“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I SAY UNTO YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU AND DO GOOD TO THEM THAT HATE YOU, AND PRAY FOR THEM WHICH DESPITEFULLY USE YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU; THAT YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN: FOR HE MAKETH HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND ON THE GOOD, AND SENDETH RAIN ON to THE JUST AND ON THE UNJUST. FOR IF YE LOVE THEM WHICH LOVE YOU? WHAT REWARD HAVE YE? DO NOT EVEN THE PUBLICANS THE SAME? AND IF YE SALUTE YOUR BRETHREN ONLY, WHAT DO YE MORE THAN OTHERS? DO NOT EVEN THE PUBLICANS SO? BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT.
A true story.
The names have been changed.
A long time ago there was a very devout woman named Velma. She lived near Chicago, back in the sixties. Velma’s husband, Ted was not a Christian, but went to church with Velma regularly.
Ted had a bad problem with coveting, but because he did not fear God; he did not recognize his problem. Ted liked to show off, and drive the most expensive car in his circle of friends. If his neighbor John got a new car, Ted would not be happy until he bought a new car better than John’s car.
Velma did everything she could to educate her husband on the things of the Bible, but Ted did not see anything wrong with him.
Velma read to him the story of Gehazi. She told him how Gehazi was so anxious to get Naaman’s gifts, that he disregarded completely Elisha’s instructions. She read to him the horrible outcome of his disobedience to his master’s instructions, and how he became a leper.
Ted did not change his ways; on the contrary, he gave more ruff times to Velma. He started to flirt with the younger women in the church, so he could call his wife jealous. His favorite expression was: “You are insane less jealous.
”Velma: “Ted, did you know, that coveting was the very first sin that Satan brought to the earth?”
Ted: “No, why? What does coveting has to do with the fact that you are insane less jealous?”
Velma: “Nothing Ted. But I was just wandering if you knew that.”
Ted: “No, I don’t know any such thing. How do you know which sin was the first sin?”
Velma: “I only know that, because I heard it on a sermon a long time ago. The minister said that everything was wonderful in heaven until Satan started to covet Jesus’s place next to God.
You see, Jesus was the Son of God, so He sat with God in a throne, but Satan was only an angel, so he did not seat in a throne like Jesus and he coveted Jesus’ place.
Satan even had another name up in heaven; his name was Lucifer. He was the most beautiful angel in heaven, but his envy made him ugly and God changed his name to Satan and Devil. Besides, he was cast out of heaven, because he was teaching the other angels how to covet and disobey God.
One third of the angels in heaven listened to him, and were cast out of heaven with him. That is why coveting is so bad.
When you flirt with a younger woman, you think that it is not bad, but you don’t realize that is also coveting. You have a desire for another woman that is not your wife. That is not pleasing God. You think that this is just a trifle thing. Believe me that is not trifle, that to God is coveting.”
Ted: “All these things you are telling me is just to hide your jealousy, isn’t? How do you know that to wish for a young friend, is coveting. All I want is a friend. I am not planning to go to bed with Jessica; we are just friends nothing else. What is wrong with that?”
Velma: “There is nothing wrong with having a friend, but the case with you and Jessica is much more then just a flirt. Her husband is not very happy with this friendship either. He told me that when he came home from work last week you were there eating with his wife. She did not wait for him to come home to have supper; she had supper with you. That up set him very much. Don’t you have an idea of how the other person feels in a case like this?”
Ted: “Yes, I know but it was all very innocent. You are always making a mountain of a molehill.”
Velma: “I bet that is just how king David felt when he was coveting Bath-she-ba.”
Ted: “Come on, you are not comparing me with David, are you? David was a murderer. I know the whole story, how he placed Uriah in the front of the battle so he could die. That is really killing, I would never kill anybody. So, don’t compare me with David.”
Ted never changed and continued with his frivolous life. Always making life miserable for Velma. Some times he would leave the house to go to work at 4:a.m., and would not come back home till very late at night. If Velma asked him where he was, he would strike her in her face and get really vicious. Velma learned not to question him on anything to avoid getting her face smacked. If she would risk to ask him where was he going, when he would go out at night after coming home from work, the answer would be always the same: “None of your business.”
