Tuesday, June 9, 2009

REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN THE LORD

Recently I prayed with a dear sister in the Lord who is dying of cancer.  She has been in great pain for many weeks.  But what a beautiful testimony she is to all who know her.  There is no complaining, no sorrow, no questioning of the Lord’s greatness and faithfulness.  She told me she feels a magnetic pull toward Jesus, and that she is now “there with Christ” more than here on earth.  She blessed me with her rejoicing hope and rest in the Lord. 

 

I once heard a very righteous minister say, “I just want to finish my work and get out of here.”  Some who heard him say this thought he was being unthankful for the gift of life.  But the apostle Paul declared virtually the same thing.  Paul’s constant desire was to be with the Lord.  And, beloved, so it is with me.  Almost every day I say to Jesus, “I love my family and I thank you for life.  But there is nothing here that satisfies – not family, houses, land or wealth.  Nothing here can touch my need.  This world is only like a mirage.  I long to be with you, Lord, in the ultimate reality.” 

 

I confess to you, there is one thing I fear more than any other thing in my life: the sin of covetousness.  What a damning sin it is: a love for things of this world, a lust for more and better material possessions. 

 

Covetousness has enslaved the hearts of many Christians.  People can’t seem to get enough, and their debt is piling up.  They think our nation’s prosperity will never end.  Americans have gone mad with acquisitiveness.  We are now on a spending spree that has baffled experts.

 

Jesus warned us to hold lightly to the things of this world.  We are to give thanks to him for his blessings, and to give generously to the needs of the poor.  But we are never to let anything of this world steal our hearts.  We have to be willing to lose it all yet rejoice in his faithfulness. 

 

God does not want us to feel guilty for his blessings upon us, as long as we do not consume them all on ourselves and our family, and we keep it all at arm’s length.  May the longing of your heart be not for the things of this world, but to be in Jesus’ presence – the ultimate reality.