Meditation Monday is where I share my ramblings and reflections from Sunday’s sermons from Watson Chapel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR, Pastor Todd Howard.
Confessor or Coverer
Sunday nights sermon was in Genesis 13, the historical account of when Lot and Abram seperated. Pastor Todd pointed out in his sermon that there are two types of people when it comes to how they deal with sin; a confessor or a coverer. The Scriptures record Abraham’s continued walk with God. The Bible unfolds to us through the pages of Genesis, a man who made mistakes but continually returned back to God. Abraham was an altar maker, God favored, faith walking man. He was a pilgrim in a foreign land, he is an example for us.
Cozy With The World
John the Apostle gives Christians a command and warning,
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world (I John 2:15-16 ESVST)
Do not love the world, why? Love for the world pushes out love for the Father. When our hearts begin to wander towards the passions of the world, our worship becomes stale, our love for the Father grows cold, our growth stagnant and our motivation for obedience becomes more about my self image rather than our selfless devotion to Christ.
What is coziness with the world? What does love for the world look like? I am glad you asked, John points out three passions of the world;
1) the lust of the flesh- This is the passions of our sinful flesh. Paul provides us a list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5.
2) the lust of the eyes- Appeals to covetous and envious nature of sin. Part of the reason we sin is because in the moment it looks so enticing, like a fish going after a jig.
3) the pride of life- the word for life here is really going after the goods or possessions of life. The accumulation of the things and philosophies of this world so we can turnaround and say look at me, my wisdom, my accomplishments. Life becomes all about me.
We are tempted by the world constantly with these three desires because our fallen sinful nature craves sin.
We see the serpent using the passions of the world to tempt Adam and Eve. We also see Adam and Eve go after the serpents worldly enticements.
1) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (Gen. 3:6aESVST)- lust of the flesh.
2) and that it was a delight to the eyes (Gen. 3:6b ESVST)- lust of the eyes.
3) and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise (Gen. 3:6c ESVST)- pride of life.
Now we get to Lot. In the Genesis narrative we never read of Lot walking with Lord, building altars, or living as a pilgrim. The account of Genesis gives us a picture of Lot being a coverer not a confessor. We read the tragic account of Lot and how he settled and cozied up to the world. Lot was tempted by the world with the same temtations.
1) And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw (Gen. 13:10a ESVST)- lust of the eyes
2) that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, (Gen. 13:10b ESVST)– lust of the flesh and pride of life. Lot seen this land and became consumed with the idea accumulating wealth and fufilling his fleshly desires.
Sadly, Lot succombs to the temptation and is enriced by the world. Through Peter we know at some point Lot became a confessor because he is called rightous, but his example is one we should learn from and avoid the pitfalls of worldly living.
7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
( 2Pe 2:7-8 ESVST)
Satan tempted Christ with the same worldly passions, unlike Lot and Eve, Christ is a pattern for victory. Lets look at his temptations,
1) And the tempter came and said to him, “ If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” (Matt. 4:3 ESVST)- lust of the flesh
2) Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “ If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,“‘He will command his angels concerning you, ’and “‘ On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. ’”
(Matt. 4:5-6 ESVST)– pride of life
3) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “ All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
(Matt 4:8-9 ESVST)– lust of the eyes.
How did Christ show us how to overvome the temptations of the world? Three very important keys which go hand in hand;
1) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit (Matt. 4:1 ESVST)– Jesus was being led by the Spirit of God. We need to be submissive to the leading of God’s Spirit. Paul explains to us,
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
(Gal 5:16 ESVST)
By keeping in step with the Spirit of God we can overcome the passions of the world.
2) But he answered, “It is written (Matt. 4:4a ESVST)– Jesus knew God’s Word. To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with God’s word. How can the Spirit lead you, if you don’t know the words He has inspired? How can you respond to the lies of the world if you don’t know the truth? How can you be submissive to the Spirit’s leading if you don’t know what to submit to? Knowing your Bible is key to overcoming.
3) Continual Walk with God- Christ was finishing a forty day period of fasting and prayer. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus secluding himself to pray to the Father. Jesus displays for us how to walk with God through prayer, knowing His Word, and being led by the Spirit.
My friends one final encouragement and promise from the Apostle John,
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
( 1John 2:17 ESVST)
Until next time
Soli Deo Gloria