Richard Greedy (1)

This post is the first part of an allegory entitled “Richard Greedy”

He was one happy healthy kid. His parents were multi-billionaires, and his mom spoiled him mercilessly. He was loved, loved, loved. As he grew up everyone loved him. The girls always liked him, for he was good looking. The boys all wanted to be his friend because he was so famous. Even adults thought he was just the cutest thing. He went to a private boarding school where he learned good manners. He got everything he wanted. Everyone wanted to be him. He was living, and basically had, the life.

Richard Greedy grew up with a dream. Buy a yacht, gather all his friends, and sail down the Vida River. So that’s exactly what he did. He went and had a custom made, personalized yacht, crafted for himself. No expense was spared and all stops were pulled. Everything was grand. Elegant staircases, beautiful ballrooms, luxurious rooms, and lush living areas. He had a pool and jacuzzi, a tennis court, basketball court, and a sand volleyball court all installed on his yacht. Richard’s favorite and most valued place on the whole yacht was the top deck. It was made especially for him. He had refrigerators full of delicate foods, fine wines, and craft beers. He had comfy chairs and lounge chairs installed exactly to his size and shape. Everything was perfect on his top deck. At the end of his long and stressful days of sporting and talking, he could just go up on the top deck, sit, and watch and enjoy everything that he owned.

Finally everything was finished. The grand yacht No Worries was ready to set off on its long voyage down the Vida River. Richard called all his friends to his side. His family decided to come too. He had everyone he wanted with him. They set off on Friday, September 1, 2020. And their plan—their ultimate beautiful plan—was to simply enjoy themselves on this 1 year journey down the Vida River.

The first three months were wonderful for Richard. He loved and reveled in everything that he had; and his friends all loved the journey they were on too. But one day he got struck by something. He had become discontent. He wanted something else, something more. He loved all his friends, but he decided that he needed new ones. So they harbored at Amicus City for one week. Richard made plenty of new friends, and even got a brand new automobile, and nothing less than the Fast 4000. He had it loaded onto his yacht just so he could sit and admire it.  Finally satisfied, Richard left Amicus City to continue his journey with friends new and old.

Weeks passed and Richard and his many friends started to run out of food and wine. Richard loved the wine, so they were forced to stop again. This time Richard got barrels and barrels of elegant wines and crates and crates of more delicate foods. He also wanted to buy something else: a smaller boat to tug along behind the back of the yacht. He was tired of always having to bring the whole yacht into the harbor every time they needed to stop. It simply took too long are required too much work. So, he bought a new boat to drag along to keep his excursions from wasting his valuable time.

One day, there was a disruption of his usual routine: wake up at 10:00, be served a gourmet breakfast, swim in the pool, lie out or sit on his top deck, and many glasses of wine and trays of food all along the way. While Richard was lying out, enjoying the sun, with a girl under his arm, his butler came to him.

“Excuse me Mr. Greedy but the Captain would like to meet with you,” the butler said formally.

“What?” Richard was startled at the sound of his butler’s voice.

“Sir, the Captain requests a meeting with you,” the man repeated patiently, as if this happened daily.

“Oh yeah okay,” Richard sighed. “Well send him over here. Service!”

Ten minutes later Service came back with the Captain in tow.

“Mr. Greedy the Captain is here,” Service stated, and then went back to his business. Richard didn’t look up from the i-pad he was holding. The Captain cleared his throat expectantly. When Richard didn’t say anything the Captain started to speak.

“Mr. Greedy, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.” The Captain paused again and waited. When there was no response he spoke again. “Mr. Greedy, because of all the things that have been added to the boat, we have gained a lot of momentum.”

Richard looked up and finally acknowledged the Captain. “What do you mean by gained a lot of momentum?” He asked.

“Well, we’ve gained a lot of extra weight, because of all of the things you have been collecting recently, we have been moving down the river faster.”

“Okay Captain, get to the point, I still don’t understand,” Richard replied impatiently.

“Because of the extra weight, we are moving faster, and will reach our destination a lot more quickly than we originally planned.”

Richard laughed in the captain’s face. “Captain, what’s the problem with that? We will get to the end and have had a good journey!”

The Captain started to look uncertain. Fixing his gaze on Richard, he said slowly, “Mr. Greedy, what about the falls?”

“The falls?” Richard scoffed. “The falls, Captain? Those falls aren’t real. It’s just a story some old man made up when he got bored.” Richard shook his head and then said to the Captain, “Man I think you’re worrying too much. Go grab yourself a drink Captain and go relax.”

The Captain walked away with a new lightness in his step. If there were no falls, everyone on the boat would be fine. He didn’t understand why his heart had been so worried.

 

Danae VanOverloop, Whitney Scholten, and Alyssa Mastbergen

Adultery Is Near! (1)

Every day we go about seeking to fulfill the chief end of man: to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q.&. A.1). In this walk we must have the meekness to realize that within us Satan tempts us to conform to the wickedness of the world and to forsake the call to “put on the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16). A great temptation is the sin of adultery which Satan has filled the world with. He desires that we forsake God by breaking His seventh command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” (Ex. 20:14).

