Friday, March 13, 2015

Devotion: The Rich Man's Problem

The word of God tells us, “God, who is rich in mercy, loves us” (Ephesians 2:4).  Yes, it is true, “God loves you.”  The word of God also tells us, “we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might,” (Deuteronomy 6:5).  But how do we show God that “we love him?”  Is just saying, “I love you, God” good enough to show God that we love him?  Or, is there something else that we need to do to show God our love for him?  Notice that we did not say, “show the world” that we love God.  This appears to be what some so-called Christians try do; they try to “show the world” that they love God.  You see, it appears to be more important to them to gain accolades from their peers and the world than it is to gain approval from God, as if this type of recognition will score “brownie points” (Matthew 7:21-22).  And while this is not intended to speak negatively of anyone, it is intended to strike a spiritual chord with anyone who has an ear to hear the revelation of just how we are should show God our love for him.

Scripture tells us, “to continually seek the face of God” (I Chronicles 16:11),where “the face of God” has been generally defined as “the presence of God,” regulating our continued seeking to simply seeking his presence.  So with this definition in mind, we have to ask, “How does one seek the presence of or seek to be in the presence of a God, who is omnipresent, all-pervading, and ever-present” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).  It sounds a little contradictory, given we are told “to continually seek the face” of a God who has also told us “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).  Does the question as to how one is to “seek the Lord and his strength” (I Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 105:4), when the ever-present Lord never leaves us nor forsakes us create a paradox?  We are told through scripture, “those who seek the Lord God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, will find him” (Deuteronomy 4:29).  We are also told, “they that seek the Lord will not want for anything” (Psalm 34:10).  And we are told, “they that seek the Lord understand all things” (Proverbs 28:5).  Maybe there is more to seeking God than just seeking “the presence” of an omnipresent, all-pervading, and ever-present God.

The fact that we are to seek God with all our heart and with all our soul should alert us to the fact that there must be more to our seeking then just “seeking the presence of God.”  In the story of Azariah, the son of Oded, we find that he went out to meet Asa and to gave all of the people of Judah and Benjamin a warning (II Chronicles 15:2-4).  Asa told them that as long as they sought after God, God would be very near to them.  But should they abandon God, then God would abandon them.  He basically told them “If you seek him, he will be found by you.”  We even found that in their troubled times, as they turned to God and sought after him, they were still able to find him.  We are told when “we draw near or close to God, God will draw near or close to us” and reveal himself to us (James 4:8).  We understand through scripture that “God will reward those who truly seek after him” (Hebrews 11:6).  As we seek after him, God will allow us to find him and as we draw near to him, God will make himself known to us (Jeremiah 29:12-13).  God does not hide himself from those who truly seek after him with all of the heart and all of their soul.

So, instead of seeking his face or his presence, just maybe we need to put a little more into our seeking efforts.  We find it very interesting that we are to seek him with all our heart and all our soul, which be the same that we are to love him with.  Scripture tells us that “the Lord looks down from heaven upon us to see if there are any that be wise, that understand, that want to please him, by searching for and seeking after him” (Psalm 14:2).  Maybe this is why “the rich man’s problem” made so much sense.

There was a rich man who wanted to know whether people loved him as a person, or whether they only pretended to love him in order to receive the benefits he could provide for them.  The rich man had a huge problem. How could he know that someone loved him instead of his money?  How can he be certain that he was not just being used for what he can provide because of his wealth and power?  God faces a very similar problem as the rich man.  This is why were are told to “Seek the Lord while you can find him and call upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).  When we “truly seek the Lord God with all our heart and with all our soul, we will find him,” then he “will reward those who truly seek after him.”  Amen.

If this message is a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.  Blessings.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

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