Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)
41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
42) And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea…
To begin our detailed look at these verses, let’s begin looking at vs 41-42. In these verses, we find two evidences of genuine salvation…
1. vs 41 - a POSITIVE evidence of salvation: helping others in need, motivated by the love of Christ, a desire to please Christ and a love for those around us… “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
2. vs 42 - we find outward evidence that implies that a person has never received the saving grace of God. We’ll call this a NEGATIVE evidence of salvation: physically or spiritually harming those who are defenseless, naïve and/or young in age or spirituality… “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea
Folks, in our Christian life we are to be naturally exhibiting many evidences that will help prove to others, and ourselves, that we have been touched by the saving grace of the Lord. These evidences not only include doing that which is pleasing to our Lord, but also include abstinence from those sinful things that brings sorrow to the heart of our Savior.
We live in a day where we find many professing Christians living a schizophrenic lifestyle. While they are going through the motions of obedience to Christ (the positive proofs), they seem unconcerned about partaking of sin and acts which offend and grieves their Lord and Savior (the negative evidence). They attend church, give to charities, and ritualistically observe the commands of the Lord, and yet they feel comfortable living a double life that includes gladly following their fleshly desires leading them to drunkenness, fornication, deceit, pride and selfishness…the list is endless.
These things should not be…
Jas 4:4 (KJV) “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Eph 4:20-24 (KJV) “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
By looking at these first two verses as one text, we can easily see the principle of holiness presented to us. A true Christian will exhibit in their lives a heart of love for their Lord causing them to naturally please their Lord through outward acts of obedience, while exhibiting a new nature which leads them to instinctively refrain from the sinful practices of this world.
Are we living a consistent life of righteousness that reveals a changed heart and a new nature wrought by the grace of God? Or, are we simply living as if we were actors on a stage, appearing to be “religious” while retaining a close relationship with the sinful attitudes, motives and actions of this fallen world?
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.
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