Volume: 906 May 1, 2023
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I have endeavored to raise chickens to raise as much food as possible. After hearing the locals tell of coyotes and seeing evidence of a fox, coupled with the knowledge of nearby black snakes, I knew that the pen and the henhouse must resist those predators.
When building their coop, I accommodated for all those dangers in the design. Their outside run was wrapped with strong chicken wire. Even the floor was laid with the fence material in case one of the raiders tried to gain entrance by digging in. The wire was doubled stapled so no creature could gain entry by tearing off the covering. Even the roof was partly covered with wire and sheet metal to keep out airborne enemies like hawks.
The house was sheathed in strong material, with even the smallest gaps eliminated, so an egg-hungry snake could not slither in. Windows were covered with heavy screening that would keep them out and was higher than any ground predator could reach. When finished, the house was safe for all the fowl that lived within.
Afterward, the squeaking and squawking chicks were brought into their new living quarters. Their daily needs were met. They got their daily food, water, and occasional kitchen waste that they devoured. Soon, they grew and were nearing the age that they would produce eggs.
However, their behavior began to change. They no longer fear me as I come to feed, water, and clean their living quarters. At times, they were a bit hostile to me as I tried to feed them.
As I left their pen or henhouse, they kept following me to get outside their protected environment. Sometimes, as I went, they attempted to dart out to the unprotected outside. Usually, they could be herded back into their safe environment and were discouraged from escaping.
One morning, however, one hen managed to get out. Fortunately, before she got too far, I was able to catch her and put her back in the safe area I had created for her.
I realize their discontentment with their secure environment and curiosity to go “outside” was very much what too many Christians spend their lives trying to do. Instead of following God’s commandments, as preserved in the Bible, they take every opportunity to go outside God’s protection.
The rules that they ignore, disobey, and often dislike are there for their protection. A life within those guidelines will be safe and guarantee a closer walk with God. A life lived outside those guidelines will be one without God’s protection and guidance and may result in hardship, unhappiness, and even destruction.
God knows what waits “outside.” He knows all about the luring temptations, the strangling grip of sin, and the devouring Devil that can ruin any man, woman, or child once they are outside His protection.
Man may learn God’s commandments and what God warns him not to do, but he often looks “outside.” He sees most of the world doing things he knows he should not do.
Often he observes that it appears that nothing happens when the world commits sin or even gets close to it. It seems that they get away with it.
He considers that the biblical warnings are wrong or for a different time and that now they must be okay to do, as so many appear to get away with iniquity. (If man could follow those people’s lives and learn of all the details, he would find they did not get away with it after all!).
Mankind often lurches outside the protection God has provided. For a short time, doing what everyone else is doing is fun. There are no repercussions for sin or getting too close to it.
However, his life changes so slowly that he often does not see the changes that happen. His desire to please God and obey Him is usually the first thing that is eroded, along with the fear of the consequences of getting involved in sin.
Lack of concern for others also disappears. What remains is a self-centered individual bent on satisfying one’s selfish desires.
Often involvement in sin does physical damage or changes. Again, the sinner never sees the damage exposure to the “outside” has done.
No one gets away with sin. That is why God commands us not to get close to it, so it can never get a hold of a person. There is a wage to iniquity’s commission. Stay inside God’s boundaries, and you can escape the dangers that lurk “outside.”
“If we could look steadily at the world and see it as it is in the eyes of God, many of our estimates would be amazingly changed.” — Edward Gareshe
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mat. 6:24
No man can serve God and mammon because there is not enough life in the heart to serve the two. Alas! Many people try this, and they fail both ways.
I have known a man who has tried to let some of his heart run into the world and another part he allowed to drip into the church. The effect was that he was suspected of hypocrisy when he came into the church.
“Why,” they said, “if he were truly obeying the Lord, could he have done yesterday what he did and then come and profess so much today?” Other believers look upon him suspiciously, or if he deceives them, they feel he cannot be trusted because he has not given all his heart to the Lord.
What is the effect of his conduct to the world? Why, his religion is a constraint to him there. Any mention of God or His commandments, especially any expression of guilt, makes the world uncomfortable around him, and they also do not trust him.
The world will not have him, and other Christians will not have him. He wants to go between the two, and both avoid him.
“If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God.”
— Dr. Harold Sightler
When the voice came down from Heaven to Noah, “… Come thou and all thy house into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation,” there was a minute when Noah was outside the ark and another when he was inside. By being inside, he was saved. As long as he was outside the ark, he was exposed to the wrath of God just like the rest of the people.
If he had stayed out and remained with the others, he would have been swept away, as they were. It was not his righteousness. It was not his faith or works that saved him; it was the ark.
God has provided an ark for us (His Word), and the question is, “Are you inside or outside this ark?” If you are inside, you are safe; if you are outside, you are not.
Abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thes. 5:22). Sin not and avoid even the appearance of it. Do not drive your morality so near the bounds of evil as to lead even weak persons to believe you touch, taste, or handle it. Let not the form of it appear with or among you.
Ye are called to holiness. Be ye holy, for God is holy.
“If you are saved, you are on the winning side. Why would you want to look or act like the losing side that is headed for Hell?”
Beware of the world. It has slain its millions!
What ruined Lot’s wife? The world.
What ruined Achan? The world.
What ruined Haman? The world.
What ruined Judas? The world.
What ruined Demas? The world.
What will ruin you? The world.
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mat. 16:26