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Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

Appetites

June 28th, 2013

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Matthew 5:6 NIV

Your passions foretell your direction and destination.

My thoughts and comments today are about “appetites.”

Everyone is hungry for something at some time. Here’s what I’ve learned: hunger insists on attention, resists attempts to ignore, and persists until satisfied. Original sin resulted from Adam and Eve’s appetite for something God was accused of withholding. Read Genesis 3:1-6 NKJV. They were tempted and sinned when they would not trust God to be enough. 2 Corinthians 9:8/10 NIV. If you are not wise and careful, physical desires can displace spiritual values.

My thoughts today are about far more than physical appetites. There is a God given desire in your spirit that is stronger than any physical hunger, yet can be overlooked if your priorities and preoccupation are on physical desires alone. How you satisfy your natural desires can foster appetites that become more controlling as you indulge them. Right appetites ennoble behavior; wrong appetites cause unproductive conduct. Guard your inner life carefully. Avoid the whim of momentary desires, and you will choose well and live prudently.

Appetites you allow determine choices which impact your life, for better or worse. Those lesser appetites produce strong passions, difficult to control if not scrutinized and rightly directed. Wrong appetites can easily become addictions, which are increasingly insatiable when gratified without constraint. Be careful what you want, because you just might get it. Lives have become shipwreck, and too many remained so, simply because they neither deliberately chose nor conquered the cravings that drove their passions. Apart from God, the heart is “Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? But I, the Lord, search the heart . .” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV. Expose your heart to God. He knows you better than you know yourself.

Your passions foretell your direction and destination. Consider the power of centering your heart and passions on God. Outside of Jesus Christ, satisfaction is illusive as well as elusive. Jesus was crystal clear about where your soul finds satisfaction, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be [satisfied].” Matthew 5:6 NIV. Jesus chose words that were not casual; His words are extreme, desperate even, about strong yearning, “hunger and thirst.” Jesus spoke of intensity and focus on a clear and noble objective, “Righteousness.” Right desires produce right results. I love Paul’s description of people whose whole heart was on serving God and others: ”The house of Stephanas . . have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV.

Here’s what your passion for righteousness would look like. Love and obey the Word of God. Job 23:12 NIV. Prioritize quality time in God’s presence. Psalm 16:11 NIV. Observe quiet times of prayer and Biblical meditation. Psalm 1:2 NASV. Cultivate the spirit and practice of worship. Psalm 29:2 NKJV. Practice the discipline of fasting. Matthew 6:16 NIV. Fellowship with others who mentor your spiritual growth. 1 John 1:7 NIV. If you are going to run with a crowd, run with people who are going the direction you want to go.

My prayer for you today is that your strongest desires are directed toward righteousness.

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Popular Culture – Timeless Kingdom

June 14th, 2010

“In Christ . . we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” Romans 12:5 NLT

“Popular culture prizes success; God’s timeless Kingdom values service.”

My thoughts today are about “popular culture and a timeless Kingdom.”

We belong to each other . . need others? Today’s verse is difficult for most of us because of our addiction to independence and self-sufficiency. We are willing to relate to others, even help one another, but “belong to each other . . need all the others.” Really? Yes, the Kingdom of God does not operate on the same basis as today’s culture. Popular culture prizes success; God’s timeless Kingdom values service. “You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge (yourself); rather serve one another in love. The Law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14 NIV.

The world’s value system is much the same as in Jesus’ time. Success and greatness seem to be measured by how many people are at your service, dependent on your favor. That kind of power and supremacy is intoxicating. Jesus turned the natural order of things upside down and taught that true greatness is measured by how many you are willing to serve, not because you have to but because you choose to do so, in Christ’s name. Read Luke 22:33-37 NIV. “If any one wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” – not many ready volunteers for that usually. Here’s why that is so difficult.

Committing yourself to belong to each other requires a relinquishment of independence, in a lifestyle of unselfishness that many struggle to embrace. From one’s earliest years, “me first” is the normal order – get to the front, gain the spotlight, have the most, and be the best!

What will you do with the Bible’s clear teaching on belonging to each other? “In honor, preferring one another . . in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others . . love your neighbor as yourself.” Romans 12:10 NKJV/Philippians 2:3-4 NIV/ Galatians 5:14 NIV. Apart and on your own, you cannot be all you are meant to be.

Admitting that you need others requires a heart of real humility, that many people fear will leave them vulnerable and dependent. We have all seen people a little too needy and clingy and do not want to seem like that. In truth, you, along with every one of us, need other people in one way or another all the time. You cannot retain the right to choose who you need and when you need them; that is not an option that you have “in Christ.”

Jesus’ way is this: when your life is “In Christ,” Jesus chooses who you need and who needs you. You will often have to swallow your pride on both counts. Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 NIV. The Bible asks, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God..” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV. When you fully belong to God, you find it easier to give to, and receive from, others.

My prayer for you is this: recognize yours and others’ incompleteness without one another.

Love you, Poppa

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