Monday, January 19th, 2015
All Things New (Part 19)
Your New Blessings
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 16:25 (NASB)
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (NASB)
Understandably, Christians seek God's blessings. Generously, God gives them to His devoted followers. Within His Word, abundance is promised, but the form of our abundance is up to God. He heads the fulfillment department. John 10:10 is a favorite among prosperity preachers, but Matthew 16:25 is seldom discussed.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider both Verses. Jesus does not contradict Himself, so how can losing our lives bring us abundant life? Are we talking about Heaven? Certainly, but Jesus also said 'The kingdom of God is within you' (Luke 17:21). That means here and now, not just there and then.
Could losing our lives mean the surrender of selfishness? Could finding our lives mean receiving true abundance, when we abandon fake treasure? Consider a 19th century comment on a 21st century problem:
'The reign of God is 'in the heart.' It does not come with pomp and splendor, like the reign of temporal kings, merely to control the external 'actions' and strike the senses of people with awe, but it reigns in the heart by the Law of God; it sets up its dominion over the passions, and brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ' (Barnes Notes on the Bible re: Luke 17:21).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus lived His definition of earth's best blessings, and He gave His life so we could enjoy them, too. Consider a few:
1) The joy of a simple life without too many possessions. 2) The pleasure of good friendships: Although his friends were't perfect and one betrayed Him, His love for them was constant, and their love for Him grew by result.
3) The fulfillment of working for God. Pleasing His Father brought Jesus unparalleled satisfaction. 4) The hope that sustained Him through earth's sinful administration. 5) The faith that justice would come, wrongs would be righted, and eternity would be wonderful. 6) The love that gave Him strength unequaled and victory unending--without lifting a Finger to fight.
Therein, don't be fooled into believing bogus definitions of blessings. Instead, seek what Jesus enjoyed, and God will help you find it.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the All Things New series.