Monday, March 5, 2012

Foolishness is Bound Up in the Heart

     According to Scripture, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child" (Prov. 22:15a) but it can also be demonstrated in the hearts of adults as well.  We may be chronologically a certain age, but does that make us mature, able to handle life decisions with wisdom, and have healthy relationships?  From recent news items this past week, I sincerely wonder not only about the direction of our nation but also about how foolish some actions are in light of God's Word to us.
     This past week, a young woman who was a student at Georgetown School of Law went before Congress to ask for a subsidy which would give free birth control to students who routinely have many sexual encounters outside of marriage.  She felt it was a "right" to have this paid for by taxpayers since it cost nearly $3,000 over the three year period of law school to pay for birth control.  At first, I was shocked when I heard this.  How could a bright young woman come forward and openly ask for something like this.  Then, I later heard how our President called her to tell her how brave she was and that her parents must be very proud of her.  Upon hearing this, I recalled the verses from the letter to the Romans (chapter 1) that the Apostle Paul wrote:  "18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.   24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."   
     Personally, I felt sorrow for this young woman who is caught up in the "thinking" of our day.  Sex outside of marriage, living together, same sex marriage, and all other manner of sins have become routine in our society.  It is the fruit of the sin nature found in all men.  However, this same type of behavior ought not be found within the Body of believers.  As a redeemed people purchased by the blood of Christ, we are to live by the standards found in the Word of God, and we are to grow into maturity of our faith.  We are to bring glory to Christ daily.  Unfortunately, there are many believers who become caught up in adultery, fornication, lust, pornography, and other sins of the "old sin nature".  Why is that?
     Looking into the letter to the Corinthian Church, we see a group of believers who are struggling to overcome conflict and deal properly with sin.  There is pride on display with some exalting over their gifts which others did not have as well as a man caught in an incestuous relationship that was not disciplined.  In addition, these believers were taking one another to court as well instead of dealing with each other and working out the conflict.   All of this showed the foolishness and immaturity that was bound up in their hearts.  In his letter, Paul wrote: " I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.  Indeed, you are still not ready" (I Cor. 3:2).
     What Paul was driving at and what we must also learn is that in order to drive out foolishness and grow to maturity we must accept God's discipline.  Studying His Word and then, applying it helps to transform our minds and renew our hearts.  Through the Bible, God brings His correction to us, and by means of hearing the Word preached in fellowship with other believers, we are also submitting ourselves to accountability.  It takes commitment to grow in Christ.  
     In the opening of this devotion, I quoted a part of Proverbs 22:15.  The rest of the verse reads:  "The rod of discipline will remove it far from him".  This is what it takes to grow.  In order to drive out that foolishness that is found in the hearts of children as well as adults, we need the correction that comes from the Word of God.  We need discipline within our churches in order to address sin and the folly found in hearts unfaithful to Christ's call.  Our conduct, attitudes, words and deeds preach loudly to those around us.  Do they reflect God's wisdom and a changed life or do they reflect the foolishness of this world?  This is an important question we all must ponder every day.  We are meant to be light and salt in this world.  May we begin to live in such a manner that others may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.  Selah!   

I welcome your thoughts and look forward to reading them.  Leave a word of encouragement for others to see here.  Blessings!             

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