While taking my kids to school this morning somehow we got on the subject of cockroaches. I made a comment that I had no clue why God put those nasty things on the earth, but I am sure He had a good reason for it.
Little did I realize I would be thinking about roaches for most of the day. I guess the Lord wanted me to learn some things from them. I found there was a lot more to roaches than one would think. So what did I learn about roaches and what would God want me to see in them?
I learned that the roach helps to decompose forest litter and animal fecal matter. They are waste cleaners. Can you imagine what the world would be like if there was nothing to help clean the waste? Sure would be a pretty stinking place wouldn’t it?
We, as members of the body of Christ, are also waste cleaners. The waste we clean up is the false teaching and slander against the holy word of God. We are to speak the truth of the word to all people and reject those who speak falsely.
In writing to Titus, Paul very clearly states that we are to warn the person who is speaking falsely and if they refuse to listen we are to reject them.
Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11
The Greek word for factious is Hairetikos (hahee-ret-ee-kos’) and it means schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine or a heretic. I had to go look up the word schismatic to be sure I understood what this was saying. A schismatic person is one who creates or participates in division, separation, discord, or disharmony.
A factious person is one who twists the word of God to create division and discord in the body of Christ and worse yet, to draw the ignorant away from the truth. We are to warn these people not once, but twice and if they refuse to heed the warning we are to reject them because they are using the word of the Lord for their own gain.
Now each person, believer or non believer, who hears the false words spoken, will have a decision to make whether to listen to this false teacher or not. We can not force them to choose truth over lies. For the lost, hearing the falsehood and believing it to be truth can be deadly to them. We should be praying daily for these people so they may be kept away from the false teachers and hear only the truth of the Lord.
Roaches also help feed other animals, which in turn feed other animals. They are an essential part of the food chain.
We as followers of the Lord Jesus are also an essential part of a food chain. We are to feed the gospel of Christ to the lost and help them to have life. They in turn will share what they have learned, who will share, who will share… But I have seen many of those who are supposed to be saved only serve themselves and only pray for themselves. They want, want, want, but they never give. But in order to be blessed we must work. If we do not work, we may not receive the blessings which the Lord promises.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat. Proverbs 14:3
In fact, James questions whether a person can truly have faith if they do not have the works to show it(James 2:14-26). If we truly have faith and have the gift of eternal life, we would also have a desire for others to have that gift. We will joyfully share the Gospel of the Lord with the lost and we will desire to be closer to God.
But so many do not listen, do not heed the call of the Lord, do not seek the truth and do not share the truth. The Lord warned Ezekiel of these people.
They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. Ezekiel 33:31
They come and listen and the words go in and the words go out. They do not practice what is taught, but they seek only after their own desires. They continue to live in sin, continue to disobey the word of the Lord, and continue to be selfish in most, if not all, their ways. But there will come a time when they will have to answer for their actions, and then they will know the Lord God.
But we are to continue loving the sinner and not the sin. We are to continue to teach the truth of the Lord and pray for these people and love, love, love them. We are called to encourage them and correct them when we discern they are doing wrong. But we are never to judge them. That is GOD’s job, not ours.
I also learned that even though there are about 4,000 different species of roaches, there is only 1% of them that are considered to be pests. But the funny thing here is that it is man that calls them a pest, the roach is only doing what God made him to do. We condemn all roaches because of just a few.
Most everyone thinks roaches are gross, disgusting and yucky – no one wants roaches around. They are way under appreciated, but they still go on doing their job. They are actually very clean creatures.
In the end, we will reap what we sow. It does not matter if others refuse the love offered to them as long as we have tried. It does not matter if others follow the Lord as long as we are following the Lord and sharing the truth. God sees everything and knows each persons heart. If you have a great desire to serve God, then serve the Lord the best you can and depend on God to help you accomplish it.
The reality is if we are out there doing as God would like us to, we would be helping others know the truth rather than serving our own needs. We would not desire to fall into sin because we would only desire to serve God. Serving God rather than ourselves is the best way to overcome temptation.
But so many continue to live in sin and still others, although they have trusted the Lord to help them overcome, they don’t do anything to serve God. They only want for themselves. We will reap what we sow; we will be rewarded for the work we do.
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:12
The greatest reward is life, but there are other rewards for us when Jesus comes again. But the Lord wants each person to repent of their sins and live. That is the ultimate goal. That is why Jesus went to the cross. The thing here is that we are human. We still make mistakes. We are in the process of being perfected. But it’s how we handle our mistake that makes the difference and helps us to grow closer to God.
That is why we are given a Spirit. The Spirit will put a twang on your heart to let you know you are about to do wrong – that you should not do it. But some don’t listen to that still small voice, they decide to do wrong anyway.
God knows we make mistakes. But He also expects us to try to do well. He will help us when we are tempted if we just turn to Him. All we have to do is ask the Lord to remove that temptation and He will. But how many people actually ask God to intervene?
God has a huge desire to help us. The Lord gave His Son so that we may be saved. But so many refuse to hear and so many of those that do hear don’t practice the word given to them.
I say, it’s a good thing God’s mercy is abounding with love. Or so many others would be lost. Just think of what the world would be like if the disciples and so many others didn’t clean up the waste that was taught. Would be a pretty stinking place wouldn’t it?