Just a Little Contamination
by Jerry Curry
The Greatest Example of All
by Richard Thetford
Are You "M.I.A."?
by Larry Ray Hafley
Just A Little Contamination
One day a mother was scraping vegetables as her daughter came into the room to get permission to go to an “adult” movie. (Chances are if it is not suitable for children it is also not fit for adults JDC).
“But all the kids are going,” she said, “and their folks don’t think it will hurt them.” As she talked, she saw her mother pick up a handful of scraps and throw them into the salad. Rather startled, she shouted, “Mother, you are putting garbage in the salad.”
“I know,” her mother replied, “but I thought if you didn’t mind putting garbage in your heart and mind that you wouldn’t care about a little in your stomach.”
Thoughtfully, the girl picked up the peelings from the salad and then smiled at her mother. “I guess I’ll just tell them I’m staying home tonight.” Author Unknown
The proverb writer says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) The proverb confirms the concern that the mother had for the purity of her daughter’s heart. This story reminds of the admonition of Paul in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This is sound advice as we decide what movies to watch, what songs to listen to, what books and magazines to read and what conversations we have. We are never too old to learn from the children’s song. “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful little feet where you go.”
As Jesus addresses the misunderstanding of traditions in Matthew 15:19, He tells the disciples, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies: these are the things that defile a man.”
May we exhibit in our lives the words of the song we sometimes sing, “Purer in heart, oh God, help me to be.”
- Jerry Curry
The Greatest Example of All
As a child growing up, I recall my mother reminding me that I should be a "good example" because others are watching me and what I do may have a direct influence on their lives. As I look back, I remember looking to others as examples to follow, especially those in the church that were always consistent in their teaching, attendance, and love for the Lord. One never knows when someone else is watching us and in some respects patterning their lives after some of the things that we do. Therefore, we must strive to be the best example that we can possibly be.
The Example of Jesus Christ
The greatest example of all is Jesus Christ. We have been called to "follow in His steps" as stated in 1 Peter 2:21. If we truly want to pattern our lives after someone that was perfect, without any sin (1 Pet 2:22), then Jesus is the one that we need to have as our example. When things happen in our lives that upset us, we may try to think of various ways to get back at those that caused us to be upset. Jesus is the one that we need to turn to when things are not going as we would like, because we can trust in Him and learn some good things from His example. Peter wrote: "and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Pet 2:23-24). Yes, Jesus was and is the greatest example of all!
Are You “M.I.A.”?
Missing In Action" (M.I.A.). Those are three of the most fearful words that loved ones can hear during war time. "What has happened to him? Is he alright? Has he been captured? Is he injured and alone? Has he been killed? Is it simply an oversight, or a mix-up of some kind?" Fear. Worry. Concern. Panic. Memories. Prayers--constant, crying, pleading prayers!
Perhaps this is how the angels of heaven are affected when you and I are lost, or "missing in action." Since the angels rejoice, and since there is "joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," is it too much to speculate that there is grave distress among the angelic armies and heavenly hosts when one of us goes astray? We know "the holy Spirit of God" is grieved when we err (Eph. 4:30). Surely, therefore, there is mourning among the holy angels when we wander from our place.
Are you such a one? Have you become a casualty in spiritual warfare? Have you been taken prisoner by the devil to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26)? Have you fallen asleep on duty (Eph. 5:14)? Have you gone "A.W.O.L." (Absent WithOut Leave)? Have you failed to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:3)? Have you been attracted and distracted by the affairs of this world and neglected your post (2 Tim. 2:4)? If you, as a parent, or as a student, gave as much attention to your roles in those areas as you give to your work in the kingdom of God, what kind of husband or wife or student would you be? Be honest.
We dearly miss those of you who are "M.I.A." We trust that you have not been captured or killed by "your adversary the devil." We hope that you have been away for legitimate and explainable reasons. God knows. However, if you have been idle, if you have been lethargic, indifferent, and apathetic in the vineyard of the Lord, it is past time for you to repent, return, and recover your soul. There is time--indeed, this is that time--for you to reveal yourself when the roll is called. Be no longer among that number that is "missing in action."
-Larry Ray Hafley