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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Looking For Life in All the Wrong Places"

Date published: 02/24/2014
Matthew 16:26 “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?” (RSV)

“A cross-dressing, millionaire, Harvard, dermatologist serving life in prison for shooting his estranged wife to death has been found hanged in his cell;” “One of Germany’s wealthiest men committed suicide after his family business empire began unraveling amid mounting debt;” “Real estate executive was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday in his Jaguar . . . he was chief executive of one of the nation’s largest real estate auction firms.” These men had money, prestige, power, education, and influence, yet they had not found a satisfaction that fulfilled their souls. Less than .00001% of the people on earth possess the wealth of these men. Even with this extravagant abundance, these men could not satisfy their craving for meaning and satisfaction.  Ecclesiastes 5:10 describes it this way, Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” This verse is far broader than money; it includes anything that takes the place of God. When you seek satisfaction from the things of this world, you are transferring portions of your life with God to the world. Doing this replaces God’s presence and work with the temporal things of this world. The things of this world provide no lasting satisfaction regardless of how successful you are, how much you have, or how pleasurable those things are.  You were created to experience joy and pleasure in the context of your relationship with Christ. When pleasure is pursued apart from Christ, your sin nature will distort it to the point of meaninglessness, excess, and perversion. It is only out of your relationship with Christ that you will experience a meaningful life, lasting joy, real success, and true relationships. John 15:10-11 says, “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” God created you to experience abundant life. You must guard yourself against the temptation of allowing your desires and the things of this world to replace God. One of the most significant ways to protect you against substituting the things of this world for God is to begin each day with a quiet time, which is a time of fellowship with God including reading His Word and praying to Him. Your quiet time, as well as continuing to commune with God throughout the day, will not only better connect you to God, but also refresh, direct, and open your life to a greater portion of His work in you. 

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 “What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil — this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”