A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Harvest time along Harvest Road in Lancaster County. Sure seems this farmer had a precarious load with the pumpkins that could easily fall off at a bump in the road or a quick halt. This is a windshield photo as we passed the team and wagon.
"Inventing Ways Of Doing Evil"
Message summary: Today, as God’s standards of morality are mocked and shrugged off by indifference, we see this phenomenon of inventing new ways to do evil growing at a fevered pitch. Let's be on the lookout, avoiding evil and walking in the path of righteousness.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“They invent ways of doing evil” (Romans 1:30). “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way” (Ephesians 4:19,20). "Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:26,27).
We have donated blood together since we first met in the mid-seventies. Our most recent donation was last Saturday at the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank bloodmobile parked in front of Hostetter's Hardware in Mount Joy. For many years, due to communicable diseases, donors have been subjected to a pre-donation interview that includes some very frank and embarrassing questions.
But this time Brooksyne got a new question (but not me). She had a young man interviewing her who asked, "With what gender would you like to be identified?" Brooksyne, who's as sweet as they come can also be a bit salty on rare occasions incredulously looked at him and responded, "Look at me! What do you think I am?"
This must be a new official question or perhaps it was his attempt to be "woke" though this was the second time this has happened to Brooksyne over the past two years. Neither time have I been asked such an objectionable question so perhaps the persons interviewing me could rightly sense I wouldn't take too kindly to such utter nonsense.
But there's more. Brooksyne asked the young man what he would do if a donor identified as a dog or cat to which he replied we need to be respectful however they want to be identified! "I would never impose my views if that would keep them from being who they want to be." So I suppose if someone insists they are a cat we need to go along with that!
Although we normally think of inventions as a good thing and as a sign of progress such is not always the case. Today let us consider the only time the word "invent" is used in many standard translations of the New Testament.
This verse from Romans 1 describes another kind of inventor in Paul's inspired assessment on the consequences of rejecting God. Other versions translate this passage: "Invent ways of doing evil" (NIV) "inventors of evil things" (ASV), "Their minds teemed with diabolical invention" (Phillips). "They invent new ways of sinning" (NLT).
The underlying Greek word for invent (epheuretes) is found only here in the New Testament. It describes a person who is not content with the usual, ordinary ways of sinning, but one who seeks out new vices because he has grown blasé and seeks a new thrill in some less familiar sin. Doesn't this describe our present age?
With or without any regard to newer technology we see a proliferation of ways in which people have become "inventors of evil" in the most sordid ways. People created in God's image who could be using their minds for noble, God-glorifying purposes, instead have been given over to depraved minds that think up unspeakable evil! (From Precept Austin Study notes).
Today, as God’s standards of morality are mocked and shrugged off by indifference, we see this phenomenon of inventing new ways to do evil growing at a fevered pitch. Thus we frankly ponder what the next frontier will be when that which is presently considered deviant becomes socially acceptable and then celebrated (although not by all.). It may be something we can hardly imagine but just think about where we are now and that which was unimaginable only a few years ago, by Christian and non-Christian alike.
Just consider the moral anarchy in our own lifetime. More will always be needed, a new way of doing evil will have to be invented. This can be seen in so many of Satan's vices such as gambling, alcohol, drugs, pornography, and sexual immorality. Each vice so often begins with a "harmless", scaled down introduction but will so often become the master to many and take them where they never intended to go, keep them much longer than they ever intended to stay, and change them in ways they never expected. Do people actually set goals for themselves to live in the gutter? No, not really but remember Satan distorts his evil plan so that, if we're not careful, even those who profess to follow Christ will be brought down.
Let's be on the lookout, avoiding evil and walking in the path of righteousness.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we're warned in Proverbs 4:27 that we must avoid evil and walk straight ahead, not taking one step off the right way. We don't want to be lured by the enemy or caught in his diabolical trap. Living in this sin-filled world might lead us to despair especially those raising children or grandchildren, but we look to You for grace, strength and a firm resolve to remain faithful and hopeful because the Scripture reminds us, "Where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound." Where there is the existence of sin there is the presence of God's sustaining grace to help see us through our troubled world, to help us see the kingdom of God that will last for all eternity where sin will not enter so it can no longer destroy! Until that day we choose to remain faithful, hopeful, and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ wherever we live, work, and commune. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Note to foreign readers: It's embarrassing to many of us here in the USA just how fast evil is advancing.
What does the Bible say about the various forms of gender dysphoria? (from gotquestions.org)
Indeed pretending and acting like you're an animal is a now a "thing": Kentucky school district: Students are dressing and acting like cats
In His Image: Delighting in God's Plan for Gender and Sexuality (Full length movie)
We are approaching the peak of availability of fresh vegetables at the many produce stands that are along our rural roads. This wagon is at the Corn Wagon near New Danville where we can get 13 ears of freshly picked corn for $2.50! This wagon has eggplant and peppers.
This small stand is on an Amish farm here on Kraybill Church Road around the corner from our house. We've been enjoying good sized seedless watermelons for $1.00 each. Eli grows for wholesale to a local food coop and these are seconds, but they're still tasty!
Ester snapped this photo of Gracie on our rustic barn steps.
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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