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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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BLESSINGS IGNORED

spirit of greedDo not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)

Christians may often conveniently forget the blessings of God in favor of those promoted by a consumer oriented society. With God’s favor, America has been the most prosperous nation on earth. Unfortunately, we are focusing too much on consumerism and too little on God. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)

The modern world has promoted the lust for possessions and ignored the spiritual realm of our lives. Even those who profess to be Christians often look at some luxury their neighbors or friends have acquired and ask themselves, “Why has God denied me this pleasure?” We quickly forget the blessings, both spiritual and material, we have already received at His hands. “… Be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV) We are being seduced by the desire for pleasure in a thing that eventually leaves us empty inside. Our prayer life is corrupted by the attitude of “I need it – I want it – I’ve got to have it!” When God doesn’t provide for every whim of our desires, we begin to neglect prayer and the reading of His Word. Our lusts desensitize us to spiritual matters. “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:16 ESV) The Apostle Paul writes:

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 ESV)

Luke writes:

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13 ESV)

Fear not, dear Christian, for God has made a way for you and me to change the course of our lives. Repentance, only, is needed to return us to His fellowship. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV) Lost sheep have been found and returned before. We have a divine Shepherd who knows where we are and will surely bring us home.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)

In conclusion, do not love the things which characterize the world system. The world wants to buy our love with things, pleasures, and the status that goes with them. Love for the world is incompatible with love for the Father. Yet, we rarely notice how much the world dominates our thinking and how little our thoughts are of God. We usually believe that we think much more Biblically than we actually do. But, there is a worldly spirituality out there too, and many people buy into it. However, the world and the desires of the world are passing away; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Yes, the world is passing away, and we must live our lives and think our thoughts aware of this fact and what is waiting for us in eternity.

Samuel at Gilgal

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