Looking For Ultimate Satisfaction in Life?

Consider the things the young man in our story had going for him. He was young; he was a Jewish leader; he was rich and he was a ‘good’ young man, as he told Jesus that he had obeyed godly commands every since he could remember. Yet something was missing in his life, and it wasn’t pretty women, more money or a better position in government. I wonder what things we tend to think is lacking in our lives? What else may bring greater satisfaction to us? What else might be lacking according to God’s standards? Let’s look for direction in this as we meditate on God’s Word today.

Sunday, 2019-08-25

Bible Reference: Luke 18:18;20-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 18 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: “Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?”
20 “But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say—don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on.” 21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child.”
22 “There is still one thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor—it will become treasure for you in heaven—and come, follow me.”

OBSERVATION: Consider the things the young man in our story had going for him. He was young; he was a Jewish leader; he was rich and he was a ‘good’ young man, as he told Jesus that he had obeyed godly commands every since he could remember. Yet something was missing in his life, and it wasn’t pretty women, more money or a better position in government. I wonder what things we tend to think is lacking in our lives? What else may bring greater satisfaction to us? What else might be lacking according to God’s standards? Let’s look for direction in this as we meditate on God’s Word today.

APPLICATION: We are often willing to sacrifice time with our family, and the time we spend in God’s work around His local church, so that we could work ungodly hours around work hoping to please our boss and possibly achieve a greater position at work, since that might lead to making more money. But at the end of our work-day, do we ever reflect on the satisfaction that extra commitment at work has brought to our family? Or do we use those awake hours at home to catch up on email and other tasks that we couldn’t get to during the day? At the end of the year, do we celebrate the extra money we made and saved from a year of hard work and dedication, or do we spend time celebrating our family, our church, and the growth in our relationship with our Creator and our Sustainer of life? Looking forward into the new year, do we reflect on how we might grow at work, grow our bank account, and excel in our job during the coming year, or do we look to God on how we might help our family grow closer to Him, and how we might sure up our relationship with Him as we prepare for our future home in Heaven with Him. I believe that the rich young ruler probably came to a crossroad in his life where he may have pondered scenarios similar to the above, because I could see some of the same traits in us today. As you meditate on this devotional, and hopefully click on the scripture link above, you will see in verse 17 of this same chapter, that Jesus taught that we are to assume an attitude and spirit like a child: humble; willing to accept what Jesus teaches us to do; and then follow in obedience to do what pleases the Father. He also taught us in verse 22 that there is nothing in this life that will bring us lasting happiness, or that adds to our assurance of a future in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. So should we not learn from this story of the rich young ruler, that the effort we place into our earthly plans and into pleasing mankind, only serves to lift up our boss, or our friends, or those that we tend to lift up on a pedestal, and does very little to please our Heavenly Father? Friends, I pray that we will be busy about our Father’s work, for I am convinced that He will return soon to take His bride home (His blood-bought church). What might be your response today, if asked why He should let you into His kingdom?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving me enough to sacrifice Your very Son on a cross so that I might enjoy eternity with You. I believe that many who will read this devotional today could join with me in sharing our appreciation of Your awesome love for us. You created us to show our love for others through our commitment to them and through the gifts that we give to them. Oh may that become our priority today and everyday towards the One who loves us more than life itself, and has prepared a home for us, where we will live for evermore with You and the Father! Please tender the hearts of Your children who have yet to accept You as Lord and Savior. May today be a time of celebration by the angels and many friends here on earth as they surrender their all to You! AMEN!

The Rewards of Giving

The Holy Bible

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 9:10-11)

Thoughts:

Over the past two days we have learned that God expects us to give out of what we receive, and to give with the right attitude. In today’s scripture we learn how God rewards us for our giving. I’m sure that many who meditated on the last two lessons may have questioned how they could possibly afford to give from the little they earn, especially considering the large amounts they owe. Friends, God answers that question in today’s scripture by reassuring you that He gives not only enough for ourselves, but also the where-with-all to supply the needs of others. In faith, we must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of giving. Remember this will be a reward to our faithfulness, and to bring praise and glory to God by others who are touched by our giving. Please also note that Paul was not just drumming up this idea of rewards to induce the giving he was asking his followers to do. For back in Matthew 10:42, Jesus told His followers that if they only give a cup of water to one of His, they would certainly be rewarded. In Hosea 10:12 we are told that if we plant righteousness (right-ness with God) we will reap a blessing! In Matthew 5:6 we are told that God will satisfy those whose greatest desire is to please Him. By now you are probably thinking that this is probably the way to go to bring you riches. To a certain degree I will agree with you, because there is nothing like building up the pleasure of our God with our obedience to His Word. Absolutely nothing like seeing those in need find reason to praise God for His wonderful gifts, knowing that we may have had a role to play in those gifts because of our obedience. I find way more delight in hearing that others are pleased with and/or blessed by something that I may have contributed to, rather than the richest dude on earth handing out $100 bills for everything they notice that I may have done. For you see, my actions are in response to God’s commands and for His glory, not for man’s attention or his returned praises to me. I would rather go unnoticed in my giving of finances or time. I am much more rewarded by hearing someone giving praise to God for answering their prayers about their needs. If God used something that I may have contributed to Him, then it is truly His to give away to a person in need. He’s the one that deserves the praise and glory. Give from a heart of obedience friend, and give it to the Lord, who gave it to you in the first place. Be ready to praise Him for the ability to give, and for the glory it might bring to a child of God in need, for your rewards are ‘out of this world’!!

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for showing us how to give, by first giving of everything You had to us. Thank You for accepting that bitter cup You mentioned in the garden, so that I might enjoy the sweet cup of fellowship with You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for blessing us daily with the love, assurances and resources that we might pass along blessings to others in need. I pray that my reader friends might, like me, gain a daily appreciation for Your goodness towards us, so that we may freely share with others and give liberally to You and Your work in response. I pray that through recognizing, and being reminded of the source of our blessings, we might be encouraged to give all the more. I so appreciate the rewards You have prepared for me, thank You Father! May we be reminded of those rewards daily so that our giving might be all the more joyful! All this I ask for You dear Lord, in Your precious and worthy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!