Weekly Devotionals – 18 July 2022

People do attract us. And we find it hard to resist emulating some characters, especially those who are doing well in life. But we need to take note that some people use dubious means to achieve their status. Just because they do well is not an indication that what they do is always right. So, as we seek to find someone to emulate, we must rightly discern the model we are attracted to. Hear what Proverbs 24:1-2 have to say:-

“Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their minds devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.”
Take note that the mood in verse 1 is translated in the imperative. “Do not be envious…” is a command, not an option. It tells us not to be captivated by the attractiveness of men who practice evil. We must not be envious of how they conduct their life no matter how well to do they may be. When we are not envious of their life, we will not emulate or be attracted by the ways they conduct their life.

Verse 1 also gives us a hint on the key that will prevent us from being enticed. The key is to watch our desire. The desire of our heart is often the first place we are being captured. We are drawn to the things our heart desires. What captures our heart captures our mind and us! When our desire has overtaken our rationality, we will be driven to do anything thoughtlessly. That’s why we must watch over our hearts. As we do so, we run less risk of being attracted by the evil things that evil people will do.  

Having given the command not to run with the dubious or emulate their ways, verse 2 then tells us why we should not be envious of evil men or run with them. It is because they are always devising and scheming evil ways. And what they speak always spells trouble. If we want a life of peace, a life that others will respect, we need to keep away from evil people.

In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul sounded out the same sentiment. He said, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” His warning to the believers at the Church in Corinth is still relevant and needful for us in the 21st Century church today. Its meaning is so straightforward. There is no ambiguity. In the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, this verse is translated this way: “Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.” It is so true, the company we keep will certainly have an impact on us. Our choices in life are often influenced by the company we keep. So, may the words of Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 etch deeply in our hearts. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”  

Monday – Titus 2:7-8
In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Tuesday – Hebrews 12:3
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Wednesday –  2 Chronicles 17:3
The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals,

Thursday – James 5:10
As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Friday – 1 Peter 2:21  
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

Saturday – Ephesians 5:1-2  
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Sunday – Hebrews 6:11-12
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

All scriptures are quoted from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).
By Pastor Clarence Goh