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Posts Tagged ‘hunger’

Passions and Priorities

September 6th, 2017

  Your passion determines your priorities.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV  

My comments today are about, “Passions and Priorities.”

God is not elusive nor the path to God concealed. But the spiritual opposition to your seeking God is intense, both externally and internally. An evil trinity of spiritual forces oppose you. The world around you, your flesh within you, and the devil against you all conspire to turn your heart to other pursuits more immediately pleasing.

God described David as, “a man after My own heart who will do all My will.” Acts 13:22 NKJV. What a wonderful way that God described David. Your passion determines your priority. Your priority reveals your passion. David’s passion for God fueled his priority to know and please God. “You will seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV. Any serious pursuit of God must be done with earnestness and priority.

Jesus was clear and specific, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NIV. How would others describe your appetite and thirst for God today? Earnestly and diligently are apt descriptions of how you should be seeking God’s highest and best for your life.

David described his passion for God as he wrote, ”My soul follows hard after God.” Psalm 63:8 KJV. Seeking God is not for the easily distracted or readily discouraged, and never for the merely casual or curious. Such is the path reserved for those for whom life without God is not enough.

You will earnestly seek for what you believe is of incomparable value and for which you will accept no substitute. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask [according to His will] – we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 NIV.

Jesus presented a Biblical progression for those determined to seek God with whole hearted devotion and single-minded purpose. Read Luke 11:9-10 NIV. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” Asking is elementary. “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:2 NIV. Asking reflects your priority of God’s will and your patience with God’s timing.

Jesus also said, “Seek, and you will find.” Seeking involves attitude as much as activity, a time while the Spirit refines the sincerity of your heart. “[God] rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV. As my Dad often reminded me, “Anything worth having is worth waiting for.”

Jesus concluded by saying, “Knock, and the door will be opened unto you.” Knocking indicates your anticipation more than insistence. Jesus concluded with this promise, “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to cultivate a heart that seeks after God always.

Christian Communications 2017

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Daily Bread

October 16th, 2015

“I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.” John 6:35 NIV.

External things never satisfy eternal cravings.

My thoughts and comments today are about “daily bread.”

Hunger is a powerful motivation, impossible to ignore completely. God crafted your body to recognize its need for replenishing, whether for nutrition, exercise, or rest. The body responds to its lack by sending a signal and demanding a response. When the body’s need is not replenished, the body redirects the diminishing supply of nutritional resources to its vital organs. To adequately supply the heart, lungs, and brain, the body grows weaker waiting for nourishment, as the process of starving begins.

The human spirit is similar, requiring nourishment and replenishing. Make no mistake; there is a hunger of the soul. People ignore the hunger of the inner man or misinterpret their inner longings, trying in vain to fill a growing emptiness with things that never satisfy – money, possessions, busyness, thrills, amusements, sex, drugs, alcohol – always to excess yet never enough. External things never satisfy eternal cravings.

Too many fail to recognize the origin of the soul’s hunger. Jesus spoke plainly and confidently, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV. Listen to your heart; feed your soul; nourish your spirit; discover full satisfaction. Satisfaction is found only in Christ.

The Bread of Life desires that you know He alone will satisfy your supreme longings. His provision is abounding. Jesus is life exalting and eternal life assuring. It’s simple really; you have to come to Him. Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 NIV. Jesus declared Himself to be that daily bread. “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” John 6:51 NIV.

Job got it right, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12 KJV. Let’s be practical. You receive this life-giving, daily bread through the discipline of spiritual practices: worship (John 4:23-24), prayer and praise (Ephesians 6:18), personal Bible study (Psalm 119:11), meditation of Scripture (Psalm 1:1-3), and meaningful fellowship with others who seek the same Source and satisfaction. (Acts 2:42/46 NIV). Spiritual disciplines provide satisfaction that is much more full and lasting than any and everything else with which you might attempt to appease the spiritual hunger within. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness . . they shall be completely satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 NIV/AMP. In Jesus, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Today, I pray for you to have an appetite for things that satisfy.

EDL pix basket of bread

 

 

 

Christian Communications

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Make Room for People

September 9th, 2013

“Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman.”  2 Kings 4:8 NKJV.

What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.

My thoughts and comments today are to “make room for people.”

