This section is full of “whoever” clauses, setting forth both good and bad examples and consequences. Look closely; you might find yourself somewhere in there. I did.
We looked at a list something like this before. I broke it down into two sides; godly side and evil side. I kind of wanted to use the term worldly instead of “evil” but didn’t feel quite right doing so. Those who are not children of God are children of Satan, and therefore “evil”. Worldly is another way our bible speaks of those who aren’t children of God, so, I could use it. Then I think about, “If they are from this ‘world’ what planet am I from?” Just a little somewhere my mind runs. Truthfully, those who are God’s children are from HIS Kingdom; not this world.
Let me back up a moment too and apologize for missing yet another day with you all. I’m helping my children deal with their father’s estate. I have the legal mind and the time so I’m doing a LOT of the legwork. I was busy all day dealing with this yesterday. THEN when I thought I was finally finished and had time to sit down, my mother in law needed me to deal with our new baby chicks, including setting up a new habitat for them in my house as they are outgrowing the one in her house. Long story (I mean day) short, I got to bed at 2 AM without sitting down to meditate or write. I did read our text though.
Back to our process today. Let’s break down the characteristics again. I’m going to make a attribute list for each character of man.
Our godly man is not perfect, but some of his characteristics and attitudes:
He isn’t afraid of hard work. He knows it takes time and faithfulness to his tasks to feed his family. He will be blessed because of his faithfulness. He is generous with what he has, including wisdom for his friends he sees going astray. He honors his father and mother and cares for them from his own wealth. He trusts in the Lord, NOT his own mind. He walks in the wisdom of the Lord all his days. He is blessed by God. Not for his actions alone but for his relationship with the Lord. And because of that relationship the above actions flow naturally from him.
An evil or worldly man is not always so evil you shiver in his presence. Some put forth fairly good lives. But because they lack the relationship with God, they are the ones who will be seen doing the ‘works of their father’ and displaying his attitudes:
He likes the “get rich quick” schemes. There’s probably not one he hasn’t tried. Hard work is too time consuming and doesn’t get him where he wants to go fast enough. What he does make from his endeavors, he is stingy with. Why should anyone else prosper from his superior intellect? This includes his parents. They are the ones who should be leaving him an inheritance; not him spending his money on them. They can look after themselves. He refuses to see the poor all around him. Those whom he can’t avoid, he closes his eyes to their needs. His greed stirs up anger and fighting; probably even within his own family. He is only a heartbeat away from poverty as he had invested all he has into gaining even more. When that poverty comes, he will do ANYTHING just for a crust of bread. He relies wholly on himself and lives for himself.
The ‘good’ worldly man, apart from Christ Jesus, is just as lost. He may display some of the godly characteristics listed earlier but they come from a different source that the man who has God as his center. How others see him, to appease his own conscience, or because it seems the best idea are his motivations. He may even believe that by acting godly he will get ahead in the world. “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
There is also the man who believes himself to be godly but lacks a real relationship with Jesus. He too is just as lost as the evil man or the good worldly man. This is the man who believes that he is saved by his actions or associations with other godly people. Going to church does NOT guarantee you a place in Heaven! Having surrendered your life to Jesus and asking Him to be your salvation is the ONLY WAY into Heaven. “I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6, emphasis added).
So, did you find yourself in here. I found myself in more places than I wanted to. On the godly side, I know how to work hard. I keep chipping away at my tasks, whatever they may be, until they are done. Some of them, I have to admit, I don’t jump right on as I should. Folding my laundry is one of those that gets put off too long. I am generous, especially with those whom I truly see their need and that they are trying to meet it. But I have also been known to ‘turn a blind eye’ to some people. The person on the street corner with a sign is often one of them. Unless God puts it on my heart to help, I often look away. I don’t know their lives or what brought them to that particular point, but there are SO MANY of them that I feel overwhelmed and tend to shut down. I often smile at the person in acknowledgement that they are seen but seldom open my purse to give. When I do give, I usually give practical things instead of money. Food and gas are my “go to” gifts.
Does this make me a bad person? Is this relying on my own wisdom? Is this a sin??? I PRAY NOT!!!
Father God, I hated finding myself on the wrong list. Seeing in myself things that are not from You. I KNOW I can’t fix the whole problem but I can address what is right in front of me. Give me wisdom and courage in this area. Show me where I’m supposed to act and when to sit quietly by. I FULLY believe there are times when You call me to do each of these things. Help me know what and when to act.
Help me live a life that is pleasing unto You! That is my greatest desire. I’m a “whoever” and I want to see my life reflect the AMAZING things You did for every “whosoever”; especially as John shares with us in chapter 3 verse 16.