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 (Manna 11)
What Should We Worry About?
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What should we worry about?

Today people are busy with life and full of worries. In the long journey of life, we are bound to worry for some things. However, many people worry for the things which are not worth worrying and are slow to respond to the things that should demand their attention. As believers of the TrueChurch, what should we be worrying about?

The captives

When David and his men returned to the city Ziklag, it was found burnt by the Arnalekites. The women and all who were in it, both small and great, were taken captives. All the people fumed at David and wept. David was full of worries and in great distress (1 Sam 30:1-6).

When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, from in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit of them as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed the enemy. Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his goods, and the women and the people (Gen 14:14-16).

The two incidents above tell us the worries of David and Abram, and how they went all out to rescue the captives.

When we turn to our church and look at our brethren and relatives who have fallen captives to the devil, do we feel anxious and determined to save them? What did the Lord Jesus tell us? He gave an illustration, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? I tell you, there will he more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:3-7). Paul was chosen to become the Apostle to the Gentiles. The will of the Lord is to send him to save those who are under the power of Satan, to bring them to the light and the True God. As the Scriptures say, “My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one bring him hack, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Jas 5:19-20).

We should constantly watch over our brethren to see if they are being taken captives by Satan. We must resist the devil by our firm faith and at the same time help those who are weak. Paul said, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).

Those who stumble and fall

On one occasion while I watched a women’s 100 meter race, one runner took the lead right outright, and it was quite certain that she would get the gold medal. However, halfway through the race she suffered from leg cramps and fell to the ground. I felt anxious for her. In the end, she lost the gold medal and was taken away by ambulance. When someone stumbles and falls in a race, our spontaneous response is to worry for him. This spontaneous response should also surface when our brethren stumble and fall. Paul said, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?” (2 Cor 11:29).

The brethren in the Lord may stumble for various reasons:

1.      Those who stumble because of riches (Prov 11:28).

Demas, who was a co-worker of Paul, deserted Paul because of his love for the world (2 Tim 4:l0). Lot moved toward Sodom because he love the world.

2.      Those who walk in the night stumble because there is no light to guide them (John 11:10).

Many believers continue to indulge in the things of this world and fall to the snares of Satan. They do not see or sense these snares because they walk in darkness. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness” (John 8:1 2). Following the Lord guarantees a lighted path. We can hence evade stumbling, for dangers and snares are exposed.

3.      Those who stumble because they cannot endure tribulation or persecution (Mark 4:17).

There was a brother who had been very active in church work until a sister unintentionally passed some discouraging remarks about him. Later he resigned from his duties and refused to participate in any church work. Later he stopped attending church service and drifted further and further away. I was filled with distress for him and exhorted and encouraged him to come back. He did come hack to church for a period but the sense of injury was never completely healed.

To the brethren who stumble and fall, we need to constantly encourage them with the word of God, so that their feeble knees are made firm (Job 4:4). We must also constantly pray for them (Jas 5:13). Through our fervent prayers, the Lord will uphold them.


The backsliders

The Psalmist said, “My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget thy words (Ps 119:139). When David was chosen, he was persecuted by Saul. Saul was the first Israelite king. In the beginning, he was obedient to God and he did according to what God had instructed him. But later Saul disobeyed God in many matters and when the devil entered him, Saul tried to kill David, At that instant, Saul had completely forgotten the word of God. He did not know how to rely on God and obey Him. In the end he was rejected by God. But David was filled with distress for him, like a burning flame. Although David was tied up by the ropes of a wicked man, he did not forget the law of God and constantly reminded his son Solomon, saying, “Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever” (1 Chr 28:9).

The word of God is the lamp of our feet and the light of our path. Without the light, we will be walking in darkness. Walking in darkness makes us fall easily and we become easy victims. The Psalmist says, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!” (Psalm 137:5-6). And he further asserts, “I will never forget thy precepts: for by them thou hast given me life” (Psalm 119:93).

The temple of God

David was constantly concerned for the matters of God. He was anxious for the temple of God. He said, “For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me” (Ps 69:9). In fact, his heart was set to build the temple of God. But God did not permit him to do so because David was a warrior who had shed the blood of many (1 Chr 28:2-3).Though unable to fulfill his dreams, he was constantly thinking about the matter and reminded his son Solomon to take heed and be strong and determined to build the temple (1 Chr 28:10). Furthermore, David gave Solomon the plans for all the temple buildings, for the storerooms and all the other rooms, and for the Most Holy Place, where sins are forgiven. He also gave him the plans for all he had in mind for the courtyards and the rooms around them, and for the storerooms for the temple equipment and the gifts dedicated to the Lord (1 Chr 28:11-12). In addition, he also had all the building materials ready and offered the wealth which he had accumulated to the building of the temple. Because of what he did, the people were moved and they followed him in quest to build God’s temple (1 Chron 29:6-9).

Today we must emulate the determination of David. We must take positive steps to build churches where there are none. We must not just be concerned with ourselves. The Bible reminded us through the word of the Lord which came to Haggai, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while the temple lies in ruins? Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little: You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes … Because of my house that lies in ruins, while you busy yourselves each with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce” (Hag 1:4-10).

Let us he moved by the Holy Spirit and revive the work of building Gods temple. There is a need to build more churches to house the congregation. But more importantly, we must build first the temple in our hearts. The Scriptures say, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him, For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:16-17). We must constantly think about our own temple. We must be concerned for any blemish found and remove it immediately so that the Holy Spirit may continue to dwell in it. In one occasion, Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me” (Jn 2:13-17). If our brethren are backsliding, we must quickly bring them back to the fold. We must look after the temple of God, whether it is the physical temple or the spiritual temple of our hearts, so that we will glorify God and edify man.

In conclusion, those who are in charge of the church today-- the elders, deacons, preachers and brethren who are strong in faith--should not just be concerned about their own faith and be satisfied that they are saved. They should keep a watchful eye on the weaker brethren and be concerned for those who are taken captives, who stumble and fall or who have forgotten God’s word. They should he concerned also for the temple of God. They should go forth to save, help, exhort, encourage and finish the good work of God through the strength given to them.

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