Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Our Christian Duty

Scripture:  Psalm 15 v 1 - 5: "A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 
 2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
 3  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 
 4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
 5  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved."

In this Psalm David enquires of the Lord, who is going to make it to Heaven because he wanted to ensure his own salvation.  God breathed the answer into his heart and its worth knowing.

We must walk sprightly in a moral and ethical way, being scrupulously honest in everything we do.  We must work righteousness, that means do the right and acceptable thing.  When faced with a choice of bending the rules where no one sees, or foregoing an advantage as it would ding your conscience, do the latter and the Lord will reward you.

I was once erroneously sent a cheque from a business I had a small transaction with.  The cheque was a hundred times higher than my invoice.  I was a young Christian in a new business.  I was tempted.  However, I called the accounts department and informed them of their error.  The lady did not want to get into trouble and insisted I keep the cheque and just do more business with them.  I refused and went to her office immediately and exchanged the cheque for the correct amount.  The cheque she sent me was actually the monthly petrol account for their truck fleet!

The Lord has honoured me ever since by meeting every need of mine and I am blessed to say that for some time now my monthly blessing has increased to the amount of that cancelled cheque!  God is faithful and remembers when we overcome temptation and do the right thing.

David continues.....we must speak the truth in our heart.  In our heart, our spirit.  We must not lie to ourselves and pretend all is well when we know deep down we need help.  The hole only gets deeper while we try to bluff our way out of it.  We must acknowledge our shortcomings and deal with them effectively to maintain the truth in our hearts.

We watch our dodgy president and his cronies hide from the reality of their blatant corruption and theft of billions away from the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.  The art of denial is perfected and the dire predicament blamed on manufactured evidence of a previous government.  The cronies include every branch of law enforcement so nobody ever gets investigated or prosecuted.

However, through much prayer from all Christians there has been a breakthrough from an insider, a whistleblower who must be in a safe country under a new identity by now.  Hundreds of thousands of undeniable emails itemising every act of theft on a grand scale are now in the hands of the media and the culprits are lying low and keeping quiet but not for long.  The daily exposures naming names and dates are a must read for every South African.

We must tame our tongues to avoid backbiting, slander, gossip and malice against others.  Speak the truth in love directly to those who need to hear it.  Do not spread rumours behind people's backs which causes others to judge them even if the allegations are unproven.  Our God frowns on such behaviour and may withhold our blessings if we tear others down.

We must hold the vile people to account and not be persuaded or bribed to cover up their deeds.  If we fall into that trap we will possibly receive the same condemnation.  We must honour those who fear the Lord and prefer to do business with them.  When we make a promise but circumstances change, we must honour our word even if it costs us financially or materially to do so.  The Lord will find amazing ways to repay us for our honesty.

We must not take unfair financial advantage that creates a situation where an innocent person gets cheated.  Someone desperate for cash may be forced to sell valuables at below their worth to another who wants to grab a bargain.  Rather do justly, and love mercy, to be a true child of God.

The closer we get to Jesus the more we become like Him.  That closeness comes from individual fellowship with Him in conversations and prayer.  Obedience, commitment, submission, honesty are enhanced by this closeness.  It spills over into fellowship with other Christians and our testimony to the world.  Let them see the light of Jesus shining through us into the darkness of this world and pray they are drawn to Him before its too late.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You give us the example of Your Son, Jesus Christ, to follow and imitate.  We fall so far short of His perfection, but He is in us to encourage us and change us.  He wants to change us into His likeness.  Lord, let us not resist these changes but welcome them and accept them with grace.  In Jesus' name. Amen.