January 16, 2018 by maryruwe
This week we are talking about compromise. We see it in our world all the time. Maybe you too have even been guilty of it. I have. Don’t like to admit it but when I look back over my life I can see some times when I compromised. I either said things wrong or with the wrong tone or didn’t speak when I should have. Ugh! The word compromise usually brings to mind the negative effect in our lives or the lives of others because we remember when a person yielded to the other party and perhaps loss their reputation, job, home, or even family. However another meaning of the word compromise is to concede, to allow, and to acknowledge. This positive side is when we yield and concede, admit and acknowledge that the Gospel is true and we need a Savior. We settle the differences between us as a sinner and the Holy Almighty God by yielding to, conceding to the fact that we need God and His Son as our Savior Jesus; and when we do our lives turn for the better. But that’s just the beginning of living for Jesus. So now let’s go on to the real message of this blog: how we walk (work) out our Salvation – obedience to the Word. (Philippians 2:12)
I’m reading a book by Tony Cooke called, “Qualified”. In chapter seven he relates a story about a new preacher in town who was riding the bus and when he sat down realized that the driver had given him too much change back; a quarter to be exact. Thoughts of what to do went through his mind: give it back or forget it and keep it as a gift from God, it’s only a quarter; who would worry about this little amount; but still he knew it would be wrong to keep it. As he was about to get off the bus he handed the quarter to the driver saying he had given him too much change. The driver smiled and said, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town?” To which the preacher answered, “Yes”. The driver then went on to say, “Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.” When the preacher got off the bus he grabbed the light pole nearby and held on, saying, “Oh God, I almost sold Your Son for a quarter.” To continue on this thinking, I want to again ask you, “are you negatively compromising the Gospel of Jesus by your words and actions or do they confirm the Gospel as true”?
Everyone needs to check their heart and life to maintain a good witness for our Lord. No one is exempt from the temptation to “sell out”, even in small areas of our lives. In fact, most of the time it is in the small things that we are lax in and don’t realize that those small things are building a mountain of disaster. Song of Solomon 2:15 teaches us that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. In other words it’s the small decisions in life that build together for acquiring the bigger blessings, or the disasters, depending on the quality and integrity of those decisions. Stealing is stealing and lying is lying, whether small or big, they are sins no matter how they are packaged! The Bible tells us in Luke 16:10 that the “he who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much”. Not only does God take seriously the small things in life but others are watching too and we may not always know the effects of our decision on the lives of others. Not sure about you, but I want to do all I can to be a positive influence on others to bring them to the knowledge of Christ, and help them live for Him.
We are warned to stay on guard in Proverbs 4:23 to keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Why our heart? Because it’s from the abundance of our heart that we speak and live – make our decisions. (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45)
In Psalm 139:23-24 we are instructed to ask God to search our heart, know our thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in us, and to lead us in the way of everlasting. We daily need to lay our heart open before God and ask for His help to live humbly and righteously before Him, making every decision with honest integrity that promotes and confirms God.
I trust that you will take a few minutes in the presence of God, search your heart to see if you have been selling out and compromising wrongly with your decisions, small or large ones. If so, confess the sin before God and let His forgiveness strengthen and cleanse you of all unrighteousness and then continue to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (1 John 1:9, Philippians 3:14)