When Christians value the Father more for what He can do for them than for intimacy and love, they eventually begin to seek to fulfill their own selfish desires rather than enjoy the relationship they have with God. Then, in order to fill the void that has been created, they seek comfort or identity in one or more of the counterfeit affections—power, possessions, position, people, places, performance, or passions of the flesh. This vicious cycle can continue until they realize that what they are lusting for will not satisfy them and that they have an unmet need for love and intimacy that only Father God’s embrace can fulfill.
I have observed that when any of us embarks on the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, it eludes us. Often I’ve asked myself why. It must be because happiness comes to us only as a dividend. When we become absorbed in something demanding and worthwhile above and beyond ourselves, happiness seems to be there as a by-product of the self-giving. That should not be a startling truth, yet I’m surprised by how few people understand and accept it. Have we made a god of happiness?
If God answered every one of your prayers, would it change anybody’s life except your own?
Today, even amongst Christians, there can be found much of that spirit that wants to give as little as possible to the Lord, and yet to get as much as possible from Him. The prevailing thought today is of being used, as though that were the one thing that mattered. That my little rubber band should be stretched to the very limit seems all important. But this is not the Lord’s mind. The Lord wants us to be used, yes; but what He is after is that we pour all we have, ourselves, to Him, and if that be all, that is enough.
Let this be thy whole endeavour, this thy prayer, this thy desire,–that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.
America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.
When I was hungry, you gave me food to eat.
When I was thirsty, you gave me your cup to drink.
Whatsoever you do to the least of these of my children, that you do unto me.
Now enter the house of my Father.
When I was homeless, you opened your doors.
When I was naked, you gave me your coat.
When I was weary, you helped me find rest.
When I was anxious, you calmed my fears.
When I was little, you taught me to read.
When I was lonely, you gave me your love.
When I was in prison, you came to my cell.
When on a sick bed, you cared for my needs.
In a strange country, you made me at home.
Seeking employment, you found me a job.
Hurt in a battle, you bound up my wounds.
Searching for kindness, you held out your hand.
When I was a Negro or Chinese or White,
Mocked and insulted you carried my cross.
When I was aged, you bothered to smile.
When I was restless, you listened and cared.
You saw me covered with spittle and blood,
You knew my features, though grimy with sweat.
When I was laughed at, you stood by my side.
When I was happy, you shared in my joy.
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While God does want us to be open with others, he also encourages us to put boundaries in place as we do. He talks repeatedly about guarding our hearts. So what’s the difference? Hiding is a response out of fear, while guarding is a proactive choice to protect what matters most. In other words, we’re not to deliberately put something of worth where it won’t be valued.