A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:
Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”
Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”
Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”
Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”
Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”
Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”
Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”
Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”
Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”
Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”
Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.
Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.
Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!
Verses for reflection:
- For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Tempt no one to sin ever,
Though you be naive or clever.
Refrain from such a sin,
Lest your hope become thin.
Remember that no tempter is allowed in paradise,
For God’s kingdom detests all vice.
Tempt not for leisure nor treasure nor pleasure,
Lest God’s judgement you’d get in full measure.
Do not entice your friend nor foe nor neighbour,
Lest for your place in Hades you labour.
For its gate is wide and entry much cheap,
And the unrepentant there their torments reap.
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea
- Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:4)
- ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. (Leviticus 19:26)
- ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
- Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’ (2 Chronicles 6:16)
- How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.(Psalm 119:9)
- Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:10)
- The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
- But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11)
- Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22)
- Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
- Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
“The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. … It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers’ lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit.” – Smith Wigglesworth
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” (1 Peter 3:10)
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
For some to control one’s tongue when its pleasant all around is difficult. How much more difficult for them to keep it in check when their heart is filled with bitterness? As for the rest its still an achievement to control themselves when there is bitterness in their life.
However if we remember the words of the Bible then we should know the consequences of speaking the wrong things, the bad things and evil things. Let me make it real to you; there are considerable divorce cases going on which could have been prevented if either or both of the spouses would have not insulted each other by a very wide degree. Or there are people or children who keep running away from their parents because the parents love to speak evil words to them. Now, I don’t justify divorce nor unnecessary running away on account of such things but yes I do strongly recommend control of one’s tongue to prevent any further damage to oneself and others.
Some may say they didn’t actually mean it when they said things that were hurtful to others. That’s exactly my point. Don’t say things that you don’t mean to say in the first place and don’t make any of your emotions whether happiness or bitterness as your excuse for the same!
Make a decision this day to use your tongue more wisely. The benefits are many; better relationships, peace in your dealings with others, living clean and giving glory to God all in all. It’s up to you to control your speech but do pray to the Lord God for his healing and deliverance in this area.
You may pray like this:
O Lord God I ask through your Son Jesus Christ that I be holy as you are holy. Make my tongue an instrument of peace. Help me to speak words that are wise and life giving. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to not have be deceived by emotions whether they are mine or of others. In the name of Jesus, I cast out the spirit of discord and perversion of tongue from my life and totally reject the influence of all that is earthly, sensual and demonic. I pray that I be victorious in my life on the inside and the outside so that God be glorified all in all. Amen.