Morning: Matthew 16:21-26; Noon: Josh. 9:1-13:14; Evening: Psalm 50:10-23
My wife and I love farm fresh eggs and milk, especially our one-and-a-half-year-old, particularly the milk part (for some reason she just hasn’t developed a taste for eggs. We’ll have to keep working on that!). Northern Virginia is a wonderful place, because you can find several local farms and dairies that sell these goodies. One day I discovered though that a local farmer in our area was selling unpasteurized milk. Having grown up in the dairy land of Wisconsin I had my share of raw milk occasionally, and it is supremely better in taste no doubt. However, selling it here in Northern Virginia is against the law. The only way then to obtain it legally is to have your part in a “cow-share” program. In other words, buy part of the farmer’s cow and you can drink all the raw milk your heart desires (Note: I am not a legal expert, so I would quickly throw caution in the wind to do your own homework)! What I found though is that sometimes this practice is nothing more than paperwork. While some may legitimately contribute funds toward the cow in addition to their milk purchase, others just pen their name in paper to bypass the law. The practice then becomes a potential entry point for lying and irreverence for man’s ordinance. It becomes hellfire in a gallon of milk!
Honestly, I may not always agree with man’s ordinances and morally neutral statutes, but I have to ask myself the same question Jesus asked, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat. 16:26). Many other statutes and ordinances like this exist in our legal system today. As tax season approaches, we may not agree with our Government taxing certain portions of our income and expenses. It’s not about God condemning the smallest and most scrupulous matters of our life. It’s about you and I condemning our own souls by blatantly, willfully, and knowingly establishing a sinful practice before God’s eyes and saying, “Lord, this is more important to me than my own soul.” In doing so we test the Judge of the universe to go against His own righteousness in upholding the law. But just as we witnessed in the Garden of Eden, the righteous Judge will not do so. The hellfire will remain just like the sour will remain in an expired gallon of milk! What will you give in exchange for your soul? Money? Temporary pleasures in the flesh? A night spent in the comfort of your home when opportunities abound to do the Lord’s work? Again, I ask, “Will you drink hellfire for a tasty glass of milk?!”
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him”