Life’s Little Lessons XXII
Well Motivated #1
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). When Cortez landed at Vera Cruz in 1519 to begin his conquest of Mexico with a small force of 700 men, he purposely set fire to his fleet of eleven ships. His men on the shore watched their only means of retreat sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. With no means of retreat, there was only one direction in which to move, forward into the Mexican interior to meet whatever might come their way.
To be a disciple of the Lord, we also must purposely destroy all avenues of retreat. We must resolve that whatever price is required for being His follower, we will gladly pay. We have become citizens of the kingdom of God, and we will not retreat to the world.
Well Motivated #2
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5). A frog was caught in a deep rut on a muddy road, so the fable goes. In spite of the help of his friends, he couldn’t get out. They finally left him there in despair. The next day one of his friends saw him hopping about outside the rut as chipper as could be. “What are you doing here? I thought you couldn’t get out,” said the friend. “I couldn’t,” the frog replied, “but when I saw a big truck coming down the road, I was strongly motivated to get out.”
The reason we often don’t do what we should is because we lack the will and motivation to do so. Let us consider the Lord’s solemn warning. Fear of the one who has power to cast into hell, should strongly motivate us to faithful service. Let us avoid hell at all cost.
One Glass of Worry
“And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). According to the National Bureau of Standards, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of something less than one glass of water. In other words, all the fog covering seven city blocks 100 feet deep could be, if gathered together and held in a single drinking glass, it would not quite fill it. This can be compared to our worry or anxiety about worldly matters. If all our worry about earthly things was reduced to its true value, it probably would be worth less than one tenth of one second of our time. Let us not be worried and trouble about things that don’t really matter, but focus on things which are truly important.
Three Glasses of Buttermilk
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11:24-26).
A man who drank heavily was converted to Christ and lived victoriously for several weeks. One day as he passed the open door of a tavern, the pungent odor drifting out aroused his old appetite for liquor. Just then he saw this sign in the window of a nearby cafe: “All the buttermilk you can drink — 25 cents!” Dashing inside, he ordered one glass, then another, and still another. After finishing the third he walked past the saloon and was no longer tempted. He was so full of buttermilk that he had no room for that which would be injurious to him. The lesson is clear: to be victorious over our evil desires, we must leave no opportunity for them to repossess us. (From Bible Illustrator)
Definitely, all new converts should replace their former evil way of life with good works; otherwise, they can quickly revert back to their old way and become worse than before their conversion. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
Blinded by Covetousness
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). There’s an old legend about two very covetous men who were granted a wish upon the condition that whoever made the first wish, the second would receive a double portion of what the first requested. The first greedy man would not make his wish because he wanted the double portion for himself. The second covetous man felt the same; thus, he was also unwilling to make the first wish. After a long while, the first, who was strongest of the two, grabbed the second by the throat and said he would choke him to death if he didn’t make his wish. As the second man was about to die, he said, “I wish to be made blind in one eye.” Immediately, he lost the sight of one eye, and his companion went blind in both eyes! The moral of this old story is, “Beware of covetousness.”