Topic: Stealing And Lying! [Monday 6, March 2017]
Memorise: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, – Hebrews 12:1
Read: 2 Kings 5:20-27 (KJV)
20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?
22 And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.
23 And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.
24 And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.
25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
Bible in One Year: Genesis 36-37, Isaiah 51:17-52:12
Holiness is so integral to the person of the Holy Spirit that the word “holy” is attached to His Name. You cannot live the Christian life without having a relationship with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9); but to have a good relationship with the Holy Spirit, you need to understand that He detests sin. Part of His assignment in this world is to liberate you from the power of sin and to help you live above it (John 16:8, Romans 8:2, Galatians 5:16). Two sins entangling a lot of Christians today and fast eroding their character are stealing and lying. Stealing has its origin in covetousness and it leads to betrayal. The life of Judas Iscariot, a man who walked with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, is a case study of this (John 12:6). Today, due to covetousness, even ministers of God are stealing from the Church purse, thereby betraying the huge trust reposed in them by God. Have you been stealing from God or from men? Repent, restitute and turn a new leaf today (Ephesians 4:28)!
In today’s Bible reading, Gehazi lied to Naaman and received the gifts his master had rejected. Thereafter, his master sent for him and asked him where he had been. He lied again saying he went nowhere. He however did not get away with that lie. There are lies you tell and it may appear you got away with them, but there are also lies you will tell that will leave their sting on you perpetually. Gehazi lied to his master and his life changed negatively and irreversibly from that day. Similarly, Ananias and Sapphira may have told lies in the past and escaped the consequences. However, on the day they lied to Peter, they never lived to tell another lie (Acts 5:1-10). If you consider the punishment that followed the supposedly “little” lie of this couple, many people would be of the opinion that it far exceeded their offence. Why? It is because they see lying as a regular, common sin that is inconsequential if weighed on a scale with “heavier” sins like murder. This is why many people engaged in it, even those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Some people have even categorised lies by colour and size! If God could bring leprosy on Gehazi and kill Ananians and Sapphira because of lies, it means that He does not take lies lightly as we do. God even says He will exclude all categories of liars from the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:8, Revelation 21:27). Run away from lies and embrace Jesus Christ, the Truth!
Action Point: That seemingly harmless lie has grave repercussions that you may not see today. Ask God for grace to flee from every lie.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.