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Devotionals 2009 - 2010

Do Not Feed the Monkeys
February 18, 2009 ē By Ed Wrather

02.18.09

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. - Ephesians 5:8-13.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. - Ephesians 5:1-7.

Nikko, Japan is the home of the famous statues of the monkeys that see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, and speak-no-evil. Nikko also has a large population of living monkeys of the wild macaque variety. Some years ago troops of these simians were causing major problems for those living in Nikko. The monkeys while scavenging for food would occasionally bite people and continually damage property. Officials blamed tourists who fed the monkeys, which made the situation worse and worse. There were more and more incidents of monkeys grabbing bags, which they thought, might contain food. The people of Nikko would like for all of the tourists to remember, please donít feed the monkeys!

God makes it clear in Paulís letter to the Ephesians that He would like for us to stop feeding our monkeys too. In Ephesians 5:3-5 we are told of some of those monkeys which we are to avoid. Paul says we are to "have no fellowship" with them. In other words, donít feed them! Cut off the relationship with "the unfruitful works of darkness." In Romans 13:14 we are told to "make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." We should not even think about how to gratify those desires. The more we feed the monkeys, the more we have fellowship with them, the more we make provision for them the worse they become.

To rid ourselves of the monkeys we must cut them off. We must stop feeding the monkeys, stop having fellowship with them, and stop providing for them. We must kick them out. But it is not enough just to do that. We must replace them with something better. We are to "walk as children of light finding out what is acceptable to the Lord." We are to "be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5:1)." We are to "walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us... (Ephesians 5:2)."

Have you been feeding the monkeys? Stop it!!

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