for our comfort and pleasure. It’s not the day to be idle. It’s the day to lift up Jesus.
3 John 2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
John hoped that their souls were prospering and that other good things would come from it. We want people to prosper in their souls. The emphasis here is "… as thy soul prospereth…" Natural prosperity + spiritual leanness = a sad condition. The important thing is, "how are things with your soul?" Things that would hinder your soul need to be put aside or put out. How are things between you and God? Is your life accomplishing God’s purpose? There won’t be stars in your crown if you are just barely making it. Work to lay up treasure in heaven.