By Nancy Stevens
Today's Scripture: Proverbs 21:3
Central Thought: God does not condone sin, even if it seems to produce a good result.
Troy routinely took his clients out to lunch at one of the nicest restaurants in town, which was managed by Jaden, a close friend of his. Troy's company reimbursed him for his business expenses. One day Troy and Jaden made a deal that would benefit them both. Jaden would give Troy a 30 percent discount on his business lunches, but still give him a receipt for the full amount. This would allow Troy to get reimbursed for the full amount, and he would split the extra income with Jaden. For example, if the bill came to $200, Troy would pay only $140 and yet receive $200 from his company. So Jaden and Troy would split the $60.
Troy decided that he would give his entire $30 to the Lord. 'My church is in a building program and can really use the money,” he told Jaden. 'In that case,” Jaden replied, 'I'll give you a 40 percent discount from now on, so you can give more money to the church, and I'll even contribute some myself.”
Since Troy could have kept the money for himself, he felt that God should be pleased with his sacrifice. But was He? Do the ends ever justify the means? If we do something wrong, but it yields good results, does God excuse our disobedience?
Proverbs 21:3 (NIV) says, 'To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” God is holy and righteous, and He never condones sin, no matter the outcome. Obedience produces a clear conscience and God's favor.
Devotional Prayer: Father, when Your Spirit convicts of us doing something that is not right in Your sight, even if it seems good to us, help us to heed Your warning and immediately repent and change course.
Today's Bible Reading: Ezra 10:1-44; 1 Corinthians 6:1-20; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 21:3