Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Cleansing of the Church
“Do not let your hearts envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” (17-18)Envy is defined as wanting something that we lack and being resentful towards those who have, almost coveting, whereas jealousy is defined as the fear that someone is going to take away what you already have. Some people use both terms interchangeably. People who do evil and are corrupt seem to prosper worldly amassing gold, luxurious cars, huge mansions, fame and other possessions, power and fame. This is quite common back in India where corrupt politicians become rich before your very eyes. This may cause the believers to become envious. Socrates said what was most troublesome to good men was “the prosperity of the wicked”. But those people are not truly happy at all if you really look into their hearts. They will receive their retribution in the next world and God’s justice will definitely prevail at the end.
Solomon reminds us not to become envious of such evildoers, but to fear the Lord always. That means we ought to remember our God at all the times, in our highs, in our lows, when we get up and go to sleep, when we go to work and when we spend time with our families and others. The enjoyment of the wicked will have an end but the child of God will hope for the profound joy that will culminate in the eternal life that he has promised us. That is what the hymn says “When you look at others with their lands and gold, that Christ has promised his wealth untold, Count your many blessings, wealth can never buy, Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high”
To fear the Lord does not mean to literally be scared, but to show proper respect, awe and wonder for our God who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent and is the almighty Lord. Fearing the Lord means letting God be God and not demanding our own way or sense of justice thinking that we know what is right and best. God is our creator and is sovereign and to fear Him is to obey Him without question or complaint with child-like faith. Casting all our anxieties on Him who cares about you, trusting him completely to meet our daily needs and not all our wants, we need to worship our God and give him the reverence due to him. We need to learn to be content with what we have as it is the Lord’s will to give you what you need. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1: 17). Walking in the fear of the Lord is to consult his will and following him and growing into the likeness of our Lord.
Prayer: Dear Lord, cleanse our hearts from all envy and jealousy and create in us an attitude of reverence for you Lord at all times in our daily walk with you. Help us be instruments of change in cleansing our church of envy and jealousy. Amen.
Thought of the Day: Do we fear the Lord?
Dr. Alex T. Thomas, NJMTC, Randolph