TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, June 24, 2019:
Dividing line; limits.
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Jesus put it right on the line for all believers when He gave us His standard to love the Lord thy God and love our neighbors. This sets up the boundary we need if we are going to honor Him and serve Him. When we love Jesus and our neighbors it puts us in a position of honoring God in all that we do. Boundaries are limits that are set to protect us. The boundaries we have are what God has given us, the Ten Commandments, His Word and our personal experience with Him.
The prophet Nehemiah was governor of Jerusalem after he returned from exile. God had spoken to him and directed him to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah responded because he understood that the Jewish people living in Jerusalem needed a boundary around them to protect them from their enemies. (Nehemiah chapters 3-4)
Just like those that lived in Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s time needed a boundary in the form of a wall to protect them from invaders, we as believers need a boundary of protection to protect us from the invasion of sin that we face daily.
Take a moment right now and think about the enemies we face as Christians. We live in a culture that basically ignores God and thus we face evil influences everywhere we turn. When we live out our faith we face times when our faith is questioned. We are asked such things as “How can you believe that there is a God when all these bad things are happening?”
We face temptations daily. How many times a day are you tempted to do something that is not honest or at least borders on being dishonest. This is Satan at work in this world and the temptations we face begin with little things and then they get bigger and bigger and soon God is forgotten.
Everyday our children are confronted with the evils of drugs, alcohol, sex, corruption and a philosophy of living for self glorification. Just sit down with a young person and get them to talk to you about the things they face in life and you will be appalled.
A boundary determines limits. In the Christian life it is like a line dividing right from wrong, what is pleasing to God and what is not. When we cross the line and do what is not pleasing to God, it is wrong and a sin and we have breached the boundary that the Lord has set for us. So often we make excuses like: what is wrong if it is only a little white lie, or it will never be missed if I steal it, or if nobody knows about it, how can extramarital sex be bad?
How many drug addicts became addicted because they thought it would never hurt to try an illegal drug just once? How many drunkards started with just one drink? Once the boundary between right and wrong is breached, no matter how small the breach, it is like a tiny crack in a dam. The breach continues to expand until the floodgates are let loose and causes a disaster. We have only to look at the shattered lives all around us and the broken homes with families in total disarray to see the tragic results of crossing God’s boundaries.
This is why we need as believers, for ourselves and our families, to adhere to the boundaries that God has set to protect us from the evils of this world. We need support systems. We need family communication daily to encourage and to hold each other accountable for what we do. We need time praying, alone and as a family, asking God to give us the protection we need from the enemies we face. We need time alone and as a family to read God’s Word. This is the only way God can communicate with us. His Word is vital to keeping us spiritually strong and living within God’s boundaries.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Luke 2:52.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
It is my prayer today that You will help me to set boundaries that will protect me from the evils of this world that I live in. I ask the same for my family and my friends. Give each one of us the strength and courage to resist temptations to cross God’s boundary lines. Protect us from the evils of Satan in this world and give us a new dedication to live for You and to honor You by obeying Your Word.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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