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Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 10:24’

Shoppers and Seekers

March 18th, 2015

“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10 NIV.

There is no lack for those who seek God with a whole heart.

My thoughts and comments today are about “shoppers and seekers.”

When a sales clerk asks, “Can I can help you,” most shoppers answer, “Just looking.” You may be just shopping because you don’t yet know specifically what you are looking for. It is essential to know what you are seeking for in life. Or maybe you are “just looking,” hoping you will stumble upon what satisfies? Life is more fruitful when you are a seeker “on a mission,” knowing what you want and where to find it. That seems a metaphor for life. I observe three different kinds of people.

In life, there are shoppers.

Some people are just shopping. They just wander, having a general idea of what they want, but not really knowing where they will find it. Some know they are looking for something, but just haven’t decided exactly what that is yet. So people try this and try that, sometimes successfully, but often not. People keep looking, or just give up, and accept what they have; that’s sad and unnecessary.

In life, there are seekers.

Some are seeking right things – success, satisfaction, meaning, belonging, or purpose – but looking in all the wrong places, trying in all the wrong ways. Some are seeking things that don’t satisfy, such as influence, approval, admiration, applause, or achievement; there is nothing wrong with those, except when you do so for the wrong reasons. Others seek lesser things, such as power, wealth, pleasure, fame, or recognition for all the wrong reasons as well. Sadly, even when succeeding, they fail.

In America, we can take a lot of things for granted; we seek for luxuries while much of the rest of the world pursues necessities, seeking survival and safety – survival from starvation or disease and safety from political, racial, or religious violence and wars, without knowing there is a Savior who died for their sins, and a Father Who wants to bless and provide for them. Read 1 John 4:11/John 3:16-17.

EDL pix Psa 34.10Most importantly, let us be seekers after God. “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”  Psalm 34:10 NIV.

Meditate on that wondrous promise. The Almighty God said, “I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me.” Proverbs 8:17 NKJV. That’s the company in which I want to be found, not casually looking but actively, aggressively, and obediently seeking all that God offers. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13-14 NIV. Spiritually, are you a shopper or a seeker? There is no lack for those who seek God with a whole heart. Seek for God in the manner that God seeks for you – intently,lovingly, and enduringly. Read Jesus’ Parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son. Luke 15:1-31.

Consider these practical admonitions from Scripture. “Seek His face always.” Psalm 105:3-4 NIV; “Seek Him with all your heart and soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29-31 NKJV; “Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness.” Matthew 6:33-34 NIV; “Seek, and you will find.” Luke 11:9-1o; “Seek those things which are above, where Christ is.” Colossians3:1-2; “Seek the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV. The Bible offers both a promise and a warning, “He who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him . . Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.” Hebrews 11:6/Isaiah 55:6.

Today, my prayer for you is that you will find all for which you seek, when you seek for God.

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Putting Others First

February 20th, 2015

“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV.

The simple secret to joy is Jesus first, others second, and then yourself.

My thoughts and comments today are about “putting others first.”

Life in God’s Kingdom means accepting a vastly different value system. The Bible says, “Let no one seek His own [good], but each one the other’s well-being.” 1 Corinthians 10:24. If you are honest with yourself, you know that is not natural to any of us; it’s hard to do and easy to forget. The natural tendency is toward selfishness, smartly camouflaged a bit but still selfish.

When I was a child, joy was explained to me this way, “The secret to joy is Jesus first, others second, and then yourself — J-O-Y!” That’s how life is supposed to work, and the only way that it works best all the time.

EDL pix JOYTrying any other order makes life confusing, more work, and less satisfying than it ought to be. I confess that I should be better at this than I am. My Mom was a consistent example of someone who put Jesus and others first, and my sweet wife, Gayle, is the same.

But that’s not the natural order for any of us. Adapting to the surrounding culture is easier because it comes more naturally than the Kingdom’s culture. That philosophy of life reads this way, “Me first, everyone else second, and some not at all.” Me first, first in line, first for advantage, first with privilege, first in consideration and leftovers for everyone else. You live in a “me first” world, and it will be hard to resist the temptation to think that is the only way you will survive.

We are often like the disciples, squabbling over who will have prominence and will be the greatest. Too much of life is wasted maneuvering for position, manipulating for influence, finagling for advantage, and subtly moving toward the front of the line. But Jesus told them the simplest and truest secret to joy, “To be the greatest, be a servant . . those who think themselves great shall be disappointed, but those that humble themselves shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12 TLB.

Have you noticed that the most gracious and selfless people are the most genuinely happy? Look around you; the most benevolent of people are the most content and fulfilled. Those who are always keeping score and making sure they get first place or the bigger share are too busy with themselves of for thoughts of others. That’s a very poor, lonely way to live.

And that’s where you face one of the great decisions of everyday life. Will I do what God says is right and best long term, or will I do what feels right to me now? In your heart you know that is best, but it doesn’t set right to your self-centered nature. Living in the Kingdom of God means embracing this heart changing truth, “It is not about you; it’s all about Him.” And He makes it about others too. “Be kindly affectionate to one another, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10.

Jesus taught, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like the first, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.You may wish it were otherwise. You may see that with most others, it is otherwise. But you must choose if obedience to God is the path you select.

Today, my prayer for you is to choose the way that is right, not the way that feels right.

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