Today we remember that day in 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States entered World War II. Let’s take a moment to remember and thank God for the protection he provides our country. Let us also give him thanks for all the men and women who have served (and who will serve) in the armed forces. We need soldiers.
My friend, Bob Bagne, writes a daily devotional that I enjoy (http://movingforwardwithhope.com/). His whole ministry is about breaking free of our sin through the power of Jesus. In today’s, he had a line that caught my attention. Let me share the paragraph, and I’ll highlight the line. In it he is speaking of the overarching desire for Jesus.
“That hunger sets you apart. You must keep that hunger alive. Keep thirsting after righteousness (moral orderliness). Never justify your weakness, never give in to it, and never accept it as part of your life.”
Honestly, the whole thing could be highlighted, but I like this one. I guess this is exactly what I am trying to accomplish for myself in my own writing. Through it, hopefully you as well. The responsibility is mine (and yours) to keep that hunger for Jesus alive. Certainly, we can see this affect in the opposite. If you start smoking, sooner or later you will develop a hunger for it and you won’t be able to get enough. In fact, you’ll find it almost impossible to quit. The same should happen with Jesus. Do we feed ourselves enough on Jesus that we develop a healthy, holy, addiction? Certainly, our addiction for Jesus should be allowed to get out of control, so-to-say, shouldn’t it? I mean, really, there are very few things that we can over-indulge in regularly without paying a heavy price. There’s probably none, come to think about it, except Jesus.
Ponder that for a moment. Is there anything else in which I can consume myself in that eventually won’t harm me or others? I can’t think of a single thing. Except Jesus.
Certainly, outsiders may think we have lost our minds, especially if we had a radical conversion. And, in our zeal for Jesus, we may at first neglect our family and friends. However, in time, the love of Jesus will pour out of us and will be noticed by everyone. Our desire to prove Jesus to others will subside so that we are content with simply sharing him. That might be as basic as having a peaceable spirit. It might be offering the gospel at the right place and time (God’s place and time, not ours.). My point is, our love for Jesus will eventually become evident to all, and we will no longer be ashamed or hesitant to share it with others in both our actions and words.
Through this, we can feed that hunger for Jesus. We simply cannot get too much of him. He’ll work out any missteps we may make in our pursuit of him. No need to worry there. Yes, there will be some people who simply hate the fact that you are a Christian. So be it. We are not meant to look back from the plow. But, sooner or later, all the attention you pay towards Jesus will come to fruition, maybe not that you can see with the antagonist but certainly with others around you.
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
You see, all good things come from Jesus through our walk with him. There is nothing undesirable in his fruit. Nothing. Plus, to enjoy it, you end up walking away from that which harms you. Talk about a win-win!
Still, we are prone to wander and get caught up in the cares of this world. We need to tend our fire, to keep that hunger alive, as Bob says. How do we do that? Pray, which includes diving deep into our bibles. Journaling has been impressed on me this week. This is a new habit I hope to develop. I hear there are great benefits. And, of course, we simply cannot go wrong with telling other people about Jesus and what he has done in our lives. Honestly, that is probably one of the best picker-uppers for even the most depressed times. You may have to force yourself to do it, but I guarantee you will soon find your darkness turning into joy.
That’s the way it works.
Father, I thank you for people like Bob who hunger for you and make it their business to share your gospel with a dark and dying world. I ask that you encourage Bob that he may continue tirelessly to touch people’s lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Give him energy and excitement and great abundance of fruit for his works. Father, there are many others who do this same thing. Thank you for the workers of the harvest. Multiply their numbers and send them into the field. It is ripe. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers