What We do When The World Draws Us Away...
Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40 NLT
The wife who fondly loves her absent husband longs for his return; a long separation from her spouse is like a death to her spirit. And so it is with souls who greatly love the Savior—they must see His face. They cannot bear that He should be away and no longer in communion with them, like the lover in the Song of Solomon, on the mountains of Bether. A disapproving glance or an uplifted finger will be painful to loving children, who fear to offend their tender father—they are only happy with his smile. Dear reader, it was once the same with you. A verse of Scripture, some outside threat, the touch of the rod of affliction, and you went to your Father’s feet, crying, “Let me know why you contend against me” (Job 10:2 ESV). Is that still true now? Or are you content to follow Jesus from afar? Does it no longer alarm you to think your communion with Christ has been broken? Can you accept your Beloved walking away from you, because you walked away from Him? Is your heart at rest even though your own sins have separated you from your God? Oh, let me warn you in love—it is a serious thing when we can live comfortably without a present enjoyment of our Savior’s face. Let us consider carefully what an evil thing this is—little love to our own dying Savior, little joy in our precious Jesus, little fellowship with the Beloved! Have a time of reflection in your soul, time to sorrow over your hardness of heart. But don’t stop at sorrow! Remember where you first received salvation: go immediately to the cross. There, and only there, can your spirit be revived. No matter how hard, how senseless, how dead we may have become, let us go again to that cross, in all our rags and poverty and the defilement of our natural condition. Let us look into Jesus’s dying eyes, let us bathe in the fountain of His blood—this will bring back to us our first love. This will restore the simplicity of our faith and the tenderness of our heart.- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Ephesians 4:14-16
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Upon reading that devotional, those passages came to mind. Now mind you, I am one who struggles with memorization of Scripture. Yet in His way, God brought those back to me enough to look them up.
Where in this world are you? Are you going about your life, in the world in which you find yourself, only looking out for you?
Are you one who hungers after riches to the point that you honestly have sacrificed your family on that alter of greed?
Have you created other alters? One for sports, maybe one is your job. Maybe it's what you fool yourself into believing is only a hobby? Are you intentional about your life with Christ or are you intentional about what you want and when you want it?
Do you pray, only to give God a grocery list of things, another of chores you want to have Him complete this day that HE has given you?
Do you preoccupy yourself with what honestly is sinful activities? Putting on a show for family and friends but in the secrecy of your own house do sinful things, with greed and lust as your means of whetting your mind and heart?
I don't come up with any of these things on my own. I write what I am told to write.
Just how do you REALLY view God? Believer or not a believer, how are you REALLY seeing God as He relates to you?
We are coming up on what has been celebrated as the week leading up to the Crucifixion. At it's beginning the people were rejoicing in Jesus. "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" They shouted.
The thoughts of the people were on rejoicing in Jesus. By the end of that week many were calling for His death. Jesus was to be scourged. A whip that had been made of tendons of an animal with bone pieces in it was used. He was to be beaten. The iniquity of us all fell on Him.
Our punishment was put on Him. On You.
We are easily distracted by the cares of this life. By get rich quick schemes. By lust and vanity. By riches and fame. All the paths towards a life apart from God. All temptations to be avoided.
Jesus took the place of you and I in His horrific punishment before being nailed to a cross.
He loved you and I too much to let that fall upon you or I.
Why isn't that causing you to be more appreciative of Jesus in your life? Why isn't it bringing you to a life of obedience?
I am not here to bring you to a guilt trip.
If what you are reading is causing you discomfort, good, so much the better. It's what the Bible calls conviction.
Examine your life, your hopes, your dreams. Look at what you have accumulated in your mind and physical world. Is it really glorifying the one who sacrificed His life to save you?
Are you at all making what Jesus wants a higher priority than your wants and desires?
What's more is when we put our wants, hopes and desires ahead of Jesus, then we really do let the world draw us away from God.
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