Hungry? 

Psalm 63:1-2
“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”

Have you ever had one of those times when you are craving something, but you are not sure what it is? When that happens to me I tend to keep trying things, in an attempt to satisfy a craving that I cannot define. What is true with physical hunger, is also true in the spiritual realm. God created us with a need for Him. This need evidences itself with a desire to find meaning in life, answers to what lies beyond this life, and a craving to worship.

Man is incurably religious due to his built-in hunger to know God. This hunger to know God is sometimes clouded by the sinful world in which we live, and by personal experiences. Many, knowing an emptiness within, fail to recognize that it is a spiritual craving to know God. They attempt to satisfy it with relationships, substances, or experiences. Often, these very attempts to satisfy the cravings within, become addictions or leave us scarred. Instead of satisfying our need for God, they fill the spiritual hole within us with junk, which may take a lifetime to get out.

After meeting God, David went on to declare that his soul was satisfied. Meeting God does that. Once you have come to God through Christ, you no longer need to hunt around for spiritual satisfaction, you are satisfied. However, if you have truly met Him, you develop a new hunger. This is a hunger that keeps you coming to Him for more.

David did not write this Psalm as an unbeliever who just met the Lord, but as a godly man desiring to know God better. David gives insight to properly fulfilling our built-in hunger for God. He says, “So I have looked for You in the sanctuary.” While it is true that God is everywhere, and we cannot hide from Him, it is also true, there are places where we will have a greater chance of meeting with Him, and hearing from Him. It is much easier to hear, when we gather with the people of God in corporate worship. David, knowing his hunger was for God, made his way to the sanctuary, where he was sure to meet with God.

Pastor Jim

 

Full Grown 

Psalms 17:15 
“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

I remember years ago listening to Pastor Chuck Smith teaching from John 15 on the Vine and the branches. To illustrate our need to bear fruit, he asked, “What does a full grown tree look like?” Immediately, my mind was filled with visions of the massive Redwoods of Northern California. I remember, as a child, driving our car through a tunnel cut out of a tree in Humboldt County. After pausing to let the question sink in, he responded, “A full grown tree looks like firewood.” You see, a tree grows as long as it is alive. The moment it stops growing, is the moment it has died.

We are like that. Once we begin a relationship with God, a process known as “Sanctification” begins. Sanctification is the work that God does in our lives to make us more like Jesus. The process starts with God removing the things from our lives that are harmful to us. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, unhealthy relationships, and the like, are all laid down at the cross, when we first receive Christ. But that does not complete our growth. Christianity is not just about what we don’t do. It is much more about who we become. As daily, we invest in the Word of God, prayer, fellowship and service, we find that the characteristics of Christ are being birthed in us. Paul called those attributes the fruit of the Spirit. The more we grow in Christ, the more we become like Him, until one day, we like David, will see His face in righteousness and be satisfied.

Until that day, lets determine to grow in Christ, by abiding in Him daily.

Pastor Jim

 

Can’t Eat Just One

Proverbs 27:20
Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1902.jpgA few years ago, the Frito-Lay Corporation ran an ad for their potato chips with the slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one.” The concept was simple, their chips were so good, so addicting, that once you tasted one, you would keep eating until the bag was empty. In this verse, Solomon points out, sin is like that. The word he uses for hell is Sheol, and can mean the grave. He is declaring, just as death is never satisfied, so desire for sin will never be satisfied by sinning. Often, when we are facing greater than normal temptation toward sin, we think one more look, touch or taste will satisfy the craving. What we find is, the desire comes back with greater force after it has been fed.

The children of Israel experienced this in the wilderness. Each morning they awoke to breakfast being served from heaven. This “Manna”, as it was called, was designed to satisfy their appetite during their journey through the desert. After years of the same food, they began to hunger for something else. When their craving became so great that they could no longer withstand it, they began to threaten Moses. In response, God promised to send them meat to satisfy their intense craving. Soon, a flock of quail flew into the camp and was trapped and killed by the people. With their lust for meat in full swing, they began to tear into the fowl, not waiting for it to be cooked properly, and the people became ill. With their lust for meat driving them, many died from sickness (Numbers 11). Later, this area became known as the Graves of Lust.

Feeding lust will never make the desire go away. The Bible tells us, the only hope for overcoming the desire for sin is to deny it. Paul declared, he considered himself to be crucified with Christ, and he treated sin as a dead man would (Galatians 2:20). We are exhorted to do the same. We are told, since we died with Christ, we are to treat sin as a corpse would. To do this, we must treat it as something of our past, not our present. We accomplish this is by not sowing to our sin nature, but removing ourselves as far as possible from its influence. In another place, Solomon asks, “can a man put fire on his lap and not get burned?” (Proverbs 6:27) The answer is obviously NO. In the same way, we cannot bring sin close, increase our desire for it, and not fall into it. The secret of success in the battle with the flesh, is to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.

Pastor Jim

 

An Overflowing Life

Proverbs 9:11
“For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

Jesus promised, those who believe in Him would be the recipients of eternal life. He also promised we would have abundant life while we live.

John wrote,
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12

We will never experience the abundant life God intends for us until we first receive Christ and begin to walk with Him. Scripture promises the love of God will flood our hearts, the peace of God will guard our minds, and the life of God will well up within us like a fountain, flowing out upon others around us. Once we receive Christ, we begin to experience the abundant grace of God flowing into our lives. Paul knew this kind of life, and it enabled him to celebrate the Lord, even in the most difficult of situations.

There are, however, many Christians who are failing to experience abundant life. They seem to be constantly downtrodden and defeated. In some cases, it may be a result of failing to choose the path of wisdom. Solomon explains that true wisdom has, as its goal, a desire to live pleasing to the Lord. When we walk that road (when all decisions are filtered through a desire to do what is right in the eyes of God), we will find “our days are multiplied and years of life are added.” Things are simply better when we follow the Lord and do it His way. So often, our will fights against the will of God. When we resist Him, we fail to see that His desires are best for us. The height of life is always reached when we surrender all to Christ, and live in obedience to His Word.

Let’s commit together to begin each day by offering ourselves to the Lord, and looking at our circumstances in the light of Scripture. Begin each day this week by dedicating yourself to Him, praying for the things you are facing, and reading His Word. End each day by examining your actions in light of the Lord and His Word. Let’s see how far He can take us down the road of abundant life.

Pastor Jim

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