Monday, November 12, 2007

Bumps In The Road

I repeatedly remind the church that this world is not heaven.

We have not arrived. Our calling as followers of Christ does not permit us to settle down and make ourselves comfortable. We are renters here. We are strangers and pilgrims on a journey through a foreign land. We are special agents of God, sent on a mission into an alien world.

While we might not have grandiose fantasies of fortune and pleasure, we all want what everyone wants. We want to be safe and secure. We want to be with the people we love and to have them love us. We want to be free from worry. We want good food and clothes and a place we can call our own. We want to be comfortable, satisfied and established.

Here is a basic struggle for the follower of Christ. Where is the line between the reasonable pursuit of life's necessities on the one hand and the idolatrous pursuit this world's values on the other hand?

We need to make a living. We need food and clothes and a place to live. We need to love our families. But we need to love Christ more than any of these. We need to put Christ before everything else... before our career, before our food and clothes, before our home place, before our loved ones.

Somehow we need to let our desire for stability and satisfaction energize us for the service of Christ. Those desires are not bad in themselves. Aren't those desires the things that will be ultimately and completely satisfied in heaven? They are only bad if we try to realize them in this world at the expense of following Christ.

(Matt 6:33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

(1Tim 6:6-8) ¶ Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

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