By Mary Lindow
I would like to share with you…
… A few true and weird warnings that are out there!
A warning on an air conditioner – Avoid dropping air conditioners out of windows.
A warning on a blow dryer - Do not use while sleeping.
A warning on a Rowenta Iron – Never iron clothes on the body.
A warning on a vacuum cleaner – 1. Do not use to pick up gasoline or flammable liquids.
2. Do not use to pick up anything that is currently burning.
Here is a warning sign that reads – Ignore this sign.
Here is an obvious warning sign from Durango, Colorado – Warning: Do not hit this sign.
Here is a warning sign in South Carolina – Caution water on road during rain.
A chilling warning from Sony Trinitron – Caution: risk of electrical shock. Do not open.
I could go on-and-on with these warnings that are obvious, ridiculous, and yet, how many people feel that the warning is not for them? Many do and that is why there are so many warnings out there, so the company is not legally responsible when people do a stupid thing with their product!
In II Corinthians chapter 6 Paul opens his heart to the Corinthians, he shows his love for them, and he holds nothing back. And yet, they refuse to heed or listen to Paul’s warnings. They may not have liked the first letter they received from Paul that was full of correction and rebuke for their sin, but it was also sent in love. So, now they can’t get beyond it and Paul’s point is that they refuse to be open because of the limits they have made.
Also, the people they were hanging out with may have influenced them, and so Paul now moves into this very conflict-ridden and often disregarded portion of Scripture.
As I read through these verses I see serious thing that we need to listen to, and that we need to heed. My prayer and hope is that that we would not only understand these things, but we would then apply these things to our lives.
COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM!
II CORINTHIANS 6:14-16b “Do not be joined to unbelievers. What do right and wrong have in common? Can light and darkness be friends? How can Christ and Satan agree? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? We are the temple of the living God. God has said, "I will live with them. I will walk among them. I will be their God. And they will be my people."—(Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27)
Please know this has nothing to do with the worth of a person, the significance of a person, that one person is better than the other person. Paul is speaking of the nature of each person. Think about it, you would not put an ox and a donkey together with the same yoke, they have different natures, they would go in different directions, and it would be a mess.
HOW DOES THIS PLAY OUT IN OUR DAILY LIVES?
If you are dating an unsaved person you need to stop for you are not to marry, you are not to even date an unsaved person, someone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ. Why is that? Isn’t that harsh? Isn’t there something called “missionary dating” where you date an unsaved person hoping to lead them to the Lord? I don’t know where that came from but it is not from the Word of God!
Again, we miss the point if you think these things are okay. You will be unequally yoked together and you will be going in different directions. And let me say this, chances are you are not going to affect them, but they will affect you and your relationship with the Lord.
Paul lays it all out for us as he puts side by side, the two natures. How can you have fellowship with a lack of control when your nature is honesty? You can’t! How can light and darkness feel at one with each other? They can’t because light and darkness don’t mix! And if Christ is in you how can you be in agreement with the Devil? You can’t!
We need to understand that this does not just apply to marriage, it applies to business partnerships, close relationships, sharing an apartment or home together and-so-on. You may think you will influence them but the reality is, they will influence you and bring you down. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:33, the following.
DO NOT BE TAKEN IN! EVIL COMPANIONSHIP CORRUPTS GOOD EVERYDAY LIFE. Or as The Amplified Bible puts it, “Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”
I know that some people still doubt that, and think you they are going to influence them, but most of the time, that is not the case, it is the other way around. Let me show you what I mean with this story:
H. A. Ironside, a bible scholar, tells of some boys who caught two chirping baby songbird finches. They decided to teach these birds to sing by placing them in a small cage and hanging it next to the cage of a pet canary. The canary, of course, sang beautifully, so the boys thought if the songbird finches were close to it they too would become good songbirds. Several weeks went by with no apparent results. Then one day the youngsters were startled by a strange sound coming from the canary’s cage. “Listen,” said one of them, “the canary is cheeping like a song bird finch.”
DANGER LIES AHEAD FOR THE CHRISTIAN…
…Who fellowships too often with irreverent people in the world. He will become like them. But worse than that, he will experience the disfavor of the Heavenly Father, whose will is that His children withdraw themselves from sin and evil.
The devil would have people believe that the life of sin is a very exciting life. It is a very exhilarating life. Yet the fact of the matter is - sin becomes a very boring and a very monotonous experience.
CELEBRITIES IN AMERICA AND THEIR LIFESTYLES
I was reading an article about the celebrities in America and their lifestyles. I saw that the average time of death of celebrities is 52.If they are going to live much they better live in a hurry because at age 52 that's when most of them die. The fast lane, very, very soon, becomes a rut. A lot of people who think they are living it up in sin are really not living.
If you really want to live and if you really want to have an exciting life, give your life to Jesus. There's never a dull moment when you know the Lord and when you live for the Lord. That's one of the lies of Satan - that sin is exciting and ooooh sooooo fulfilling!
OVER AND OVER AGAIN WE READ THIS LINE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
"The Children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord." It seems as long as Israel could have some kind of outward restraint on them they would be fine. If they would have a spiritual leader, something on the outside they could hold things together, but the moment the outward restraints were gone they would go right back into sin and there would be another lapse into idolatry.
A lot of people are like that. Some Christians are like that. As long as they have the positive peer pressure of a fellowship of Christians around them they do okay. As long as they have some spiritual leader who is right there to stay on top of them and help them do right they do okay? But when the restraints are removed and all of those things are gone, if you aren't growing, if you are not maturing on the inside, then you aren't going to continue to live for the Lord.
WHERE ARE YOU IN THE MATURING PROCESS?
I would encourage you to get the measuring stick out and see where you are. Look to the Lord and ask Him to uncover any areas in your life where He doesn’t have complete and total influence. Like Paul, do away with childish things, and continue to grow in Christ. May each of us ”grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
As I close this message I would like to take time to share with you, a few lingering "prophetic whispers" that the Lord has spoken clearly to me.
“Each day, upon waking, where does you hear and mind wander to?
Is it the plans and lists of things you must accomplish for the day? Is it the meal you are about to eat? Is it worry and the bracing yourself for another grinding day of dealing with the pressures of life?
Return to those early awakening moments where you and I share in the dialog of my plans for you. Each day you have to live and to give, you have been given the opportunity to impact someone and to do a kindness or act of training for another. Where has your thankful heart wandered? Without it, evidence of bitterness and drudgery will manifest and sour even the brightest flower of hope.
Return to the heart of the issue and clean away the rusty decay of treadmill thinking. Each day can be a fresh adventure into Kingdom purpose or, a continual repeating of dreary existence.
Choose ever so wisely.”
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” ~ Hebrews 12:28
“When God prunes us, the result will be greater growth and sweeter fruit.”
“Pruning usually takes place when God uses situations, people, and circumstances to help mature us in our Christian disposition, attitude, and temperament.” “The way we respond when we are pruned reveals our true level of spiritual maturity.” ~ P. B. Wilson
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Thank You! Copyright © 2010-2011
" THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow www.marylindow.com