Daily Service: How will you handle Money, Sex, and Power
Hebrews 13:1-7 (AMP) LET LOVE for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you. Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you also are liable to bodily sufferings. Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous. Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith (their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).
In the early days of the Christian church, it was not uncommon for believers to suffer intense hardships, even martyrdom, for their faith. Roman emperors such as Diocletian, became incensed with the burgeoning church and inflicted great pain, harm, cruelty, and death on the defenseless followers of Jesus. But then, in a.d. 312, Constantine became emperor and embraced Christianity. Very soon, Christians, instead of being a persecuted minority, became a decidedly mixed-bag majority. Dedication to Christ became watered-down, and the church became corrupt. The answer for many was to flee into the desert, where they became not only separated from the world but also from the worldliness of the church. They took three vows—poverty, chastity, and obedience. They saw the abuse of money, sex, and power as the root problems in the church.
It has been said that time marches on, but things never change. And to some extent that is true. It is certainly a fact that problems in the modern church are usually related to the abuse of money, sex, and power—the same problems that appeared in the early days of the ascetics. But we should note that these were the problems confronting the writers of the New Testament as well!
“Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” (Heb. 13:4). This is a statement about the divinely ordained sanctity of marriage and the sinfulness of sexual activity—whether heterosexual or homosexual—outside marriage.
“Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have” (13:5). This is a warning against getting so absorbed with money and all that it can provide that you fall in love with getting it and spending it, hoarding it and wasting it.
“Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives and trust the Lord as they do” (13:7). This is not only an admonition to those who follow but also a challenge to those who exercise the power of leadership. They are to remember that the privilege of leadership is not to be abused but must be applied to provide direction and encouragement to others, so that they will grow in godliness through teaching by word and example.
Primary source: Tecarta Men’s Devotional, Amplified Bible Zondervan Press
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