#653: A Life Set Apart
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Reflections by the Pond
April 28, 2014
Let not thine heart strive after sinners,
But after the fear of Jahve [Jehovah] all the day.
Proverbs 23:17 Keil & Delitzsch
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As a rule, age begets reason. The follies of childhood and youth are, happily, concentrated on the resilient young. So those who survive past middle age have acquired the good sense (or is it curmudgeonly indifference) to withstand the Siren song of the latest fad, the latest fashion, the latest "new thing."
Most septuagenarians do not lose sleep over the realization that more than one person considers them to be half a bubble off plumb. But the average high school girl may break out in hives if she discovers she is outside the mainstream.
Peer pressure is an invention of a fallen world, and the follower of Christ has no business succumbing to it. If we are to strive to be like anyone, it should be to emulate our Lord and Savior. But what are we to do with the susceptible young—and the foolish aged?
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
The spiritually mature should be a witness to the spiritually immature. Those who have gained wisdom from above should be willing to instruct the young that pursuit of the things of this world is, frankly, sin. And since we instruct with more than words, we are to not just demonstrate this, but constantly examine our own lives, making sure that we are not also falling prey to the world's Siren song.
We inevitably find that which we pursue. If we are seeking the things of this world—the temporal—then we will find them, to our ruin.
But if, instead, we are actively seeking the righteousness and holiness that come down from the Father of Lights—the eternal—then we will find them, to our good and His glory.
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How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
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Let our lives be distinctive. Let us stand out from the crowd, rather than blend in. Let us not pursue that which corrodes faith, but that which builds faith.
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God was our original habitat and our hearts cannot but feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode.
A. W. Tozer