Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 13 No. 8 August 2011
Page 11

Dean KellyA Mustard Seed

Dean Kelly

He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches” (Luke 13:18-19 NKJV).

Lord, I know I’m like a little mustard seed,
I know how small I am, how much help I need;
My knowledge is ignorant, my strength is so weak,
Lord, I am nothing, therefore it is You that I seek.

A mustard seed that stays a mustard seed is a wasted thing,
It never changes, never faces the challenges that growth will bring;
Its existence is really nothing more than just being there,
It finally fades away, and the world really could not care.

I know that within me is the potential to grow,
Much more of Your will I can come to know,
True strength can only come from serving You,
Allowing You to guide everything I do.

Lord, I know I’m like a little mustard seed,
I know how small I am, how much help I need;
My knowledge is ignorant, my strength is so weak,
Lord, I am nothing, therefore it is You that I seek.

Lord, help me to grow to be like a mighty tree,
With the strength to support and comfort those who need me;
May I reflect Your care, concern and love to all,
And be the “mustard seed” that has grown to be strong and tall.

Be Bad!

Royce Pendergrass

Royce PendergrassI recently saw an article that encouraged people to “Be Bad, Be Happy, Break A Few Rules.” I did not read the article; the heading was enough for me! However, I wondered how many people actually read it and were encouraged to put into practice what it said.

Be bad! The whole of God’s Holy Word teaches quite the contrary. The definition for “bad” is evil or vicious. It is so hard to understand that there are many in this world who actually are vicious and choose to be evil. Another word for evil is iniquity, and God plainly says, “Woe to those who devise iniquity” (Micah 2:1), and then in Matthew 7:22-23 one reads, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and in you name we have cast out devils and in your name have done many wonderful works? And then I will profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me you who work iniquity.” You see there is a “bad” consequence for choosing to be bad.

Although there are exceptions to the rule, in the audience of this editorial, most of us have told our children from birth to “be good.” That means to be kind and gentle and choose to do the right thing. We have taught them that one should “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12), just as God has taught us. We even tell our animals to be good, and they understand what that means, and if they cross the line, there will be some unwanted consequence to follow. If animals can understand what it means to be good, then humans should surely understand the concept.

Too often, people seem to be more like animals with no moral convictions. The problem is that people choose to be bad. They crave the forbidden and seek self-satisfaction wherever it can be found. They think to be truly happy, one must be bad, and “if it feels good, do it,” whatever “it” is. They think that just because someone else has said that something is bad does not mean it is bad for you, and you can determine that for yourself. Their philosophies really become self-serving.

There are many who believe that “rules are made to be broken.” If it was not because someone was overstepping proper boundaries, there would be no need for rules; so, they are not made to be broken, but to be kept. They are often to be kept for the safety of people. For instance, a stop sign on the road means for oncoming traffic to do exactly that – stop! If the driver of that vehicle does not obey that rule or law, bad things can (and many times do) happen. Sometimes it is the driver who does not obey the rule who has to pay a price with injuries and sometimes even death to himself or loved ones. Besides the rules of the road, there are many examples of such things that we could name, but one is sufficient. The same rule applies.

God’s laws are the ones that must always be kept. Paul exhorted the Thessalonian brethren to “See that none render evil for evil to any man but always follow that which is good, both among yourselves and all men” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Be good – not bad!

The article cited above suggests that if you want to be happy, indulge yourself. Do whatever it takes to make you happy. Jesus said, “I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:15, 17). Happiness is found in pleasing God: “Happy is he who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:20).

We read in John 21:17, “Lord, you know all things.” As for breaking the rules, you may break men’s and God’s rules and think you have succeeded in getting away with it, but there is One Who always knows, and that One Who knows all things will be our judge on the Day of Judgment: “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day and not to me only, but to all who love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

To receive that crown, do not be bad, do not break the rules (laws of the land or God’s laws), and in the meantime, be happy in knowing that, if you serve God the way He has mandated, the best thing ever is waiting for you! Heaven will be worth it all!

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