Looking for Gold?

//Looking for Gold?

Looking for Gold?

“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”
–Luke 14:27-28 (NLT)
Have you ever been in the middle of something, only to receive one of those annoying phone calls? Oh, you know what I mean. I can hear it now.
“Hi there! This is Sam,” the automated voice says, “and have I got a deal for you!”
As he drones on, “Sam” starts to tell you about some fantastic deal that you don’t want or need. You hang up in disgust, and go back to your work.
Today, I want to tell you about another call that actually turned out great. I know you won’t believe it, but instead of a robocall, an actual human being was on the other end of the line.
At first I have to admit I was skeptical, but she said something which caught my attention. She was offering a gift card for a getaway of our choice, and she happened to mention Disneyland. I wanted to take Stephanie there for our second anniversary, but we didn’t have the money, so I listened in fear and trepidation.
The upshot of this call was that everything was indeed on the level, and we went to Disneyland. I don’t mind telling you that we had a lot of fun, and the good news was that our gift card covered most of it. We still had to watch our pennies a bit, so we could buy groceries after the vacation.
That was a wonderful trip, and God truly wants us to enjoy life. But my concern comes when we sacrifice the joy which Christ can give, upon the altar of instant gratification. We often focus on the highs and lows in our lives, and we’re constantly finding new ways to get immediate pleasure. Instead of this way of life, Christ offers us long-term fulfillment, which few of us experience.
By focusing on the immediate, we rob ourselves of God’s long-term blessings, and our walk with Christ becomes similar to that Disneyland trip. We sometimes take the cross too lightly, and view it almost like the gift card we were given. If we choose to hold the so-called Christian gift card, we may take it for granted that we are immune from hard times, and that we get unlimited rides on The Blessingmobile.
This dangerous viewpoint leads us to see our walk with Him through rose-colored glasses. Looking at life in this manner also tends to raise doubts, fears, and questions. Whenever pain of any kind knocks on our door, we tend to ask God, “why are you doing this?” Instead, we might try to ask Him, “how are You working in my life?”
Think about it like this. Imagine you are driving to what is billed as a dream vacation spot, and you have your best friend with you. You are in a hurry to get there, and you can’t focus on anything else. Up ahead is a beautiful view. Your friend begs you to slow down, but you drive right past the scenic area and continue on your way. You reach your vacation spot, only to find that the wonderful reviews are wrong, and you can’t wait to go back home.
While this isn’t a perfect analogy, our blessings often fly by, like the miles on that road trip. If we all went a little slower, or looked in the rear-view mirror of our lives, we would see God’s blessings all around us. But many times, we overlook them, because they usually come wrapped in a package stamped Trial. But I have found that by speeding down pleasure’s freeway, I can get what I believe I want, only to come dangerously close to missing God’s best. Looking back, a lot of my blessings have come when I didn’t get what I thought I wanted or needed.
Before I met Stephanie, I felt very empty. I once met a woman and started a long-distance relationship with her. We agreed to marry, and I flew across the country to be with her. The day before our wedding, she wrote me a letter. To make a long story short, she said that she had never loved me.
That was a time of pain like I had never known before, until I met my wife. Now I am thanking God that things didn’t work out with my would-be bride.
Lastly, when we think about life in terms of pleasure alone, we tend to forget the cost. If you want proof of this, think about how fast people max out their credit cards in vacation spots like Disneyland. If that’s not good enough, watch some advertisements. They often use a favorite slogan: “buy now and pay later.”
Jesus, on the other hand, was up front with us. He made sure we didn’t miss the cost of following Him. Instead of glossing over this fact, He told us to weigh the cost, making an informed decision. While the death of being driven by our fleshly appetites can be costly, it is even more costly not to follow Him.
Many people have fantasized about striking it rich while prospecting for gold. They have seen yellow specks in their pans, and initially it looked like the real thing. But when they tried to cash it in, they returned with nothing but some pretty rocks.
Unfortunately, this is also the case when a person chooses to be driven by pleasure. They will feel full as long as their appetites are satisfied, but in the end they come up empty.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the person who seeks the God of pleasure rather than the God of the Bible must answer to our God in the end. Facing the possibility of eternal separation from Him carries a greater cost in my mind than temporary self-discipline.
So if you don’t yet know Christ, He invites you to come to Him today. Confess your sin, and let His love, joy, and peace be your comfort in the storms of life. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He wants you to trade in your fool’s gold for the real thing.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6499. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.

By | 2019-03-17T03:06:38+00:00 March 17th, 2019|Faith and Inspiration|0 Comments

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