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Friday, December 27, 2013

I AM RESPONSIBLE

In the 1980’s Jim Bakker built a ministry. He thought he built it for God, but he really built his own empire. Bakker started the PTL ministry because of a desire to serve the Lord, but as the ministry grew, love of earthly possessions and lust for power waged war. Jim Bakker took his eyes off God too many times, and his empire fell.

Years following the building of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon found himself in the same predicament. Solomon allowed his pagan wives to pull him away from his first love. He still offered sacrifices in the temple, but worship had become only a formality. His heart was not fully God's, and his soul suffered from his desire to create happiness for the thousand of women in his life.

A woman’s desire for knowledge brought about the fall from God’s grace in the garden. Adam tried to please Eve by doing what she asked. It also might have been Tammy Fay's hunger for more possessions that spurred on Jim Bakker’s fall. King Solomon’s desire to please the many women in his life truly began his descent into a meaningless existence.

However, in the last analysis Solomon did not fall from God’s grace just because of heathen wives. Jim Bakker also did not tumble into sin just because of Tammy Fay, and Adam could have said no. Each man was ultimately responsible for his own decisions and actions. Sinful compromise separated these men from their God.

And what about me? I am responsible for my actions and my decisions. I am accountable. No one else leads me astray. Certainly others will offer temptation, but it is my choice whether I follow Christ or not. If I allow worldly desires to claim my heart instead of following after Jesus Christ, then I void my witness, and lose any credential I have to share the love of Christ. If I don't live what I believe I will lose what I have been so freely given.

It is impossible to serve two masters. I will love one and grow to hate the other. I must always choose between spiritual pursuit and worldly values. Earthly treasures will not only destroy me, but they are like sand that slips through my fingers. I can't hold on to them. I should seek God's kingdom first, and allow His treasures to become the love of my heart.

How do I keep from straying as Solomon or others have done? I need to keep earthly influences from destroying my walk with the Lord. How do I know each decision that needs to be made? I seek the Lord’s counsel through prayer, and study of His Word. I don’t wish to forfeit God’s blessings. If I allow the world to become more important that my God, then I will lose what Solomon lost–my first love.

And what about all of us? We should keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, and follow only Him. He began this faith, and He will finish it.....if we allow it.

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