Life of Jesus
Wisdom from the Holy BibleNovember,11 2017
God, give me the desire for you like the desire you have for me.
If you've been around a church, you've certainly heard that God loves you. Although that is true, the word "love" hardly does justice to the way God views you. God's relentless passion and His incomparable zeal for you is beyond comprehension. You can only begin to understand the very tip of the iceberg of God's love for you.
Think of it like this: “We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him” (Romans 5:7-8).
How should we respond to the knowledge that God put Hiputtingove on the line for us? How can we do anything other than putting our love on the line for Him and passionately pursue that same God who passionately pursues us? If you were stranded in the ocean and someone came out to rescue you, immediately you would want to join up with and get to know that person. God offers rescue from the domain of sin and darkness; it would be foolish to want anything other than to join up with and get to know the very God who rescues you.
This is the essence of the apostle St. Paul's drive to know God: “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:7-11).
St. Paul was so intent on knowing Christ that he considered everything else in life to be trash compared to knowing Christ. When St. Paul witnessed the extent of God's desire for him, Paul's response was to passionately, relentlessly desire and pursue God.
Learn from St. Paul the apostle. Pray that God would give you the same desire for Him as He has for you.
Are you so hungry to own more money that your money owns you?
In Mark 10:17-22, we read the story of a man who asked Jesus, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" The man had followed all the commandments; however, Jesus told him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus told him that he lacked "one thing", which is implied to be a relationship with God. The man had followed the commandments; however, he didn't know God. He knew the laws, but not the God who made the laws. Interestingly, that "one thing" is exactly the same as what David wanted (see Psalm 27:4).
In order to inherit eternal life, the man needed a personal relationship with Christ. However, Jesus knew that the man's money was holding him back. When Jesus told him to "sell everything" for the Kingdom, the man went away -- he turned his back on a relationship with God.
The reason that he turned his back on a relationship with God was because he owned so much money that, really, his money owned him. That is, he loved his money more than he loved God. His face fell and he went away sad, because he didn't want to give up his money. So he picked money (wealth and worldly possessions) instead of a relationship with God.
In this man we clearly see the principle that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). His treasure (that is, what he valued) was his money; so, when Jesus asked for his heart, the man refused the offer, and, as a result, he went away sad.
Are you so attached to your money and possessions that they have become more valuable to you than God? Do you want money so much that it dictates how you use your time? If so, God requires that you put Him first, but in exchange you get the most valuable thing in the world -- a relationship with God. Therefore, examine your life and make sure that you're not so hungry to own more money that your money owns you.
The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch,
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