Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stewardship: April Fools

Pranksters take great pleasure in observing the traditions of “April Fool”.  Imagine a day, a month, set aside for their craft –all without recourse because they can call out “April Fool”. (Prov 26:19) The more outlandish their hoax and the more people that fall for their deceitful antics the more puffed up and emboldened they become. 

Have you ever fallen for an “April Fool’s” prank?  Didn’t you feel foolish at having been duped into believing the ruse or falling for the (sometimes obvious) prank?  And of course the prankster isn’t satisfied until everyone hears about how they “gotcha”.

Scripture warns us of a trickster of the deadliest kind.  Sometimes it takes years to discover that we’ve been taken by his deceitful con. This enemy isn’t looking for a little embarrassment, or a red faced “oops”, he is trying to swindle you of your peace, honor, reputation, self-image, relationships, and even your very soul.  Here are a few things to watch out for.  Read through carefully and see if he has begun a ruse in your life.

You might be an April Fool If you: 
Allow resentment to kill you.                                                                                                    Job5:2
Have caused your house be cursed.                                                                                        Job5:3
Say in your heart  “There is no God”                                                                                       Psalms 14:1
Are hot headed and reckless.                                                                                                   Prov 14:16
Allow your mouth to ‘gush folly’.                                                                                             Prov 15:2
Spurn your father’s discipline.                                                                                                  Prov 15:5
Speak arrogantly.                                                                                                                        Prov 17:7
Make others wonder “Of what use is money in his/her hand?”                                        Prov 17:16
Bring grief to your father.                                                                                                          Prov 17:21
Have ‘wandering eyes’.                                                                                                              Prov 17:24
Find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing your own opinions.                   Prov 18:2
Allow your lips to bring you strife and your mouth to invite a beating.                            Prov 18:6
Have perverse lips.                                                                                                                      Prov 19:1
Are quick to quarrel and meddle.                                                                                             Prov 20:3
Scorn the wisdom of others.                                                                                                     Prov 23:9
Continue to repeat your folly.  (As a dog returns to his vomit.)                                         Prov 26:11
See yourself wise in your own eyes.                                                                                        Prov 26:12
Trust in Yourself.                                                                                                                         Prov 28:26
Give full vent to your anger and tell all that is on your mind.                                            Prov 29:11
Have exalted yourself, or have planned evil.                                                                        Prov 30:32*
Walk in darkness.                                                                                                                       Eccl 2:14
Are one to fold your hands and ruin yourself.                                                                      Eccl 4:5
Practice extortion and bribe.                                                                                                   Eccl 7:7
Multiply your words!                                                                                                                 Eccl 10:14
Speak folly, your mind is busy with evil, practice ungodliness and spread
error concerning the Lord                                                                                                         Is 32:6
Leave the hungry empty, and withhold water from the thirsty.                                        Is 32:6b
Think you are wise.                                                                                                                    1Cor 3:18
Go after the strange woman (man) who flatters with her (his) words
as an ox goes to slaughter.                                                                                                       Prov 7:22
Speak with lying lips and utter slander.                                                                                 Prov 10:18
Enjoy doing mischief.                                                                                                                Prov 10:23
Go to men for help before you go to God.                                                                           2 Chr  16:9
Do your own thing vs. taking the advice of your parents.                                                 Prov 13:1
Bring grief or bitterness to your mother or father.                                                             Prov 10:1, 17:25
Tear down your house by your own hands.                                                                         Prov 14:1
Devour all that you have rather than have stores set aside.                                             Prov 21:20
Have eyes but do not see or ears but do not hear.                                                             Jer 5:21
Do not know the ways of or the requirements of your Lord.                                           Jer 5:4
Hear the words of God and do not put them to practice.                                                 Matt 7:26
You call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say.                                                           Luke 6:46
Have allowed yourself to be bewitched, to question the things
 that you know for certain are truth.                                                                                     Gal 3:1
Believe you can attain by human effort rather than by the Spirit.                                   Gal 3:3
Do not consider the cost before beginning to build.                                                          Luke 14:29
Use obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking.                                                                        Eph 5:4
Do not understand the Lord’s will.                                                                                         Eph 5:17
Are disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and
pleasures, live in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.                      Titus 3:3

Do you recognize how the enemy attempts to deceive?  Can you see how he tries leading someone into a trap to defraud?  Should this have happened to you or someone you love remember there is a way out.

Don’t despair!  There is hope!!
Keep in mind all of us have fallen short of the glory of God.                                            Romans 3:23

And if we confess our faults and repent Our God is quick to forgive;
“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our                 
 transgressions from us.”                                                                                                        Ps 103:12

There is an antidote for the wiles of our enemy. Even if we have proven to be foolish beyond all imagination there is a plan to reverse all foolish ways.  James tells us;
                If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God (for wisdom), who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.                                                         James 1:5

God bless you and may we all increase in wisdom,
Carol Dillard,
Stewardship Ministries Director,

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