From our earliest age, theft is probably the sin that lingers in our memory. Prior to school days, we learned the concept of what it means to take something that is not ours. The concept of getting something for nothing permeates our culture. Let us not be deceived into thinking sin is not that big of deal. All sin has a consequence. The headline read: “Three Guilty of Manslaughter for Stealing a Stop Sign.” I am unaware of what these three young people, ages 20-21, were thinking. Perhaps they said to themselves, “It is just one stop sign, it is not that big of deal.” They may have thought it was not that big of a deal until one day three other teenagers died in a collision with a tractor-trailer. God says, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). In a sense, the sin of eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was a theft. The man and woman took what God said was forbidden. I wonder if Adam and Eve tried to rationalize away their sin by saying, “It is just one piece of fruit.” Yes, it was, but the conscious act of disobeying God caused them to be banished from the beautiful garden. Be thankful you serve a God who loves you enough to forgive your sins, but do not be deceived, sin has consequences.
Erma Bombeck does a lot of writing on the subject of motherhood. She has always said that, "The easiest part of being a mother is giving birth.... the hardest part is showing up for it each day..." There are so many valuable characteristics of a mother. She is a referee, judge, counselor, and nurse all in one. These job descriptions certainly are not limited to a mother but these daily tasks often fall upon mothers. Washing, cleaning, helping with homework, yard work, and a thousand other jobs.
A mother moves the toys out of the driveway, finds the right shirt or dress and retrieves the tennis ball before it is flushed down the toilet. There are so many valuable characteristics of a mother, but there is one that stands out in the eyes of God above all others and it is her attitude toward Him. Proverbs 31:30, “The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” In the middle of a world upside down in value you find a woman who looks at her child through the eyes of God and not the eyes of the culture. Never underestimate the power God has given you as a mother. You have the ability to make a difference in the lives of generations to follow you.
I was seated above the bull riders at a professional rodeo. I had awesome seats that came with a closed-circuit television of the activities behind the scene. The bull rider gently sat down on top of this rip snorting bull and as he fitted his left hand under the rope to get his grip, I noticed some letters embodied on the tips of three of his glove fingers. The letters on one finger was “T”, the other finger was “R”, and another finger was the letter “Y.” TRY! I assume every time he would mount a bull, he was reminded of his decision to at least try the best he could to ride the bull.
As Christians we have made the decision to TRY our best to live for Christ no matter what we face in life. God expects us to try to live as He has called us to live. When you try, God promises we can be one of His winner’s in life. God will help us as we try. Through Christ we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. Our victory through Christ comes when we sincerely TRY to live and walk in Him. Jesus expects us to walk a certain way – His way (1 John 2:6).
Right in the middle of the apostle’s beautiful description of love in First Corinthians Chapter Thirteen we find the phrase, “Love does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5). To avoid insisting on our own way we must change our thinking process. The cross of Christ is our motivation for the change in our thinking. The cross of Christ motivates us to pursue the mind (attitude) of Christ (Philippians 2:3-5). Jesus came to serve and give His life for us (Matthew 20:28). He humbly washed the disciples’ feet (John 13). He became poor, so we might be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus gave His life for us as a fragrant offering (Ephesians 5:1-2). When we forget “love does not seek its own way,” our entire Christian profession crumbles.
Selfishness is the desire to make self the center of the universe and put self before anything else. There is a difference between selfishness, which is sinful, and self-interest, which is healthy. Self-interest is the legitimate consequence of the way God created us. The Lord was trying to help us in the area of love when He said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). When we love someone God’s way, we will seek their greatest good by doing the will of God.