What Counts

flat,550x550,075,fEverything in life demands something of us.  Our time.  Our resources.  Our heart.  Our passion.  Our work.  Our sweat.  Our schedule.

Everything in life that’s good, that has a purpose, that can accomplish something, it demands something of us.  Everything.

Everything.

So, the question is not will you give of your time or your talents or your gifts.  It is not will you give of your resources.  The question is this.

To what will you give these things to?  Will you give these things to things that are passing, or will you give these things to things that counts.

Jesus poses it this way in Matthew 16: 25-26:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

So, if you give everything, and gain everything, but in that process lose your soul, what have you really gained?  If you give yourself to your work.  Or your hobbies.  Or your whatever . . .

And you lose your soul, what have you gained?  Nothing.

Are you giving yourself to what counts?  Are you living for what counts?  Are you focused on what counts?

Today, we will give part of ourselves, our stuff, our everything away.  Are we giving it to what counts?  Are we living for what counts?

Cause if we can everything that this world has to offer, but focus on the wrong thing, what have we done?

Faith, family, friends.  These things.  They matter.

May we live for what truly counts.

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Your Greatest Possession

What is the thing you have that is worth the most in your life

Andy, what do you mean, worth the most?  Do you mean cost the most?  Has the most value?  Is most sentimental to me?

By the question, I can mean any of those things.  What is the thing that you treasure the most?  What is the thing that is so important to you?

Now, think about what you want the most right now. What is the thing that  if you had it, you could say – ah, now I’ve got “it.”  Now I’ve gotten what I need/want.  Here’s mine 🙂

Ok, got those thoughts in your mind? Thinking about them?

Now, listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 16: 26

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

What ever “it” is, it can’t compare to your soul. What ever “it” is, it will soon be destroyed.  Or dropped.  Or lost.  Or broken.  Or replaced.  What ever “it” is, it is not eternal.

Your soul is.  Your soul counts forever.  Your soul lives on.  Your soul is worth more than anything you could ever think of or desire. And if you lose your soul in pursuit of something that doesn’t really matter, what you have you done?

You’ve exchanged something eternal for something that is of this world.  Nothing is worth that.  Nothing.

You life will not be found in chasing the things of this world.  It will not be found in stuff.  It will not be found in whatever “it” is.  You life will be found in feeding your soul on the things of God.  It will be found in these things that are eternal.

That is what matters most. And that’s what we should be chasing. Don’t lose your soul for what is only of this world.  You soul is worth more to you (and God) than whatever “it.” is.

Never forget that.

What Consumes Your Soul?

This morning as I read through some scripture this morning, I was thinking about the things that happen that get me in trouble.

Why do I choose to do wrong sometimes?

Why do I choose sin? Why do I choose the wrong path?  Why do I make bad decisions.

We all do, don’t we?  It’s part of our human condition. As Paul said, “The things I ought to do, I do not do, and the very thing I should not do, is the very thing I do.”

Why?

What can keep up from picking that wrong path?

Then I read part of Psalm 119:

20 My soul is consumed at all times *
with longing for your judgments.

What consumes your soul?  What is it that really consumes you?

What do you think about?  Where does your mind drift?  What is it that occupies your thoughts?  When you are thinking about nothing, what are you thinking about?

Is it God? Does God consume your mind?  Your will?  Your imagination?  Your very life?

Scripture tells us that God is a consuming fire.  He desires to consume all of us. Take of all of us, transform all of us.

Are we letting Him do that today? Are we letting Him consume us today?  Are we giving Him all of us today?

He desires to consume us.  Do we desire to be consumed by Him?  In that, in doing that, in allowing Him to consume us, we will find life.

What consumes you?  Is it God?  What consumes your soul today?

Leanness of the Soul

One of the things I love about reading the Bible is sometimes you’ll be reading a passage, and a word will just jump off the page and hit you.

You’ll be reading and you’ll sometimes have something just really nail you, something that just really catches your eye and you know that there is something God is trying to say to you in it.

I believe that’s one of the ways that God really speaks to us through scripture. When these phrases or words just won’t leave us alone. When there is something about them that just stick to our minds and our hearts.

I had that really happen to me this morning as I was reading Psalm 106 where it says this:

14 A craving seized them in the wilderness, *
and they put God to the test in the desert.
15 He gave them what they asked, *
but sent leanness into their soul.

Wow.  God gave them what they wanted, but sent leanness into their souls.

That’s the phrases leanness of the soul.

This notion of having everything you want or desire, but your soul being empty.  Your soul being dry.

Your soul being lean.

In life, it’s not about getting what we want or desire.

As much as we think that will make us happy.

It’s about getting what our soul needs.

As Jesus said, “What does it profit to gain the world, but lose your soul.”

Do we spend time today, nourishing our soul?  Do spend time today feeding our soul?  Do we spend time today, and each giving our soul what it needs?

Or do we ignore it, chasing other things.

The people got what they desired, but they had leanness of their souls.

How about us this morning? Do have what we want, but not what we need?

As I like to ask my folks at Asbury Church, how is it with your soul today?  Are you nourishing it?

Or is it becoming lean?

In the end, that’s our main job.  To nourish it.

May we take the time to feed our souls, and in doing that, we’ll find the life we cannot find anywhere else.