Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“You are my Lord. My goodness does not extend to you but to the saints who are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight.”
In Psalm 16, Christ spoke through David to reveal that all his delight is in the righteous. He used the word “all” because that is the truth about how he feels. He delights in the upright with all his heart; he has no joy left over for the wicked. All of his delight is directed toward those who love God and keep His commandments. If we would be like Jesus, we must feel as he does and, like him, delight with all our heart in those who love God and walk in His ways. If we do, we will not only rejoice in the upright, we will also condemn those who do evil. A few years ago, Sister Sandy had a startling dream from the Lord about the importance of not only loving righteousness but recognizing and hating evil. This was how Sandy told the dream:
In the dream, I went into a little shoppe. It was one of “ye ole shoppes” as in days of old – big wooden plank floors and a long counter where you went to check out merchandise. It was also dimly lit, as were the old shoppes in those days. I noticed as I walked into the shoppe, there was a man standing behind the counter. He was the owner of the little shoppe. He didn’t say anything and was very business-like. He just continued doing what he was doing behind the counter as I began to look around. Suddenly, I saw there on the wooden floor the cutest little floppy-eared bunny. He had the most beautiful big brown eyes and the softest fur. I reached down to pet him, and he just sat there very still and made no motion to move as I touched him.
I looked over towards the owner of the shoppe, and obviously the owner of the bunny, and said, “This is the cutest little bunny!”
When I said that, he replied, “Yes, but I am going to have to kill him.”
With astonishment, I said, “Why?!!”
“Because”, said the owner, “he has become too friendly, and will not recognize when the Enemy comes.”
There is no doubt that God has had to take some of His children home prematurely because they became too friendly with the world and became a danger to themselves and to the body of Christ. My father told me once that if you do not waste your money, the devil would try to trick you into giving it to somebody who will waste it for you. The same can be true in other areas of life. I have known sweet saints of God who would not have harmed the body of Christ for any amount of money. At the same time, these saints were so friendly with people who hated the truth and those who stood for it that the body of Christ was jeopardized when that over-friendly saint was among them.
When Jesus said, “Watch”, he did not simply mean, “Watch.” He meant, “Watch out!” Some very sweet souls in Christ watch very well; they see wrong spirits as well as right ones. But they make all spirits, the evil and the good, feel welcome to move freely in their presence; they do not watch out.
James said, “Friendship with the world is enmity against God.” With that wisdom, James warns believers throughout all generations that no matter how much we personally love the family of God, if we are companions of ungodly souls, if we make too much room for the ungodly in our presence, we may be used by Satan to do damage to our brothers and sisters whether or not we want to. In that case, our loving heavenly Father, like the owner of the overly friendly bunny in Sandy’s “Old Shoppe”, may be forced to take us home, for the good of the body.
Be wise. The welfare of the body of Christ is far more important to the Father than the welfare of any of the body’s individual members.