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Thursday, March 13, 2014
Throughout the spring we have "mud sales" here in Lancaster County to benefit local volunteer fire departments. On the day of this photo it was not muddy! These Amish boys had quite a business assisting buyers as they hauled their newly acquired purchases to their cars for a tip.
"Inventing Ways Of Doing Evil"
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"They invent ways of doing evil" (Romans 1:30). "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way” (Ephesians 4:19,20).
When thinking of the word "invent" many of us will immediately think of Thomas Edison. During his lifetime he had a record 1093 patents for inventions. He worked out of Menlo Park in what is now Edison, New Jersey, where my sister and her family lived about twenty years ago. The town motto is "Let there be light".
Last night I awoke in the middle of the night and looked outside. Since we live out in the country it was mostly dark but all along the view there was evidence of one of Thomas Edison's most famous inventions with light on farms and further away the developments around Mount Joy.
All throughout history innovative scientists, engineers and inventors have used their God-given intellect and skills to bless humankind. Another famous inventor, whose face is stamped on the US $100.00 bill, invented many useful items such as the lightning rod, Franklin Stove, and bifocals. Of course we are speaking of fellow Pennsylvanian, Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps the earliest recorded inventor in the Bible, even before the Great Flood, was "Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron" (Genesis 4:22).
Just as evidence for good inventions abound, so do those that are invented for evil. Last night I watched a news report about NekNomination, a new internet drinking game that has already killed several young people. It's beyond the common person's imagination - the extent of evil out there!
Romans 1 describes another kind of inventor in Paul's inspired assessment on the consequences of rejecting God. Other versions translate this passage: "inventors of evil things" (ASV), "Their minds teemed with diabolical invention" (Phillips). "They invent new ways of sinning" (NLT).
The underlying Greek word for invent (epheuretes) is found only here in the New Testament. It describes a person who is not content with the usual, ordinary ways of sinning, but one who seeks out new vices because he has grown blasé and seeks a new thrill in some new sin.
With newer technology we have seen a proliferation of ways in which people have become "inventors of evil" in the most sordid ways, such as NekNomination! What needless, revolting tragedy. People created in God's image who could be using their minds for noble, God-glorifying purposes, instead have been given over to depraved minds that think up unspeakable evil! (From Precept Austin Study notes).
In our second daily text let us just consider the phrase, “continual lust for more”. This began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God had provided enough, absolutely all they needed. But in the midst of all the blessings of Eden stood the forbidden tree. The crafty serpent enticed Adam and Eve that this forbidden fruit was something better. Because they did not resist the temptation, their disobedience resulted in what theologians call “original sin”. And ever since that time mankind has had a hard time resisting the forbidden!
Whatever level of wickedness appeases the sinful cravings for a time will eventually be insufficient. More will always be needed, a new way of doing evil will have to be invented. This can be seen in so many of Satan's vices such as gambling, alcohol, drugs, pornography, and sexual immorality. Each vice so often begins with a "harmless", scaled down introduction but will so often become your master and take you where you never intended to go and keep you much longer than you ever intended to stay. Do people actually set goals for themselves to live in the gutter?
Today as God’s standards of morality are mocked and shrugged off by indifference we see this phenomenon of inventing new ways to do evil and continual lust for more growing at a fevered pitch. Thus I frankly ponder what the next frontier will be when that which is presently considered deviant becomes socially acceptable. It may be something we can hardly imagine but just consider where we are now and that which was unimaginable just a few years ago, by Christian and non-Christian alike.
The ungodly make big business out of every kind of impurity. Pornography, prostitution, vulgar media, and every other kind of impurity make up one of the largest industries in our country. The vast majority of it is open, shameless, legally protected and only a tap away. Some time ago a Christian leader observed that many of the books published in the United States today rival the drippings of a broken sewer. This preceded the massive availability through the internet and other modern media. Now the drippings have become a surging flood.
With the flood of evil, pornography and perversions sweeping through our land and around the world many of those who have partaken have "a continual lust for more." Deeper and deeper depths of depravity can be expected and the evil acts that accompany it. We should not be surprised by the crimes we hear about in the news or those we might personally experience.
"You, however, did not come to know Christ that way” (Ephesians 4:20). Those who experience the life transforming power of Jesus Christ are different. The slide into decadence stops and the renewal begins. We are a new creation. Rather than having a continual lust for more wickedness we become seekers of God's Kingdom and desire more purity and righteousness.
Everyone is headed in one direction or the other. Which way are you heading today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, shape my thinking into that which will bring about growth and conformity to Your will. Teach me to think not in accord with my own human instincts but with the truth as it is revealed in Your Word. It will keep me from lusting after deadly forbidden fruit if I plant myself into that which is holy and righteous. As the world continues to slide into decadence help me to delve deeper into Your Word and faithfully commune with You so that my heart does not grow cold or indifferent. Nor will I be drawn into every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more. I want to stand firm to the end so that I am saved from this world of sin and influence others to live a godly life. Through Christ's strength and my prayerful resolve I will remain faithful. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Take My Life And Let It Be" Video Christ For The Nations Worship
"May The Mind Of Christ" Video Emu Music
"I Want to Be More Like Jesus Every Day" Video Old Friends Quartet
"I Want To Be More Like Jesus" Video Keith Green
Controversial drinking game goes viral
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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