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The Big "If"

Ancient Sparta was a warlike nation that emphasized discipline and hardship and sacrifice. A king once wrote the Spartans a threatening letter, saying that they had better do what he told them to do, for if he came and took their country he would destroy their city and make them all slaves.

The Spartans sent a messenger back with their answer, and when the letter was opened it contained only one word: “If.” “If” can be a mighty big word sometimes. Life and death, sorrow and joy, time and eternity often rest upon it.

Forgiveness of sins depends on it. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Answered prayer depends on it. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible” (Mark 9:23).

Eternal life depends on it. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

These and many other things God would like to do for us ... but he will not force himself on us. He always stops in reverence before human personality. He does not act unless invited. The “if” is never with God, but always with man. God will do wonders for you “if...”

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Honesty in Business

A news article once told of a large feedlot that overpaid about $140,000 for feed grain due to an electronic “butcher’s thumb.” An electronic gadget operated by remote control was suspected of making grain truck scales at the lot register more grain than actually was delivered.

The newspaper said a 75-pound weight allegedly was attached to the scales under the truck weighing area, with the weight’s position on the scale beams determining how much a load was “padded.” A similar gimmick was used in a grain-storage operation in Colorado.

Such dishonesty is not a new problem. The Bible says, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight” (Proverbs 11:1).

A false balance is just one way you can be dishonest in business. You can be dishonest by misrepresenting the facts about a product. You can be dishonest by taking advantage of the ignorance of others. You can be dishonest by making more than a fair and reasonable profit. You can be dishonest by not paying your debts. The one who does not pay his debts is a liar and a thief. He has given his word and not kept it. He has taken that which belonged to another and not paid for it.

All dishonesty grows out of greed and covetousness. Such dishonesty is an abomination (object of hatred, disgust) to the Lord. God can never be pleased with such things. But “a just weight is his delight.” God is pleased, even delighted, when people are honest and fair in business. Is God delighted with you? Not unless you are honest in every way.

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