2001-12-10 - Chapter and Verse
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
I'm not sure if you have ever thought about it but the books of the Bible were not written in chapters and verses. The books of the Old and New Testaments have, for the majority of the time since Christ, not been divided into chapters and verses. It was Stephen Langton, an Englishman, who first thought of the idea to divide the Bible into chapters and shortly later Robert Stephens, from France, went a step further and divided the chapters into verses. Langton was buried at Canterbury Cathedral, which is about an hour outside of London, in 1228.
I don't know if you have ever been to any of the Cathedrals in Europe but I can tell you that they are amazing. The Cathedral in Washington D.C is quite impressive, but those in Europe so outshine it that it can't even be compared to them. St. Paul's in London has an amazing dome ceiling that is painted amazingly and the acoustics are without equal. Canterbury, just for its age and history is also impressive, but its size quite outmatches even that. Westminster Abby, while not a Cathedral, is maybe the most impressive of them all. Westminster is the traditional place where the best and brightest of England are buried. The testaments to the dead are quite impressive.
These are all living testaments to what man can do. But as magnificent as these things might be, they are of little worth when compared to eternity. One soul has more worth in the kingdom of God than all of them combined. The value of a soul is beyond calculation because the soul will go on forever and these things will either decay over time or be burned with fire when the Lord remakes heaven and earth.
We are urged in 1 Peter 2:11 to remember that in the world we are strangers and that we should, "abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul." There are lots of things that might qualify as fleshly lusts and each of us has our own weak points of temptation. However, I believe that things and stuff are one of the chief aspects that Satan uses to wage war against our souls. We want to keep up appearances, but what are we really saying? Probably we are saying that we want to look good in other peoples eyes by having a nice house, driving a nice car, or any number of other things. We must remember that we need not strive to be man-pleasers. The only one we need to please is God.
It is easy to get caught up in things, but things can't satisfy. A new car might make you feel special for a month but the luster wears off and then it is just a car. Things simply can't fill the void in our lives that only God can. Romans 6:4 tells us to "walk in newness of life." Part of that is a separation from what is normal or common to the normal or common person. We live above the world, not in arrogance, but in disdain for the shallowness that an earthly mindset leads to. May the Lord lead us into a mindset of heavenly mindedness.
Soli Deo Gloria,