"But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 'Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?' Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it." John 12:4-6.
When I think about Judas, I see a double minded man.
He was a disciple of Jesus, yet was influenced more by the devil.
He pretended to care for the poor, when in reality he only wanted more money.
On the night he took the Lord's Supper he would also betray Jesus.
What was wrong with Judas? He was double minded. What about us?
We have to choose whether or not we will follow Jesus. What choice will we make?
Let's make the right one and follow Him.
In most jobs, employees are told how they are to conduct themselves. There are standards that are to be met. There are great expectations. When I was in pharmaceutical sales, we would sit through hours of training so we would know what those expectations were.
As I think about our walk with Christ, I'm reminded that our great King has great expectations for us. We are to conduct ourselves in the proper way. The apostle Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:13-17, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.' If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth."
1. Strive for excellence in holiness.
2. Strive to keep moving forward, not backwards.
3. Strive to keep our eyes fixed on our Savior.
God wants us to live this way because earth is not our final destination. Heaven is!
When I was younger, I loved going to the mall to play video games. One day as I was headed out with a friend of mine, my mother said to me, "Don't Jump The Fence."
We had a fence behind our apartment complex. It was a short cut kids would take to get to the mall, instead of walking around the block.
I said, "Okay!"
But right after I left, my friend said, "Let's jump the fence!"
I said, "Okay!"
I would pay for my disobedience.
First, I got stuck on the fence! Literally. I ripped my pants. My shoe also got stuck. That hurt. I than ran around the block (the path I was supposed to take).
Second, after getting home, I received a whooping from my mother for disobedience.
I learned some valuable lessons through that experience.
1. Listen to mom. She knew best!
2. Don't jump the fence. Sometimes the shorter path is not always the best path.
3. Disobedience will bring about consequences.
As I think back to this story, I'm reminded of the scriptures. God has given us instructions. He wants us to stay on the right path.
He doesn't want us to JUMP THE FENCE. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Stay on the right path!
Don't jump the fence.
In the U.S.A., it is a felony for someone to tamper with the mail. Mailmen are trained to deliver packages the way they receive them. Anyone who changes what's being delivered will be subject to punishment.
In 1 Corinthians 15, we see how some had been messing with the mail. Paul had delivered to the saints the gospel concerning Jesus, 1 Corinthains 15:1-3.
This is what the people received, believed, and obeyed. But some were trying to change the message and say there was no resurrection.
Many today have tried to change the message of Jesus Christ. Many preach a gospel that was is contrary to the true message of Jesus. The saints in Corinth believed the facts of the gospel, and they were saved by obeying the message that was delivered to them, Acts 18:8.
Any other message is a clear indication that someone has been tampering with the mail.
Let's believe and obey the message that's been delivered once for all, Jude 3.
In Psalm 3:1-8, David wrote, "O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, 'There is no deliverance for him in God.' But you, O LORD, are a shiled about me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head. I was crying to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD, save me, O my God! For you have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; you have shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be upon your people!
David had been forced out of Jersusalem because his son Absalom had conspired against him. His enemies thought David would soon be dead.
They were wrong!
There was hope for David in God. God provided David with everything he needed during this difficult period in his life. He provide things like food, water, and companionship. It wasn't David in the end who was overtaken. Rather, it would be Absalom. David could have look at his situation and said all was lost.
He could have given up. But he didn't. He put his trust in God.
Let us do the same. Tough times will come. While we may not be chased by others like David was, nonetheless we will face challenges.
1. We may have family problems.
2. We may lose our jobs.
3. We may have to endure storms that will wash away all of our belongings.
No matter what we face, God is with us. He will provide. He will sustain us. He will bring it through.
Remain with HIM!