Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Who Decides What Is Good? - God Does Not You

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”   – Isaiah 5:20

Most Christians don’t struggle with those things that are blatantly “evil”, but with those things that seem, on the surface, to be “good”.  Good as defined by our culture and our traditions.  There is a movement in our culture, in particular, to redefine the definition of “good” or what is not sin – what is right behavior and what is wrong.

Centuries people have striven to be like God and define, for themselves, what is good and acceptable.  Paul wrote in the beginning of his letter to the Romans ..

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. … they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools… And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 18,20-22,28-32

And today .. the beat goes on!  When the young man called Jesus “good teacher”, Jesus responded (Matthew 19:17)  “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”  In other words,  “Only my Father in heaven is good and the definer of what is good.”  God is the source of all goodness.  However people continue to define their own morality, their own definition of what is good.  Jesus accused the Church of Ephesus  of being lukewarm in Revelation 2.  They wanted to do both.  Embrace God and embrace the world.  Very often when there is a clash of definitions, God is abandoned in favor of the culture.  God is rejected and the culture is embraced.  Those Christians who do it feel justified. It is the temptation of “Everyone is doing it”. 

God is the source of what is good .. His Word tells us what is sin and what is not.  His Spirit convicts us of sin unless we quench the Spirit.  (There is so much running through my head right now, but I will not share it … else this might be a book and not a devotion) Listen, if the consequence of standing on Truth and the Word, even though it is contrary to the culture and the threat of reject and criticism looms on the horizon .. why should you be any different than Jesus … don’t you want to be like Him?  Or only with respect to the “good” parts.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also.” – John 15:18-27

We are in a spiritual battle that manifests itself in the way people live and believe.  My encouragement to you .. (Joshua 24:15)  “Choose this day whom you will serve .. but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”  Make that more than a catch phrase or a plaque on your living room wall.  Make it a commitment … everyday … but let it be more than a commitment … make the choice – follow God and not a culture headed for the wide gate!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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