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Creeping Compromise

{commedia}Joe Crews|Creeping Compromise|mediafiles/audio/crews/creeping12.mp3{/audio}

The focus of this book has been on little things, and how Satan nibbles away at the high spiritual standards of God's people. We have analysed the psychological pattern of gradual compromise by which the power and effect of the truth has been diluted. Some would suggest that we are majoring in minors and that such concern is over trivia which only detracts from the important issues. They question that the God who created the universe could be even slightly interested in the details of individual human conduct. They would label such concern as legalism. But is it legalism or love?

Even if each tiny lowering of the standard did not lead to large departures from the truth, there is another important reason for being particular about the smallest deviation from God's will. Christianity is not based upon prohibitions and rules--not even such highly esteemed rules as the hand-written Ten Commandments. In fact, Christianity rests upon a love relationship with a person, Jesus Christ.

The foundational basics of the true Christian life are summed up in the two great commandments Christ gave in Matthew 22:37-40, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

All the writers of the Bible make it very clear that this is really what Christianity is all about. The theme of love is woven throughout both Old and New Testaments, and the effect of that love is the works of obedience. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. John the beloved wrote,� For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3

Even human love finds no strain in doing things to please the one and only object of affection. Brides and grooms do not count it grievous duty to make each other happy, and they do not fulfil their vows because state laws require it on pain of fine or imprisonment. In fact, they do much more for each other than the law requires just because they do love deeply. Any little thing which is possible to do for the happiness of the other becomes a joy to perform.

It is in the area of small attentions that the test of true love is revealed. Any wife will confirm that this is so. Even a few fading flowers can move a wife to emotional tears, if she knows hubby went out of his way to pick them for her personally. In fact, the most expensive gift would be less impressive than that spontaneous plucking of a few lowly wild daisies. Why? The answer is obvious. It constitutes a thousand fold greater test of love because the husband would only choose to do it for one reason--to make his wife happy.

Please notice that this should be true in our love relation with Christ also. John says: "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." 1 John 3:22. The Christian will not merely obey the overt requirements of the Ten Commandments, but will seek to do everything which pleases the Lord. This involves searching the Scriptures for indications of His will, and running no risk whatsoever of displeasing Him. Genuine love will always be giving the advantage rather than taking it.

If God is at all interested in the manifestation of love in His children, then He must be watching with great interest to see how they respond to every small revelation of His will. It may very well be that the greatest test of true devotion to God is the degree of willing conformity to the sprinkled hints throughout the Bible of little things that please Him. And instead of being counted as legalism, those acts may be weighed in the judgement as the highest form of selfless love.

May God help us to search the Scriptures daily to discover how to know His will in our eating, drinking,
dressing, talking, and looking. Then may we have the love to apply His desires happily to our daily Christian way of life.

Whatever you think, never think what you feel
You would blush, in the presence of God, to reveal;
Whatever you speak, in a whisper or clear,
Say nothing you would not like Jesus to hear.

Whatever you read though the page may allure,
Read nothing of which you are perfectly sure
Consternation at once would be seen in your look
If God should say solemnly, "Show me that book."

Whatever you write, though in haste or in heed,
Write nothing you would not like Jesus to read;
Whatever you sing, in the midst of your glees
Sing nothing His listening ear would displease.

Whenever you go, never go where you fear
Lest the great God should ask you, "How camest thou here?"
Turn away from each pleasure you'd shrink from pursuing
If God should look down and say, "What are you doing?"

Whatever you wear, can you be very sure
That the feelings it quickens are blameless and pure?
Would your face be unblushing and conscience be clear
Should your wardrobe be opened and Jesus appear?

When you think, when you speak, when you read, when you write,
When you sing, when you walk, when you seek for delight,
To be kept from all wrong when at home or abroad,
Live always as under the eyes of the Lord.

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