Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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July 31 – Keeping The Right Focus

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” Proverbs 24:19,20

Devotional Thought For The Day

It is difficult not to “fret” in regard to evildoers – we know their capability for mischief and harming others, and we recognize the vulnerability of human being. Such “fretting” may move us to our own wicked behavior, to consider taking preemptive actions that may be illegal and wicked, in which case we have become “evildoers.”

It is also difficult not be envious of the wicked – they appear to be doing whatever they want without fear of backlash, consequence, punishment, or even recrimination of conscience.  And often they appear to be quite happy in enjoying and luxuriating in their ill-gotten gains. But appearances can be quite deceiving, and such people often put on a good facade and front to deflect the criticisms of others, and precisely to engender envy in others.

Such envying, however, manipulates us into thinking only in temporal terms, so that we being to think of life and being as pertaining only to this life. We begin thinking only of the present, or the near future, and our eternal relationship with God fades from consideration so that we don’t give any real thought as to how short this life is, or to what is best for us eternally.  Decisions made from this myopic context are sure to be foolish and harmful – to ourselves and to others around us. We forget that “the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” And our sense of discipleship to Jesus, and our commitment to following Him grows weak and can die out altogether.

The proverbs are not just pithy instructions as to how to live a wise life.  They are principally a call to repentance, a reminder of our need for God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness, and an encouragement to receive His gracious cleansing in Christ Jesus. In this way they restore our focus on God and His love for us so that we are weaned away from wicked and foolish thinking, strengthened in seeing life as eternal, and living as true children of God. The evildoers refuse to do this, and this is the principle cause and source of their wickedness – they refuse any deference toward God, refuse repentance and forgiveness, and reject His instructions.  They may be dangerous, but should never be envied.  Pitied, maybe.

So let us continue “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” [Heb. 12:2] In this way we will be preserved and protected from fretting about or envying the wicked.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, our eyes and then our minds can so easily be turned to the pursuit of wealth, opulence, and pleasures, so that we are sorely tempted to join the wicked in securing these things. Preserve us in genuine repentance, and firm faith and trust in Your love. Grant us wisdom from Your Word so that we live and make decisions based upon Your eternal promises and in accord with Your instructions. Amen.