|Vol. 15 No. 4 April 2013||
Has anyone ever pulled an April Fool’s joke on you? Most of us have fallen victim to some practical joke at some time in our lives. They can be funny, or in bad taste, but they are commonly done. The sad fact is, however, that we don’t have to wait until April 1st to have a “fool’s day” occur in our life.
Obviously, it a “fool’s day” when anyone declares his/her disbelief in God. The Scriptures say, “the fool has said in his heart there is no God.” For many, every day is a day dedicated to the foolishness that we humans are alone, the ultimate of all existence and that there is no God.
However, one who believes in God is still going to have fool’s days in life:
When we forget how much God has blessed us and decide to complain. The Israelites were a murmuring people in the wilderness, despite having seen the great power of God. Their foolishness brought on the wrath of God, and caused them to wander for 40 years.
When we allow Satan to win even the small battles in our lives. We are fools when we rationalize and convince ourselves that it is really not that bad to do what we know is not right in the sight of God. We can be like the little boy who winds up with his tongue stuck to a metal flag pole on an icy, cold day; he let his friends talk him into it, and he was a fool for doing so.
When we do not express to our loved ones how much we love them. I may be busy right now, but I may never get another chance. We never need to put ourselves in the situation that, if something happened to a loved one, we would remember harsh words spoken as we parted, or even no words at all. We are acting foolishly if we don’t tell those we love that we love them.
When we allow our speech to hurt and even destroy others. As James indicated, we all have to fight the tongue. How many times have I said something and immediately wished I could take it back? How often have I made a fool out of myself by ill-timed and unbeneficial words that I have spoken?
When we don’t take advantage of the blessings found in Jesus Christ. If we do not deny God’s existence, we can still prove ourselves to be fools if we reject the wonderful grace that God has extended to us through Jesus. It is foolish to be so close to salvation, yet to be lost because we just would not listen to Him.
We could go on and on about things that we do or allow that make us fools. We need to be striving for wisdom and to overcome our own innate foolishness. The old fashioned cure for foolishness: studying God’s Word, worshipping Him, loving Him and His people, prayer, and dedication to the Truth. We will sometimes falter and “act the fool,” but our prayer should be for wisdom, and we should strive to have as few “Fool’s Days” as possible.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). In order to be made free by truth, there are five fundamentals of that truth that must be adapted to our lives.
We have to know it. Not only are we commanded to know the Word of God, but there is a crying need for us to know it. It is necessary if we are to lead others. It is necessary if we are to properly be guided ourselves. Knowledge of God’s Word comforts us. Knowledge is equipment. It is the only offensive equipment we have, but we cannot use it to fight Satan if we haven’t taken possession of it. Some people confuse zeal with knowledge, but zeal without knowledge is dangerous (Romans 10:1-2). It is like a loaded gun in the hands of a fool. Such can do more harm in a short time than can be repaired in years. A zealous person without knowledge is somewhat like an automobile in the hands of a beginner. There is a great possibility of an accident. Knowledge will eliminate most problems in the church, but knowledge without zeal is also dangerous (2 Peter 2:20-22), but having knowledge and not living in accordance with that knowledge can cost the loss of souls (James 4:17).
Another fundamental is to grow. Knowledge and zeal must be combined for spiritual growth. What about a child that does not grow past the baby stage? Some do not grow spiritually because they fail to assemble with God’s people where they may learn together (Hebrews 10:25-26). Jesus should be our example. He did not refuse to attend services because hypocrites were there (Luke 4:33). We should not be satisfied with only doing our duty (Luke 17:10). Growth is assured if we hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). As material food makes the physical body grow, so does spiritual food assure spiritual growth. Poor nutrition and sporadic eating harms the physical body. Likewise sporadic spiritual eating will harm us spiritually. Too little of proper food, natural or spiritual, will result in death.
A third fundamental of spiritual truth is to glow. The Christian is a reflected light – like the moon. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). However, sometimes the light of God is not reflected properly because of lazy living. “I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words, and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” The wicked, who live in darkness of sin, can only be guided by the light that Christians reflect from God (Philippians 2:15). Only when this light enters do they quit stumbling around. Accidents, in darkness, often result in death, but those wicked in darkness can turn from darkness to light (Ephesians 5:8). Christians should not shine only on the outside. If so our reflected light will eventually become hazy. It takes the light shining in the inner man for it to be shown glowing on the outside. “The seed is the word of God” (Titus 2:14).
Go. Far too many are at ease in Zion, but go or woe (1 Corinthians 9:16)! “Be baptized” is no more a command than “go baptize.” The Gospel was spread all over the known world during the time of Paul (Colossians 1:23). Those who were scattered preached it everywhere they went (Acts 8:4). The command is “Go,” not “Let them come.” The right attitude will cause Christians to be concerned about going – around the corner – and around the world! If we fail to carry out the Great Commission command, much of humanity will be lost to Satan and his hell! It will be our fault. Those who are physically able must go. Those unable to go can and must send those who can go (Romans 10:12-15).
Sow. The Word of God must be sown in all types of people. “…The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). It is God that will give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). A farmer does not expect all grain to produce, but trusts in God to give a good crop. The farmer still plants plenty of seed. Likewise, Christians must realize all people will not accept the Word of God, but they still must plant the seed and let God work to bring forth the fruit from their labors.
In conclusion, when the Word of God is planted, it will enter different types of hearts. After becoming Christians we can only remain good soil and produce good fruit for our Master by knowing the Word of God, growing in that knowledge, glowing as the reflected light of Jesus, going to the lost and sowing the same type of seed that produced us (as Christians).