Weight and Measurement Can Change Lives

Daily Devotion | Day 274

“You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 25:15-16, NKJV).

Relax. We are not going to discuss your body weight. Longevity and health is more than eating the right food and doing the right exercises. Behaving right and practicing justice can prolong your life, too. When God talks about long life, He means more than number of years. He means more years accompanied by peace of mind and joy. It’s about graceful ageing, not more years accompanied by stress or wickedness.

Many variables go into a healthy, long life. In today’s opening passage, God reveals to us one of those variables. It’s about acting with integrity and justice in matters relating to money, merchandise, trade or marketing.

Have you ever bought something and later discovered that it wasn’t what was advertised? Sellers and merchants can manipulate weights and measurements to give you false readings, thereby gaining unjust advantage over you. When you think you’re being sold a pound of meat for $2, actually you’re paying $2 for less than a pound, because the scale has been manipulated. When you think you’re being sold 15 cups of flour for $7, you’re actually paying $7 for 14.5 cups, because the capacity of the cup is not what you think it is.

People who use deception to get more money are con artists. In every generation and in nearly all places, you will find them. God didn’t want such people in Israel. And, He doesn’t want them among us.

God wants you to be holy and righteous in all your endeavors.

This includes your dealings with money. Those who deceive to gain money and all who behave unrighteously are an abomination unto God. You don’t want to be found in this category.

 God can and will bless you beyond your imagination. You don’t have to risk going to hell over money.

You don’t have to sacrifice your integrity for a few more dollars. Your integrity is more precious than gold and silver. The Bible says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1, ESV). Your success should not be the fruit of deception, lies and manipulation. Rather, your success should be based on integrity, honesty and sound work ethic.

Act right. Stay right. Live long.

BlessingMay the Lord supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Amen.

For further studyLuke 19:1-10 and Acts 5:1-11

When God Is ‘Silent’

Daily Devotion|Day 242

“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a man more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13, NKJV).

 Have you ever had a complaint against God? Have you been in a situation where you found it difficult to reconcile the goodness of God with what was happening? Perhaps at some point you’ve felt frustrated at God’s apparent silence when you needed answers. Whatever the feeling was, you are not the first person to feel that way. And you probably won’t be the last. In the Bible you will find a few men of God who were frustrated, too. Everyone had his reasons. But a common thread is, “If God is who He is, then why doesn’t He do something about this or that situation? Today, it’s Habakkuk’s turn.

Habakkuk witnessed widespread wickedness in his day. He begins his complaint by affirming the holiness and justice of God. First, he recalls that God’s eyes are pure. Being pure, these eyes cannot look on wickedness. Of this, Habakkuk is sure. What baffles him, however, is God’s apparent indifference (or silence) in the face of increasing violence. Listen to his complaint: “Why do you look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a man more righteous than he?” These are the words of a man desperate to see justice. Habakkuk wants God to do something about the situation, now. But the Lord seems silent; He looks on as the wicked roam freely.

God is not mad if you take your complaint to Him in prayer. He is your Father. Whatever troubles you, He wants to hear it from you. He will answer you and enlighten you about what is happening. Our problem is, oftentimes we want God to do things our wayaccording to our timetable. We see wicked people, and we want ‘instant’ justice and divine retribution. We hardly pray for their repentance. Yet, no one feels the pain of injustice more than the Lord.

When we are going through a situation similar to Habakkuk’s, we need to remember two things. First, there is a time for everything. There is an appointed time for all who commit injustice. That time may not meet our expectations, but no matter how long it takes, justice and goodness will prevail. Second, God does not want people to die in their sins (Ezekiel 33:11). He gives people time to amend their ways and be saved (2 Peter 3:8-9). The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). He is extremely patient, more patient than we are. And that can be frustrating for us.

God knows about your pain and your frustration. Be calm and know that He is in control. Finally, find it in your heart to pray for the repentance of wicked people. Desire their salvation, not their destruction.

God bless you, and have a great day! Amen. 

For further study: Psalm 73 

Being Faithful Under Pressure

Daily Devotional: Day 185

“But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He [Jesus] be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested” (Luke 23:23-24, NKJV).

How you behave under pressure says a lot about your true self. When you face pressure, your principles and values are tested. When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to make noise and about your values and beliefs. But who you truly are, and what you truly believe, become evident when you come under pressure. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, the Bible says that the genuineness of a Christian’s faith is known during difficult times.

In today’s Scripture reading, you notice that Pilate handed over Jesus to be crucified. By his [Pilate’s] own admission, Jesus was innocent. After examining Jesus and the accusations brought against Him, Pilate declared, “I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him” (Luke 23:14, emphasis added). As governor of the Roman province of Judea, Pilate occupied a position of trust. As the presiding judge over Jesus’ trial, he examined the facts and determined that Jesus had done nothing wrong. The next logical step – in accordance with the rules of justice – was to let Jesus walk. But Pilate hesitated. He presided over a horrible miscarriage of justice. That day, Pilate showed that being innocent was not enough for you to be set free; in addition to being innocent, you needed the crowd on your side. Jesus didn’t have the crowd; therefore, He stood no chance. So much for “I have found no fault in this Man.”

What happened to Pilate? The answer is in today’s reading. When the crowd noticed that Pilate was inclined to set Jesus free, they insisted and demanded that Jesus be crucified. Now notice what the Bible says next: “And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.” What prevailed that day was not the truth, but the voices of Jesus’s accusers. Pilate succumbed to pressure by giving orders for the Innocent Man to be crucified. His values, principles, beliefs and integrity – as a person and as a governor – were severely tested, and he was found wanting.

 Initially, Pilate declared his belief that Jesus was innocent. But when he came under pressure, Pilate’s true self and his true beliefs became evident: He had no integrity. He was a coward. He was a hypocrite and double-minded. He only believed in justice if it was expedient. With his mouth, he declares you innocent; but with his gavel, he sentences you to death. If he had not come under pressure, we probably wouldn’t know the real PilateThat is what pressure doesIt forces your true self and your true faith to surface. Like Pilate, we all come under pressure to stand for or abandon what we believe. Let’s pray for the strength to remain faithful under pressure.

May the Lord command His blessings upon you today. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 22:54-62