In this twenty-first century the world is so full of filth. Adultery is everywhere. Innumerable ways present themselves to fall into this sin. I only list a few: advertisements are increasingly abundant that appeal towards these sinful lusts, television programs and movies find little fault including scenes showing this sin, pornography is almost accepted as a normal form to find pleasure, walking out of the grocery store there are magazines which can tempt a passerby to look through with lust, and taking part in sexting. The devil is taking best advantage of technology to saturate the world with this age-old temptation.

What do I scroll through on Instagram, what stories do I watch on Snapchat, and what do I post? It is important we all consider these questions and meditate on them. We must even ask if there is something we liked or commented under that could be a temptation for others. We hear these warnings and we must heed to them! We are called to be blameless and our use of social media must reflect this calling (Phil. 2:15). The warnings are repeated because the temptations are repeated and grow stronger. Do not excuse this article saying, “I have already recently read something telling me of this danger.” It cannot be ignored. The devil wants you to think that you do not need a reminder. As soon as we start to think we are good enough on our own the devil strikes.

We must remain strong and “posses [our] vessel in sanctification and honour;” (I Thess. 4:3-5). This sin is not far from our church, nor is it far from us personally. It is not far from you! Each one us of must realize its danger and flee to God from this sin. We are not capable of living perfectly of ourselves. We are weak on our own and, if left to ourselves, will most definitely fall into all the snares of the devil. Many times, we try to rely on ourselves and quickly realize we have no strength. We must confess our confidence and strength is in God not of ourselves with David in Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

It is God’s will for our sanctification that we abstain from fornication. May we ever realize its danger in our lives. I urge you never to give occasion to this sin for yourself or for another by any action. When we do fall and find ourselves amid trouble may we not give up hope but trust in God who will stretch forth his hand and save us (Ps. 138:7).

Luke Christian Potjer

The Practical Aspects of Prayer

To finish off this series on prayer, this post will lay out four practical aspects of prayer that come out in the life and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first is simply time. In Mark 1:35 we read, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Even in the busyness of Jesus’ life and work of casting out demons, talking with his disciples, and preaching, he went into a solitary place to have communion with his Father in prayer. We likewise ought to set aside time to be alone and commune with God in prayer. Throughout the busyness of our lives as Christian young people, it is easy for us to overlook personal devotions, or at least, not make them a priority. We often find time for other things an allow those things to occupy our minds when we should be delving into the Word of God. Devotions in the morning allows God’s Word to be hidden in our hearts all throughout the day. At night, however, our minds are winding down; we grow tired, and maybe become preoccupied with thoughts of the day. Starting off your day in Scripture will lead you to think on God more throughout the day.

A second practical aspect of prayer is the place. As we have read in Mark 1:35, Jesus went into a solitary place, the desert, to spend time with His Father alone in devotion to Him. We ought to find our place as well. In certain places, we are unable fully to have communion with God because there are distractions surrounding us. Places such as restaurants, the classroom, and even your home study are not considered good places to communicate with your Father. They offer too many distractions that keep us from our giving ourselves to communication with God. Find a place free from those distractions. Matthew 6:6 states “enter into thy closet.” This means, find a quiet, peaceful place where where you can keep your mind focused on your prayers.

The third aspect is method. How do you use your Bible in prayer? What is your goal in doing so? When we read our Bibles, it ought not be a chore for us. We should daily desire that time away from the chaos of the world and seek the things of the kingdom. When we pray, we mustn’t use vain repetitions. This means, when we pray, we must not simply speak the same words we are so used to saying, but bring our current petitions before God. Matthew 6:7 says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” We must warm our hearts with the flame of God’s Word so that when we pray our heart is completely fixated on Him. When we pray we should ask the Holy Spirit to enable us more fully to understand and comprehend the infallible Word of God. We must strive earnestly to pray as much as possible.

The last aspect we consider is discipline. This is the most crucial aspect we have to keep in mind. Prayer and constant devotion takes much work. Our prayers are always imperfect and tainted with sin, so we should not strive for perfection, but rather we must pray sincerely and from the heart. If a man loves God, then prayer is like breathing. Just as breathing is necessary to live, so is prayer necessary for a man to have communication with God. Prayer is something we do once or just occasionally. It is something that needs to be maintained and developed into a habit. Sometimes we may think that we have more years to develop a relationship to God and that when we get older and more mature then we will start developing our prayers. But this should not be the case. Especially for young men as future leaders in church and home, establishing good routines of prayer is crucial for the household of faith. Young women also need to develop habit of prayer and personal devotions in preparation for teaching and leading the children the Lord may give them. As you pray, your walk of sanctification is made stronger and increases more and more. We must not discipline ourselves out of a sense guilt, but rather discipline ourselves out of the love we have for Christ. May be strive to be faithful in the discipline of prayer.

Titus Langerak and Hannah Butgereit