August 3 - Wise and Innocent

By Richard J. Bennett

Today's Scripture: Romans 16:17-20

Central Thought: God wants Christians to be able to discern between good and evil.

    Betty didn't really care much for the new pastor. He seemed so much more concerned with people outside the church than taking care of those inside the church. Who was paying his salary anyway? So at the weekly women's Bible study, she shared with the group how she had seen the pastor and his wife coming out of the abortion clinic earlier that week. 'I guess I can't really blame them, what with five kids already. I'm just a little shocked that our pastor's wife would be having an abortion.”

    Betty was feeling rather pleased with herself until Linda spoke up. 'Actually, Betty, they were there because I had called them for help. I need you to pray for my family. As many of you are aware, my daughter has not been living for the Lord for some time. She came by the house last week and told me she did not have anywhere to live because her boyfriend kicked her out when she told him she was pregnant. When she told me she was thinking about having an abortion, I called the pastor and his wife to talk with her. Pastor and his wife agreed to go with her to get information at the abortion clinic, if she would agree to go with them to the crisis pregnancy center before she decided what to do. Thanks to their intervention, my daughter has decided to have the baby and give it up for adoption. It's going to be hard, but my daughter has asked the Lord to forgive her and to help her through this. And our family needs our church family to support us during this time.”

    Paul reminded the Christians in Rome in the closing portion of his letter to them to watch out for those who cause division within the church and to avoid them. People who choose to create problems to satisfy their own selfish means can greatly hinder the effectiveness of the church's ability to reach the lost and disciple believers. We can trust God to deal with people who live in disobedience to the Lord's wishes. We must strive to 'be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (Romans 16:19) as we serve the Lord.

Devotional Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be a person who promotes the welfare of Your people through my service to You.

Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:8-27; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19