Ted still continues going to church with his wife and participating in all the church’s programs just as one of the church’s members.
One day Ted told Velma that he was going out to do ingathering for the church. It was a Sunday morning, and Velma got up early to make him a breakfast. When he got up, Velma called him down to eat.
Ted: “What did you make for breakfast?”
Velma: “I made some Oatmeal.”
Ted: “I am sick and tired of Oatmeal, don’t you have any imagination?”
It was 6:30.a.m., when Ted left the house to go ingathering. About one hour later the phone rang, and Velma answered. It was Ted on the other side.
Ted: “Hi sweetheart, I am eating a delicious breakfast.”
Velma: “What are you eating?”
Ted: “Oh, I am eating Oatmeal.”
Ted: “Yes, Oatmeal, it is the most delicious Oatmeal that I ever ate. I am at Diane’s house, she can really cook. You should ask Diane to teach you how to cook. We are leaving pretty soon. She is going with me for ingathering.* ” Velma was very hurt that her husband did not take her to go ingathering; instead he had taken some one else.
One day Ted was in church and mat a new woman. He went to look for his wife, and when he found her this is what he told her:
Ted: “Velma, I am glad that I found you I have found somebody very special, and I want you to meet her. Come with me. There she is.
Nancy I want you to meet my wife Velma.
Velma I want you to meet the beautiful Nancy. Isn’t she beautiful?”
Velma was embarrassed with her husband’s attitude, and didn’t know what to do. She knew he was trying to make her jealous again. But Velma wasn’t jealous, she was very hurt. Finally, Ted left Velma and married a younger woman. A few years later Ted died a very painful death.
Despite of all the headaches Ted gave Velma; she is still hoping to see Ted in the new earth.
My friends, Velma’s trials is a very sad story, but it realy shows the sin of the tenth commandment. If you are faced with these same problems, all I can say to you is give it to God, and He will give you the power to endure. Read Luke 10:19.
* Ingathering is a term used in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It means to go out house to house and ask for financial help for the mission work here and abroad.
JUST A FEW INCHES AWAY
2 Peter 5:8. Be sober, be vigilant: because your ad- versary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Last Saturday, I was going to church about a quarter to nine, the same time I go every Saturday, and the same itinerary I always do. I have never encountered a train at that street before, at that time. Last Saturday however, was a different story.
My sister and I were going towards the church, and when we arrived at the train tracks, we saw the red light blinking, but two cars that were in front of us crossed the tracks very slow as if no train was on site. So I simply assumed that there was something wrong with the electricity, and that there was no train coming. I followed the other cars, and first I looked to the left, and there was no train. Then I looked to the right, and to my horror a train was coming, and it was about 50 feet away from us, with those big lights shining on us, but no whistle. Immediately I felt as if the car was going to come to a stop, and instead of keeping on going it started to slow down. I had to step harder on the gas to just keep it going. I know that the train missed hitting us by just a few inches away from the car. As soon as we were off of the tracks, I looked back in my rear view mirror, and the train was already going right behind us.
In my mind I could see the devil in front of my car trying to keep us from crossing the tracks on time. But, at the same time I also see in my mind, several angels holding back the train, and giving us enough time to cross the tracks. I am positive that my angel, the one I call “Daniel” also saw what the devil wanted to do to us, and He got in the back of our car and pushed it real fast and got us out of the train tracks in time for us to be safe.
The train was so close to us, when I saw it, that I know that only a divine intervention could save us.
When we got to church I don’t now how many times I thanked God for saving our lives. I am positive that the devil set it up for me to think that there was no train coming, and that the lights were just blinking from some problem with the electricity. Prior to that day, I had crossed those same tracks with the lights were blinking from a problem with the electricity. So this is the reason that at this time I assumed that it was the same problem; especially when I had never seen a train in that street at that particular time. I still don’t understand why the train was not whistling.
So don´t forget that Jesus left His kingdom to come down to the earth and die for the world, so that you and I could by accepting Him as our Savior and become:
"FREE FROM SIN"
Professor Azenilto G. Brito
Ministério Sola Scriptura
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