Luke 17:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 17:1 

“And he said to his disciples, temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” – Luke 17:1        

Jesus is speaking here to the disciples regarding temptation.  He is telling them that, because of the depravity of man, there will always be something that tempts us to sin.  It may come in the form of an illicit desire, an offense someone does against us, or simply in the calling of our flesh.  Such is the flesh that there will always be someone or something that attempts to make us sin.  Matthew writes that we must rid ourselves of anything that causes us to sin.  “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30.  This is a difficult idea, but in essence it is saying that if anything causes us to sin, we must do what we can to remove it from our lives.

Now, this verse specifically addresses people who cause others to sin against God.  Therefore, in the process of eliminating all temptations from our lives, we may have to part ways with those who constantly work toward the goal of causing us to fall.  If they will not stop in their aberrant ways which causes us to desire things that constitute sinful behavior, whether that be in actions or thoughts, then we need to separate ourselves from them.  They are only attempting to counter the work of God in our Christian walk.  Satan is using them to cause God’s people to sin where possible. However, based on the next verse, God does not look favorably on this.  “But woe to the one through whom they (temptation) come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:1b-2.  In other words, it would be better to die by drowning then to cause a Christian to sin.

It is important that we examine our lives also, as Christians, praying and asking God is there any way we may be causing our brothers and sisters to fall?  Do we wear immodest clothing when we go out?  Do we engage in improper conversations that may incite improper thoughts?  Or do we do things that are acceptable to us but may not be to some Christians?  “Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” Romans 14:13-16.  If what we do, which we consider good, can cause a brother or sister to fall, then we must abstain from doing it.  And if there is any doubt, err on the side of caution and do not do it.  God will hold us accountable if we are the cause another Christian stumbling.  So, be careful and build up your brothers and sisters in the Lord and take no chance in tempting them to think or do something that they believe is wrong.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Isaiah 5:20

Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 5:20 

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20      

This verse speaks as heavily to the culture today as it did back in Isaiah’s day.  This is the fourth woe God declared through Isaiah to the Israel.  There were men in that day who declared what was considered good was evil and what was considered evil was good.  John Wesley in his commentary on Isaiah put it this way, “To them – That take away the difference between good and evil; that justify wicked men and things and condemn piety or righteous persons.”  They glossed over evil deeds and habits and accept them as acceptable, while they look down upon those who cling to God and His works.

Isaiah goes on to add the following. “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:21.  This is how they concluded what was right and wrong.  By how they viewed the works as apposed to how God declared them.  They felt they knew better than the prophet and therefore rejected his warnings.  And in doing so, rejected God’s words in the process.  Because of this, the remainder of chapter five, verses 24-30 is the declaring the judgements upon those who sinned in this manner.  Here are verses 24-25 which gives an indication of the judgements declared by God through Isaiah.  “Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people, And He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down. And the mountains quaked, and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, But His hand is still stretched out.” Isaiah 5:24-25.  

Today, we need to ensure that we do not fall into the same sin as our focus verse declares, those who call evil good and good evil.  There is much of this going on in our culture today.  Leaders in some of today’s churches affirming abortions as a good thing and acceptable to God.  Churches where transgenderism is taught to our children either in story times, or in church services themselves as was done in a church in Cincinnati, OH.  There are teachings heard in some church’s that are against what the scriptures teach and leads to causing members to go astray and believe false teachings. 

If we hear anything that falls into the sins of our focus verse; calling things that are good, evil and things that are evil, good, it is important that we raise this with the church leadership and have them deal with it.  We should address those who have taught it and help those who heard it to understand that this is wrong.  This is not easy to do, but to ignore and not address these issues will have the same result as accepting it.  We must stand against these things.  God did declare this woe to the people of Isaiah’s time, and I believe He will declare the same judgement to those today who do the same.  Let us be careful and study His word so we will know when others confound the distinctions of right and wrong, and we do not fall into this error ourselves. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.