Who captivates your attention? What do you spend your time reading? On what kind of game show would you want to compete? What do the answers to those questions have to do with where you have put your treasure? Before you answer … you might want to read today’s post!
Ecclesiastes 1 & 2
1 Corinthians 7.20-40
Heroes, Culture & Your Treasure
Where Is Your treasure?
Verse 1, “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.”
Perhaps your first thought was like mine, “I don’t hang out with evil people.” I go to church and hang out with my Christian friends. I don’t go out drinking. I try to avoid gossip. In fact, the list of ways I obey God might be long in my mind.
But just as we learn and grow from the good influence of mature believers, even those who have already gone to be with the Lord, by reading their books and watching or listening to them through all kinds of media … so we can be influenced by ungodly people.
Who captivates your attention? Is it Hollywood celebrities or committed Christians? Do you spend more time reading your Bible, Christian biographies and other Christian books … or People magazine and the hottest new novel? Would you do better at The American Bible Challenge or a pop culture version? Do you know more about Kate Middleton, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Katy Perry … or the Apostle Paul, Susanna Wesley and Charles Spurgeon?
Jesus said, “… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6.21).
What do your answers say about where your treasure is?
Today’s Other Readings:
Ecclesiastes 1 & 2:
Finding Satisfaction in the Daily Activities of Life
Solomon most likely wrote this book during the later years of his life after he had squandered much of his energy on earthly pursuits. He wrote this book to others, especially young people, to warn them about the futility of trying to find happiness in the things of this world. As he points out the “vanity” of such pursuits, he shares many nuggets of wisdom.
In chapters 1 and 2 he warns that even wisdom for wisdom’s sake is vanity, as are seeking after pleasure, building projects, and accumulating possessions. He tried and failed to find satisfaction in power, great wealth, and fame. Work for work sake didn’t bring satisfaction either. In fact, he came to realize that all his accomplishments meant nothing in light of eternity. Everything he accumulated here on earth would someday be left to others.
“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (2.24).
Instead of seeking satisfaction in success, wealth, power, and other pursuits, we should learn to find satisfaction in the daily activities of life.
Living by Feelings
Here in the first part of this psalm the writer focuses almost entirely on his feelings. When he did, he felt as if God had abandoned him. The same can happen to us.
Feelings are not sinful in and of themselves, but if we live by our feelings rather than God’s principles, we will end up shipwrecked in our faith. Feelings can cause us to justify anger and bitterness and sin of every sort. Instead of living life based on our feelings, we must trust God and obey Him in spite of our feelings.
But as the psalm continues, we’ll see the psalmist turn his focus from his feelings to the character of God.
1 Corinthians 7.20-40:
Content or Discontent
These remaining verses of chapter 7 talk about being content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves—whether married or single. Paul points out the advantages of being single when it comes to freedom to serve the Lord. He also says that it is perfectly acceptable to marry as long as we marry another believer.
As a counselor and as a mom, grandmother, and friend, I can tell you that I’ve seen many people I love and care about make poor choices about marriage because they were not content waiting on God’s timing or taking Him at His Word.
When we really want to be married, we will accept “he goes to church with me” or “I’m sure she’ll get saved” or “he respects my desire to go to church” in place of a fruit-bearing walk with Christ. Only to find out after we are in the covenant relationship of marriage that our new spouse has no real interest in the things of God and is often resentful or antagonistic about our involvement in church.
Once a person is married, even if the other person is an unbeliever, God says, “Don’t divorce him or her” (1 Cor. 7.10-11). As Lou Priolo says, “For a Christian, a marriage is a hard thing to get out of without sinning.”
I tell unmarried people all the time, “Right now you have a choice whether or not to marry this person. Be wise! But if you marry them, my counsel to you will have to be entirely different. Once you’re married, you must seek to make it work, possibly, for the next 20, 30, or 40 years!” That can be a long time when unequally yoked!
So, if you’re single, treasure what Christ says is important and be content where you are. And, if you’re married, seek to be the best husband or wife you can be and find contentment there.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about weighing stumbling blocks against freedom, money, contentment and wise counsel. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
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