“All things are lawful for me — but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me — but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
Many that are well affected to religion and receive instructions of piety with pleasure and satisfaction, often wonder how it comes to pass that they make no greater progress in that religion which they so much admire. Now the reason for it is because religion lives only in their head and something else has possession of their heart. And therefore they continue, from year to year, mere admirers and praisers of piety, without ever coming up to the reality and perfection of its precepts.
If it be asked why religion does not get possession of their hearts, the reason is not because they live in gross sins or debaucheries (for their regard to religion preserves them from such disorders) — but because their hearts are constantly perverted and kept in a bad state by the wrong use of such things that are lawful. For our souls may receive very great hurt, merely by the abuse of innocent and lawful things.
- What is more innocent than rest and retirement? Yet what is more dangerous than sloth and idleness?
- What is more lawful than eating and drinking? Yet what is more destructive of virtue than sensuality and indulgence?
- Care in the management of a family is certainly commendable; yet what is so prejudicial as an anxious worldly temper?
Reader, follow the apostle and be on your guard as it respects even lawful things. Let them not engage you beyond due measure.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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