Summary: Some of the dangers and difficulties of misuing the privileges we are given
The Perils of Misusing Privilege
Illustration:Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?" The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, "Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!"
One sign of jealousy is when it’s easier to show sympathy and "weep with those who weep" than it is to exhibit joy and "rejoice with those who rejoice."
1. Why do some people misuse their privileges? In this passage, Paul gives a historical survey of how Israel misused, abused and failed to take advantage of their God given privileges.
He exhorts, “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and made the people great during their stay in Egypt and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it…God has fulfilled his promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus…Take heed therefore, so that the things spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you. Behold, you scoffers, and marvel and perish.” (Acts 13:17,33,41)
Failure to take advantages of the privileges offered in Jesus Christ is a recipe for self-destruction. Through Jesus we receive forgiveness, direction, and fulfillment - apart from Him we can do nothing.
Ask the Lord to help you to take full advantage of all the privileges available to you in Christ
2. Paul shows how the Jews misused their privileges because they failed to look for truth in the right place, the right person and the right book.
So many people are missing out on the rich resources found in Christ because they are busy searching for answers where only partial truths can be found.
Ask God to help you avoid seeking after truth in people, places or experiences instead of in the scriptures.
3. Paul explains how the Jews failed to take advantage of their privileges because they misinterpreted the lessons of history.
The children of Israel looked at their cycles in history but failed to learn God’s central teaching about their need for redemption in Christ. When Jesus appeared to them, they overlooked Him since they were expecting a politically power Messiah who would overthrow their Roman oppressors.
Do not let your faulty preconceived notions cause you to miss out on what God is offering you.
Be willing to admit your mistakes or your faulty perceptions.
Ask the Lord to help you correctly interpret life’s lessons so you can humbly trust and obey all He wants you to learn.
4. Paul identified the scoffers as men who misapplied lessons taught to them by the prophets. Failure to learn from Godly people leads to an inability to take advantage of the rich reservoir of truth, blessings and guidance available through the Holy Spirit. Surely you do not want to be a blind guide like the Pharisees!