It is important in life that we recognize what defines us. If an
acquaintance of yours was asked the question "What do you think of first
when you think of this person?" What would be their answer? Would they
say that you were a devoted Christian who loved God with all your heart
and cared for your neighbor as you do for yourself? Or would they say that
making money and personal gain was your main objective in life and nothing
else really mattered? The reason behind this question is because the Lord
Jesus makes a powerful statement concerning the two God and money as we
read in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one
and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot
serve both God and money." (Matthew 16:24-27) (Galatians 5:13-26)
We must make up our minds and understand that God needs to be in the center
of our lives giving preference to Him above anything else that comes before
us. When we seek God first and ask for His will to be done in our lives,
the Bible says everything else will be added unto us. Keeping God first
not only is pleasing to the Lord, but promises to bring the Joys of life
without us having to search for it. (Matthew 6:33-34) (Psalm 34:8-10)
I hope today's message ministers to your heart to seek God above all else
because to be rich in Christ far outweighs any riches this world has to offer.
LOST SOULS AND SUITCASES
Many years ago in Lebanon I was introduced to a family that was still
reeling from the shock of recovered wealth when all seemed hopeless. The
way it had come about brought tears and laughter as I heard the story.
Allow me to share it with you.
Sami, a dear friend of mine, played the hero's role in this story. One day
he and his wife were driving along a highway on the outskirts of Beirut
when he suddenly saw a large suitcase lying on the side of the road. Most
people in that part of the world would not only have driven past it, they
would probably have picked up speed, almost certain that it was booby-
trapped. But not Sami. One of Sami's great characteristics was
fearlessness. G.K. Chesterton has defined it as getting away from death by
continually coming within an inch of it. That is a perfect description of
Much against his wife's pleas and to her utter anguish, he stopped the car
and picked up the suitcase. When they got home and he opened it, he found
every square inch crammed with money. It was certainly not the kind of
experience that would cause one to moan in despair, "Why me, Lord?" Some
might have found it unfortunate, but fortunately for Sami there was also
an address and telephone number inside, and after repeated attempts at
phoning, someone finally answered. Sami asked for the person by name, and
when, in a doleful voice, the man identified himself, Sami asked him, "Sir,
have you lost something?" Taken aback, the man paused and then said, "Have
you found it?" The rest of the story was basically that of a frenzied
effort on the part of the man to make arrangements to retrieve his
suitcase, which he had lost en route to the boat he was to catch as he was
attempting to leave the country.
I was in Sami's home when the owner of the suitcase brought his family to
meet, in flesh and blood, a man with a soul in a disintegrating society.
You see, Beirut was once called the pearl of the Middle East. Yet in the
tangled web of ideological struggle, it is a city where piles of rubble
have replaced majestic buildings and ancient artifices. In this war-torn
suburb a family was dumbfounded to see a life that had not been destroyed
by the evil around it.
As they sat in Sami's living room, Sami said gently, "You think you have
recovered your treasure. Let me tell you how passing a treasure this is.
With the fragile state of our country, this could become completely
worthless overnight." Sami continued, "Let me give you the greatest and
most enduring treasure you can ever have." Sami handed them his Bible. I
will never forget the moment as they held it in their hands.
As one who sought eternal things amid the ruins of human evil, Sami gave
his greatest treasure-indeed, the definitive reality of life's purpose,
from God's mind to ours. The Bible mirrors the soul as it was intended to
be. It reveals the sacredness of our words to each other, engendering trust.
It holds to the sanctity of our marital vows, enriching the splendor of
love. It preserves the essential dignity of every human being, elevating
the beauty of relationships. It bequeaths to us the sacredness of time,
enjoining the sanctity of both work and rest. It commands us to respect
the property of others, breaking the stranglehold of fear. It guards our
essential purpose, energizing us by the coalescence of worship. It is the
mind of God.
For this we were made: that we might know the mind of God and let that
mind dwell in us. Aware of this, Sami gave to the man the greatest and
most enduring treasure that he had. May I ask you: What is your greatest
treasure today, friend? Is it riches, which are so uncertain? Are you
valuing above all else God's thoughts and intentions? Or do your own
thoughts, or those of our culture, hold the highest place in your life?
Sami's treasure was indeed the greatest and most enduring. May it be
yours, as well.
By Ravi Zacharias
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus declares "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon
earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through
and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor
steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we
look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not
seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are
not seen are eternal."
Matthew 22:35-40 "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a
question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment
in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the
first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law
and the prophets."
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: MY BLESSED FELLOWSHIP
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem101.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: FATHER KNOWS BEST
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony109.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry