Good Monday morning!
Well, here we go with another week. To start the week let me give you my new quotation for today:
- “What determines how persistent we are? The value we place on a goal.”_ Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way, pg. 219
A year ago today was a Sunday and I was preaching a series on the Numbers 6 blessing. The thesis of my message for that day was: Do not delight in the blessings; but rather delight in the Blesser. The good news is that when you delight in God you end up getting Him and all the blessings that flow from Him.
In that message I made the following statement: “You become like that you delight in.” The reason so many Christians are materialistic and shallow spiritually is that they delight in the blessings of God rather than delighting themselves in God. Their lives are consumed with their “stuff” instead of with the Holy Spirit.
For example, over the years I’ve often heard people sign about their lack of Bible reading or prayer. They have trouble being persistent. Why is that? It is because they do not really value God. These same people have no trouble eating every day. These same people walk by their unopened Bible and walk out the door to go to work everyday. The reason for this is that they value eating and the things they gain from work and so they’re persistent with those things.
My dear friend, not only do you become like that in which you delight; but what you delight in reveals what you truly value.
At the end of his life Paul said, “I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Paul had to persist and he models the fact that we must do the same.
Living a God-honoring life is a fight. Doing the will of God is not accomplished from an easy chair in front of a television; it is a race. Being a true Christian is not about keeping your options open and being open-minded; it is about focusing relentlessly on “the” faith.
My prayer today is that God will help us to reexamine our lives and make some new goals that reflect heavenly values and that will give us peace when we come to the end of our lives.
And a final word to all my fellow PEPpers…remember Easter is coming. We have a mission this year to use every opportunity during the Easter season to lift up Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.