Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"The Voice of Warning"

     The young man didn't want to hear it.  "It's not true!"   He literally shouted at the gentleman who informed him that the bridge has collapsed just down the dark road on which the young man wanted to travel.  "There's a party at the house just beyond the bridge, and you don't want me to go!  You're judgmental and self righteous, and you don't want me to have my fun!"  In actuality, the gentleman who sounded the warning knew nothing about the party or the young man. He just knew a storm had washed the bridge out.  Anyone who ventured down the dark road risked injury or even death.  He restated his warning, firmly, but with no malice.  "All I'm saying is that the bridge is out and if you go down this road, you could be seriously hurt, or worse."  Sadly, the newpapers the next read contained the headline, "Young Man Drowns In Pleasure River After Bridge Collapse."

   Serving as the voice of warning can be uncomfortable.  Nevertheless, love, the love of Christ, requires our willingness to tell the truth about dangers ahead.  

    "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching in all wisdom" (Colossians 1:27-28).  

    The Apostle Paul, well aware that life apart from the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus constitutes grave danger, sounded the alert to unbeliever and believer alike.  His epistles resound with warnings no less than with promises.  Life apart from Christ leads to death in the present, and the "second death" in the hereafter (Revelation 21:8).  Life with Christ present, but unacknowledged and unheeded, constitutes a tragedy that can only result in God's chastening of sons and daughters He loves too much to allow our living as apart from Him (Hebrews 12:6).  Thus, we must offer ourselves to God as His voice that declares one Way, one Bridge, and one Hope, and which also warns that all other paths lead to destruction.  "Exhort one another daily" (Hebrews 3:13).

    We will make enemies by serving as that Voice.  Sometimes we will offend even our friends.  Faithfulness - both to God and to people - requires such sacrifice.  We must also be willing to hear the same Voice ourselves as our brothers and sisters in Christ love us enough to warn us about washed out bridges and the raging torrents of Pleasure River.  Most importantly, we rejoice in  a Heavenly Father so devoted to our well being that by His Word, His Spirit, and each other, He tells us that "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).   But He also tells us…

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
(Proverbs 16:25)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
(Romans 8:9)


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