King Solomon’s Advice
Looking At Some Concerns For The Church Today Through The Eyes Of The Prodigal Son.
There are two great concerns for the church, today.
We must work at bringing more souls to salvation and also we must encourage those who are already in Christ, to stay in Christ.
The first conclusion might be that keeping Christians in Christ is the easier of the two concerns; but it isn’t always the case.
It is only reasonable to think that the “rejoicing in”, and “cherishing”, our freedom would be seen as necessary by all who have gained it.
Perhaps it would be assumed that someone with something as great as this hope would never look elsewhere for anything else, but the pull of the world is strong and the tactics of temptation still work (1 John 2:15-17).
There are still some who turn their hearts toward the world; even though they have gained freedom and have, in Christ, a glorious hope, they see something out there that they assume is better—something that they perceive as more fun or adventurous.
Then beginning to envy the world, they look at the world’s activities and begin to believe the advertiser’s twists.
They see those things as something they are missing out on by being a seeker of righteousness.
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off”
We Must Be Careful Where We Look
You will go where your eyes lead you.
This is a statement that is simply true.
It is nearly impossible to do even the simplest tasks with your eyes looking in a different direction.
Think about walking or running a straight line while looking to the right or to the left.
This is true for these simple things; how much more for the complex and important task of walking in righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22)?
Consider the prodigal son’s account, recorded in Luke 15:11-32.
It is impossible to properly, or fittingly, add any specific details to this record, but we could be almost certain that his plan for a “grand-life” in the “far country” was conceived a long time before the young man’s livelihood was received.
Perhaps he had heard from others or perhaps he had traveled there when he was younger, but now his conceived plans compelled and propelled him toward that place (15:12-13).
It is clearly declared that his life came to ruin there (15:14-16).
It was certainly not the grand scene he must have pictured for himself—if he could just get away from home.
He was away from the protections of home;
He was now alone, the “friends” were gone;
and he was now in need;
hungry, to the point of eating the feed for livestock.
Where are your eyes looking?
Solomon advises us do “not let your heart envy sinners” (Proverbs 23:17-18).
There is a tendency to slip into what is known as “Greener Grass Syndrome” wherein one cannot see the value of what they have and they convince themselves that everything else they do not have is better.
Even this description shows the root cause: our own “failure to appreciate and value” what we have and a personal “willingness” to feed the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:15-17).
Are you looking away from Christ toward the world or are you focused on Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2)?
If we set our eyes on Jesus we will direct our feet on a course to be with Him.
We Must Appreciate What We Have
What do we have in Christ to be appreciated? A way of life that is proven true:
Even in a world that is increasingly distanced from God and righteousness, the characteristics of a Christian’s life are still admired and/or required.
In Christ our way of life includes honesty:
We speak the truth (Matthew 5:37; James 5:12) not lies (Colossians 3:9).
Honesty also provides for:
integrity, honor, and reliability.
Life in Christ also includes happiness, joy, and peace.
In Christ we are given every reason to have peace and joy (Philippians 4:4-8).
Our life also calls for discipline and focus.
We are focused on higher standards (Ephesians 4:17-23).
Our disciplined conduct carries from our spiritual conduct through to our walk of life (Colossians 3:17).
God has provided us all things that we need:
The answers for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
The answers concerning righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The answers to life’s “big questions”—who we are, what caused us to be, and what is our purpose in this place (Acts 17:24-27).
No one has ever proven the characteristics of Christianity to be in any way detrimental to man or society.
Every place that the Bible has gone and remains is better for it.
You are also a better person with the Bible than is possible without it.
God’s word is direction from our loving Creator (James 1:17-25).
The life He outlines and directs us toward is the best.
The restrictions therein are keeping us from harm (physically and spiritually).
Pay attention to what we see and look upon.
Guard our hearts away from sin.
Learn to appreciate what little we do have.
What is in store is so much better than what we have been dealt in the past.
By Carey Scott based on an article I read.
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