Be careful; without realizing it, your life can become too small, or too busy, or so self-centered that you have room only for yourself. That lifestyle is selfish, unsatisfying, and eventually lonely. Making room for other people is an intentional lifestyle issue. The Bible is clear; “Therefore as [you] have opportunity, do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10 NIV. Jesus promised that whatever good you do for others is credited as being for Him, but also warned that neglect of others is negligence toward Him. “I assure you, when you did it to the least of these . . you were doing it to Me . . when you refused to help the least of these . . you were refusing to help Me.” Read Matthew 25:34-46 NLT.

In the Old Testament, there is an otherwise anonymous lady who lived in Shunem, a small, unspectacular village. But the Bible described her as, “notable.” Read 2 Kings 4:8-10 NKJV. Of the many words to describe a person; I think “notable” may be one of the best. Blessed are those who make room in their heart and home for others.  This woman can be described as “notable” because room for others in her heart and life provided a spare room in her home. “Let’s make a little room for [this holy man of God] . . and furnish it with a bed, a table and chair, and a lamp.” (Verses 9-10 NLT). She provided for his comfort, and more. From her practical furnishings – “a bed, table, and lamp” – I suggest three simple applications. She provided Elisha room for rest, refreshment, and revelation.

Make room for people to be rested. For those spiritually and emotionally drained from the cares of life: their struggles, failures, sorrows, or regrets, make room in your heart and life where others find shelter recovery. You can be a living example of Jesus’ invitation, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened . . and you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV. Proper rest renews vigor, hope, and fresh resolve in a person’s heart.

Make room for people to be refreshed. For those with a soul hunger for forgiveness, acceptance, friendship, understanding, hope, or practical help, make room in your life where others are refreshed in spirit. Your welcome and invitation to them becomes Jesus’ promise, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NKJV.

Make room for people to receive revelation. For those where questions and doubt have darkened their spirit, make room in your life for them where light and illumination reveals truth and hope. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world . . Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father . . children of God . . [who] shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.” See Matthew 5:14-16 NLT/Philippians 2:15-16 NKJV.

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes Me . . whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these because he is My follower will certainly receive a reward.” Read Matthew 10:40-42 NLT. A friend of mine explained that principle, “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.”

My prayer for you today is that your heart and home are open to God and others.

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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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A Living Word

May 3rd, 2013

“They received the Word with readiness . . and searched the Scriptures daily.” Acts 17:11 NKJV.

A Godly life is the living application of eternal truth.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a living Word.”

There is a difference when you are “into” something, in contrast to being casual or curious. You can browse some books and that is sufficient, while another book so piques your interest that you carefully read every sentence, hardly moving to the next chapter without processing what you have read. The Bible is like the latter. See Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV.

Unlike other books, the Bible is not read merely for an intellectual grasp of its information. Life is not an academic process; a full and successful life is found in what you do and who you are. Be as those Christ-followers who, “. . received the Word with readiness . . and searched the Scriptures daily.” Acts 17:11 NKJV. The Bible is God’s Word to conform hearts, rather than inform heads. The power of Scripture is found in its living application to your daily life. That’s why Jesus said, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 NKJV. To do that, you must choose to get “into” the Word, prizing its truth, seeking its meaning, and applying its principles in your life consistently.

A Godly life is the living application of eternal truth – God’s truth. “For the Word of God is living and powerful . .” Hebrews 4:12 NKJV. Paul warned young Timothy about those who have “a form of godliness but denying its power . . always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.´ 2 Timothy 3:5/7 NKJV. The power of true Godliness is found in the life that reflects God’s Word in practical ways. Job explained the process, “My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept His ways and without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.” Job 23:11-12 NIV.

When you treasure His words in your heart, God permits circumstances that provide opportunity to practice the truth that He is building into your life. It takes time to change ingrained, character traits. Old habits are not broken easily, nor are new habits formed in a day. Reading a truth does not produce instant change. Change and growth come as you learn to apply truth in practical ways – when your thinking, choices, and reactions are shaped by truth. You become a living word to others; “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by everybody.” 2 Corinthians 3:2 NIV.

You learn to love by loving people not easily loved. You develop patience by accepting delays and irritations with grace, trusting the Lord’s timing. You learn peace by choosing tranquility in God’s rest, even in troubling moments. You discover joy when you learn that real joy is in God’s care, not your circumstances. Truth that you read becomes living truth as you encounter situations, and people, where you choose to do the right thing instead of your natural inclinations. As you search God’s Word, ask yourself, “How can this Scripture help me be a little more like Jesus today?”

My prayer for you today is: have a hunger for God’s Word that nothing else can satisfy.

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