Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WASTE (10/11/18)
TITLE: What a Dilemma
By Elaine Hemingway
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Back in Genesis, we read of the problems Moses had to contend with – rebellion, disobedience, grumbling – and all the time God was building character. He was sorting the sheep from the goats! Unfortunately, there were more goats than sheep and they cost a whole generation the price of the Promised Land.
What a waste of potential!
Joshua was one of the sheep, learning and progressing in wisdom, leading his team of warriors in the capture of cities as they proceeded in their advance through the Promised Land. They had experienced a miraculous victory over Jericho and were filled with enthusiasm. Why, then, did they fail so miserably in the taking of Ai? One man disobeyed the instructions. One man thought he could get away with deceit, and plundered some of the valuables of Jericho. It cost him and his family their lives. It cost the battle and the lives of soldiers. It cost the blessing and power of God!
What a waste of promise.
Some want to be one of the crowd. If the crowd appears to have something worthwhile and to be grasped eagerly then ways are explored whereby the benefits can be enjoyed without the burden of full obedience. Such was the case of Ananias, who saw the acclaim with which others were greeted without realising either the cost of commitment or that dishonesty could not be hidden. Not only did he attempt to appear devoted but he misled his wife into the same notion that they could gain prestige by deceit.
What a waste of fellowship.
Our Gracious Lord works in us and through us to bring about His perfect will and it behoves us to be alert to the opportunities He provides. Nothing God says or does is wasted even though there may be negative results when He has asked us to join Him in His works! How can that be? Whatever He wills will be done, one way or another, by one disciple or another, in obedience or default! He will always have a plan B
I don’t know whether it was urban legend or a true story that has haunted me through the years. The details are not the problem but the basics are.
A woman invited a gentleman to accompany her to church and he related his story of why he had vowed never to enter a church again. When he was a small child, growing up in poverty and hardship he had, out of curiosity, attended Sunday School. He heard the story of a wonderful man called Jesus who had said: “Let the children come to me.” He wanted to do that but then, on his way out of church, he was stopped by a lady who looked down at his bare feet and ragged clothes.
“It was good to see you here today,” she said, “and perhaps you will come again next week. But remember to put on your best clothes and brush your hair so Jesus will be pleased to meet you.”
What a waste of opportunity.
That small child went back to the sorry home he knew and vowed that he would never enter a church building again if all they wanted was a clean outward appearance. He determined that he would make a success of his life and became a successful and ruthless businessman. The next time he was seen in church it was as a well-known man in a smart, expensive suit, lying in his coffin, while people commented on how charitable he had been towards the poor.
What a waste of misguided philanthropy. I have often wondered if the Lord met with him in his last moments.
Matthew 28:19 Go … preach… teach.
What a waste if we do not heed – and obey.
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