We need God. It’s plain and simple, lest we fall into the traps set in this world and become enemies of God. Only God can transform us from the thrill seeking, self-serving, humans we are by nature into humble servants dedicated to pleasing God.
James’ counsel here is a bit over the top when he talks about our envious desires leading us to killing someone. It appears his audience needs the “wow factor” to get their attention. I can just hear someone saying, “God doesn’t listen because he didn’t give me what I wanted.” That’s a great example of having the wrong motives. God knows our heart. He knows why we ask for what we do. Is what we’re asking for merely for our own pleasure?
After Paul’s comments about getting paid in our last reading, he seems to be singing a different tune here–at least when it comes to his own payment. Paul feels confident God has commissioned him to spread the gospel. It’s like he would burst if he didn’t preach about Jesus. Any payment or support is appreciated, but it’s not his motivation.
Remember Jeremiah’s cry in Jeremiah 20:9? “But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” Jeremiah had just been arrested for speaking a message he received from God. He, too, like Paul, had a burning motivation that couldn’t be quenched.
We are free and forgiven. We can boldly come before God because of what Jesus has done for us. Such a gift and a privilege. It’s a day to look forward to and not fear. If we picture Jesus there waiting for us with open arms it is much easier. I certainly don’t want to rush that day to come because there is so much more I want to experience in this life. To have the assurance of life beyond death is something some people don’t have. That is tragic.
God has given us a beautiful world in which to live and enjoy. Sometimes I take that for granted. How about you? Each day is a gift. To be able to open our eyes and see, to listen to the sounds of nature, to smell all the delightful aromas. To let our senses be overwhelmed. For all of that and more, I am grateful. Continue reading “Hebrews 10:19-25 – Truly Blessed”