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July 15 | 1 Corinthians 10:6-13


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Warnings

by Mary Alice McGinnis


What types of warning signs do you see around you daily? Look at some of the labels on things around your house. Here are a few I found:


Dish soap – “Caution – may cause eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes.”

Medicine – “Warning – Taking more than the recommended dose may cause severe health hazards.”

Cleaning products – “Keep out of the reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help, or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.”

Plastic Bags – “Warning – To avoid danger of suffocation, keep bags out of the reach of children and pets.”

Foods – “Food allergy warning – may contain peanuts.”


What about the warning signs in our outdoor environments.


“Slippery When Wet.”

“Beware of Dog.”

“Danger – High Tension Lines.”

“Caution – Construction Ahead.”


Some warning signs may even seem a little silly. Wouldn’t most people, with any common sense, understand that standing too close to the edge of a cliff on slippery rocks could be dangerous?


Yet, it seems, we as humans need these warnings. Without them, we often find ourselves daringly close to the edge of danger, about to slip and crash down to the jagged rocks of irreparable catastrophe.


Children of Israel are such a warning for us. God showered on them His divine care and intervention in countless miraculous ways all throughout the Old Testament.


Their response to God’s loving kindness and faithfulness? They were unfaithful.


When Moses went up to the mountain top to spend time with God and receive the ten commandments, they quickly turned to a god of their own making. After all they had been through, I am sure they reasoned that they had a right to be happy and should be allowed to do whatever they wanted. They turned against the One who had been their “everything” and licentiously indulged in whatever made them feel good. The “high” of self-seeking pleasure drew them deeper and deeper into idolatry. They soon found themselves trapped in a new kind of slavery, the slavery of never feeling satisfied.


When our hearts are lured into lust, the ravenous desire for more and more will never be satisfied.


Dissatisfaction leads to discontent. Discontentment leads to ingratitude. Ingratitude leads to complaining. Complaining leads to looking to something or someone else for relief. And the cycle repeats.


We could easily think, “That couldn’t happen to me. I would never allow myself to slip like that.” Heed this warning.


If you are feeling the sting of conviction like I am, let these word from Pastor Aaron several months ago speak to you: “Deep repentance leads to deep dependence.”


Paul’s words in today’s reading are warning us to turn around and go in a new direction – deep repentance. He then bids us to turn our heart in total dependence upon our God who is faithful and will provide a way out.


“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”


PRAYER PRACTICE

Breath Prayer – Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to fill you with His presence, grace, love, peace, etc. Ask Him to fill you with gratitude for all He has done for you.


As you breathe out, offer to God the things you need Him to take from you – sin, doubt, shame, anxiety, fear, discontentment. Repent of all the ways you have chased after your own desires.


Bow your head in humbleness before God, and thank Him for being with you even in temptation, and for providing a way out thorough Jesus Christ. Praise Him for being the All-Powerful One on whom you can deeply depend.



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