Written by Pastor Eric Everhart
I was going through my early morning routine of getting ready for the day, in the bathroom combing my newly-grown locks of hair and brushing my teeth. As I was squeezing out the toothpaste onto my brush, I noticed a warning message on the side of the tube. The label read, “Keep away from children under the age of 3. If swallowed contact the poison control center immediately.” Are you serious? If you swallow toothpaste it can be harmful? And then I picked up my mouthwash and there it was again, “Keep away from children under 12. If swallowed seek medical treatment immediately.” What!! I couldn’t resist, I had to check the label on the hair drier (not mine of course!). Another warning, “Keep away from water or risk electrical shock and death.” I was on a roll now, so I checked the bath towel tags–sure enough, there was a warning there too, “This is not a toy, do not use it for anything else except drying hands and face.” I think you get the idea, but I spent the next 30 minutes looking around the house at different things and just about every item had some sort of warning label. Go check for yourself!
Why so many warning labels? Why didn’t I notice them before? And, why would you have to tell someone not to use their hair drier in the bathtub–isn’t that common sense? Unfortunately, we live in a world where the things that provide us convenience and comfort can also be harmful if not used properly or not used for its intended purpose. So, companies put warning labels on their products to keep us safe. To be perfectly honest, I never really noticed all those warnings because I wasn’t looking for them, and even if I knew they were there I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to read them anyway.
We live our lives every single day failing to recognize and heed the warnings God has given us: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). “The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). These are only a small example of the warnings God has given us about pride, worry, anxiety, our words, and so on.
Too often we don’t notice the warnings, or don’t even know about them, because we are not spending time with God’s Word the way we should be. God loves us so very much that he has incorporated many different “warning labels” for us throughout the Bible for just about every situation; we just have to take the time to read them. God knows the dangers we face and the ways to avoid them; he knows what we should abstain from and what we should embrace; he knows what will cause us pain and what will bring us joy. His warnings are not just another set of rules for us to follow, but instead they are there to protect us and to give us freedom from our own undoing and the work of the devil.
DON’T DELAY ANOTHER DAY, OPEN YOUR BIBLE AND HEED THE “WARNINGS” OF GOD’S WORD SO YOU MAY EXPERIENCE FREEDOM, PROTECTION, AND JOY!
“Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning” (John 16:4).
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