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March 2010

THE DESIRE OF ALL THE AGES

A husband (a brave one) spoke to his wife about over-spending the budget   to which she replied, “Of course I spend more than you make, dear.  I have great confidence in you.”  We smile at this story, but this is exactly what many of us, including Banks and Wall St, have been doing.

Lets ask ourselves a question. What is the desire of our hearts?   A better house, a bigger car, more clothes,  more money.  Are these desires wrong?   Some Stoic Philosophers at the beginning of Christianity taught that a Christian should ‘destroy desire completely’.

While it is true that the desire to lie, to blaspheme, to commit adultery, (sexual or emotional) to do bodily harm, to murder etc. are against the laws of God;  the Bible does not oppose all desires.  1 Tim. 6:11 tells us to desire righteousness, godliness, do good, be generous and more. This chapter also tells us while we have to make a living, we need to be careful we don’t become greedy.  Many think if they become rich and famous that they have really made it in life, but if these earthly desires destroy our desire for heaven, it’s like we are playing with mud pies while throwing the real treasure away.

Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   I Timothy 6:17-19 tells us how to lay up treasure in heaven.    Paul says;  “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

Lets remember the story of the prodigal son.   He, like so many, wanted immediate riches, so he asked his father for his inheritance.  As he ran down the road towards ‘Las Vegas’, he was thinking about all the great fun he was going to have.   He would eat, drink and be merry to his heart’s content, never considering that perhaps one day his money would run out.  Of course, that is exactly what happened.   He used up all his money on wine, women and song.   He found himself in the pigpen, so hungry that he would gladly have eaten their food but the Bible says, no one offered him anything.  This wasn’t just a physical hunger, but mainly a spiritual one.  Before coming to Christ, we all have this hunger in our souls; an empty hole in our hearts, and only one can fill it, Jesus Christ, the ‘Desire of all Hearts’ and ‘The Desire of all the Ages’.

The Bible teaches us not to become enamored with the things of this world.  God doesn’t want us to spend our lives fretting about what we don’t have, or fretting while we get more of what we do have.  Since the recent financial crisis, I’ve heard many speaking  about downsizing and trying to live a more simple life. This fits with Paul’s words in both Hebrews 13 and 1Timothy 6;   “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.  Instead, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”  May these desires be the desire of our hearts.

Dear Father in Heaven,  Thank You for telling us about the most important things in life.  Help us to get our priorities right, so that we might live happy and fulfilling lives that will glorify You.  Amen.

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