Monday, August 17, 2015
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Senior year in college! Somehow our son had maneuvered himself into a coveted on-campus house for his senior year. The guys had their stuff and their whole universe there. Not necessarily an orderly universe. He told me that one day he and several other guys were talking about a student leader who was a friend of theirs. Let's call him Marty. Now, think of the atmosphere of college guys in a room together. Yeah, well our son was reviewing some of the dumb things (at least in his opinion) that Marty had done in his leadership choices.
And as he was finishing this little barbeque, someone drifted into the room from the kitchen. They were right next door. You want to guess who it was? Marty, with his cup of coffee in his hand. He was right next door making himself some coffee the whole time, no doubt listening to this critical review of his leadership. He didn't say anything. He didn't have to. Our son felt about an inch tall when he realized Marty had heard him.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Invisible Victim."
If you've ever hurt someone that you didn't realize you were hurting, you know how bad it feels when you finally wake up. It's funny! Just like in a college gab session, what you're doing doesn't bother you until suddenly you realize who you've been hurting. That could be something you need to be thinking about right now.
Our word for today from the Word of God: Genesis 39. It's about Joseph. He's a Jewish young man who has been taken as a slave to the land of Egypt. He's purchased by a powerful general named Potiphar and he rises to a position of state manager. The Bible picks up the story with a powerful temptation that suddenly confronts Joseph and then his powerful response.
Here's what it says, "Joseph was well-built and handsome. And after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, 'Come to bed with me.' But he refused. 'With me in charge (he told her) my master does not concern himself with anything in the house. Everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you're his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God.'"
Now, Joseph resists this incredibly attractive temptation. Why? He says, "I can't do this to God." Not to Potiphar, not to Potiphar's wife, not to his religious upbringing. No, he says, "If I do this, I know who I'm going to be hurting. I'm going to be hurting God."
Flipside, King David, who said, "Yes" to a sexual temptation that scarred his life from that night on. He had sex with another man's wife, and then conspired to have that man, his friend, killed. His agony over this sin is recorded in Psalm 51 where he says, "My sin is always before me." He says, "God, against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight." Bottom line is: ultimately he has not sinned against Bathsheba's husband or Bathsheba, or the rules. He said, "God, I did this against you, didn't I?"
Right now you may be involved in something you know is wrong. It's a compromise, it's rebellion, it's a detour, it's wrong. You say, "Well, I don't think it's hurting anyone." Oh, yes it is. When Jesus' right-hand man denied Him, the Bible says that Peter went out and wept bitterly over it. But only after Jesus, on His way to His trial, turned and in the Bible's words, looked straight at Peter. And suddenly Peter realized that he wasn't just breaking the rules. He was breaking his Savior's heart. And so are you with that sin of yours.
This isn't about rebelling against your parents, or your church, or your upbringing, or your breaking some religious rules. This is about breaking the heart of Jesus, who gave His life for you so you wouldn't have to do that kind of junk. Please hear this! You're doing it to Jesus. The One who loves you most knows what you're doing and it really hurts.
Do you keep doing it when you know it is breaking your Savior's heart?