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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

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"A Trap"

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" (1 Timothy 6:9).

I have often stated how I have received inspiration from church signs. Yesterday I drove by a church in rural York County and saw this one, "He who buries his talent is making a grave mistake."

Periodically I have seen signs that really don't edify me. But the all time worst church sign I've ever seen was a church that had bingo (inexcusable for a true church of Jesus Christ in my view).  The name of the church was Holy Ghost _________ Church (I won't identify the denomination). The large marquee sign along US Route 219 in New York advertised bingo night with this phrase, "Holy Ghost Bingo".  What a shameful witness for the third person in the divine, holy Trinity!

It's sad when churches and the state get into gambling. Here in Pennsylvania the state-sponsored gambling scheme is aggressively marketed.  One can hardly go into any store without being bombarded with lottery sales. Advertising abounds on TV, print and on billboards. One perverse ad (I can't recall whether it was Pennsylvania or another state) actually markets the lottery to the poor as "the way out."  Our current leadership is bent on expanding other forms of gambling in our state as well, telling us it will lower taxes.  Sure, want to make a bet on that?

I marvel again at the timeless relevance of God's Word. In 1 Timothy 6 Paul has warnings to both the rich (17-19) and those who desire to be rich (6-10).  We surely benefit from the warnings that Paul gives to the rich.  You may say, "well, that's sure not me!" Yes, it probably really is.  Most of us have far more of this world's goods than the vast majority of the world's people. 

Yet we also still need the solemn warning in our daily text that Paul gives to "people who want to get rich." You see, it seems no matter how much you have, you always want more!

Let's just consider one word in our Scripture text today. The word "trap" has the root meaning "fastened by a noose".  Wow, isn't that the case?  A noose is loose at first but gets tighter and tighter.  Isn't that the nature of sin in general and covetousness in particular? There's an appeal, such as the bait set in a trap, but going down that road indeed leads to ruin and destruction.

Let us heed the Scripture's warning today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Personal note: Today's email post is sent out much earlier than usual.  Brooksyne is returning from Tulsa this morning and I will be picking her up in the Allentown area.  Prior to that I will have breakfast with my brother, who lives in that area.

The song that comes to mind today that we do well to inform us is simply titled, "Enough".  Many of you have heard it and perhaps sung it in church.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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