Colossians 3:1-2 "Since you were raised from the dead with Christ, aim at what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth."
In Matthew 7:13-14 our Lord and Savior is quoted as saying "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Without raising your hands, how many of you who have made a commitment to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, have discovered that following Jesus and staying true to Him can be hard to do with everything else we already fill our days with?
We live in a world built on shifting sand. Society is changing rapidly and the truth is being lost in a storm of competing voices. Now more than ever, we must anchor ourselves in the eternal Word of God, a firm foundation in a conflicted culture.
So this past Tuesday I started a story of two small town boys Jack and Mark. I asked what was I getting at with the story and told you today I would share with you the second part and how it fits in Biblically. Did anyone think of someone in the Bible who could relate to these boys? Well, it's simple. Both men grew up in the same town, both were taught the same ideals in school and church, probably at home too but they took a different path when they both became part of something bigger.
For Jack it would seem fame and fortune took ahold of him. He liked all the attention, thought he could have all the women, and believed it was all his own doing that put him on top. He believed he could become famous and win over Hollywood.
For Mark, he remained humble. He knew he had talent and he had the same kind of attention as Jack, but he stayed true to his upbringing, his roots. He remembered his town, friends, and family. Although fame too was in his favor, he never believed it was all about himself and he never bragged about his accomplishments.
There are two kings we can look at in the Bible. King David and King Solomon. Both appointed to be king by God. Both raised knowing God, learning to have faith and trust in God, both did many good things for the kingdom, and both were popular. In fact, King Solomon was David's son, so we know he was raised by a man of God.
During David's reign he rose to fame and fortune quickly, especially after slaying Goliath. The women swooned at his feet and men looked up to him. How easily it could have been for David to let all this fame go to his head. All the popularity led him to believe it was all his doing, he had the power. On occasion David did slip up and fall from God's grace, but during all of his reign he remembered his roots. Roots deeply planted when he was a boy. God is in control, and it was God who allowed David to have all that he had. Roots that were built with faith and trust in God. Throughout Psalms we can read of David's thoughts to God and so many times we read of his humble roots of trust in God for everything he had and everything he was.
So, should Solomon be any different? He was raised by a wise father. Taught to love and trust God and depend on God for everything. Yes, I believe Solomon was a king worthy of God’s blessings when he became king. After all, God promised to give him anything he wanted. Solomon chose wisdom over everything else and became the wisest king recorded in history. However, the tables turned, as Solomon rose in fame and fortune through his wisdom, he forgot one crucial step. He let go of the roots planted by his father. He let fame and fortune take over and forgot it was God who provided for him. He let go of his trust in God, fell in love with many women and let them become part of his downfall. Letting go of his humble roots he began to disobey God's instructions, after all he was the wisest man on earth, right? And we read how God punished him and his descendants losing favor with God.
Colossians 2:7 tells us clearly to keep our roots deep in Jesus and build our lives in Him. From the time we learn of Jesus we need to be burying what we’ve learned deep within our hearts so when things come our way to upset us, we can be strong and not be moved away from God.
In a way fame and fortune comes to us all. A great paying job, our talents being recognized. Popularity grows among our social circles. No doubt it's a great feeling and we all enjoy the spotlight at least once in our life (think back to your graduation, or maybe wedding day or birthdays, you liked it at least a little, we all did or do). It's okay to enjoy the little spotlight, but in those times it's also important to remember our roots. God asks us to be humble- James 4:6. Because when we're humble, we remember to exalt our Creator. We remember it is God who gives us each breath, each blessing, each day. He gives us our talents to use for His glory not our own. And when our roots are deeply planted, and the devil comes to uproot us we can say ‘I shall not be moved’. Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches and glory by Jesus Christ.”
So next time you feel yourself finding some fame or fortune remember to keep your humble roots in Jesus. He gave you all that you have, but this world is only temporary, our real treasure is in heaven and a new earth. Keep God first, keep your roots deep in Jesus and watch your blessings grow in a new way.
It's always interesting and fun for me when I start learning more and more from scripture not only as a way to live in a Christ-like way but because I begin to see the connections between God and Jesus, the harmony between the Old and New Testaments and how God and His Son are truly one. I hope you can find some time in your busy days to not only read a devotional but to open the scripture into a deeper study. That is why I have offered the studies we have been doing and today we will continue with 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Have a wonderful day and I wish you many blessings.
Lesson 8- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20- https://www.docdroid.net/9XtTjnQ/1-corinthians-study-8-docx
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