Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pastor's Ponderings, July 7, 2020

The Abundant Life Is In Christ
Not everything is as it seems to be. "To Serve Man" is episode 89 of the anthology series, The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series).  During this episode, aliens come to earth with the ostensive purpose of helping mankind and even leave a book entitled, “To Serve Man.”  However, at the end of the episode, the language of the book is finally translated, and a member of the cryptography staff screams, “It’s a cookbook!”

Worldly delights may look good, sound wonderful, and feel great, but that is not the whole story.  The Bible warns us not to be conformed to this deceptive world system (Romans 12:2).  Since we don’t know everything, the Bible suggests that anyone who lacks wisdom should ask God.  He gives wisdom to everyone who believes Him (James 1:5-7).  For example, despite the allure of illicit drugs, they do not come with a warning label that they may hurt your body.  Promiscuity does not let people know that the Bible says it is a sin against one’s body (1 Corinthians 6:18).  Abusing alcohol does not mention that beneath the glitz and glamor, one may finally damage their organs.

The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10a).  However, God wants everyone to know about life with Him.  He wants us to have an abundant life in Him (John 10:10b).  He wants us to have an escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).  He wants our bodies healed, our minds whole, and our way prosperous (Joshua 1:8, 3 John 2).  

God wants us to live with Him throughout eternity. He wants us blessed in every area.  He wants us to triumph in life. Let us decide that we will turn away from the deceptions, disappointments, and depravity of this world’s system and receive the blessings of the Lord without sorrow (Proverbs 10:22).  Let us receive that abundant life in Christ!

Romans 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

James 1:5-7
New International Version (NIV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:18 
New International Version (NIV)
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body

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

1 Corinthians 10:13 
New International Version (NIV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Joshua 1:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

3 John 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Proverbs 10:22
New International Version (NIV)
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

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