Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple Math

(The ideas contained herein originate largely from ideas that I heard from John MacArthur and Matt Chandler, but their roots are found in Scripture.)

Math always came pretty easy to me. As I progressed throughout grade school, I was pretty handy with numbers. Granted, I never got to the crazy stuff like Calculus or Trig, but I could tackle math with ease most of the time. However, for what I'm about to talk about, you might have to change what you know about math.

For most people, their lives follow a simple equation:

money + success + career = happy

Now, all of the Christians reading this might be thinking, "Hey! I don't think like that! God is enough!"

For those of you who that truly applies to, I commend you. Keep on keepin' on. But for most of us, is God really enough? Or do we use Jesus to get to His stuff?

In having conversations with people throughout the years, I get a feeling that some people follow this kinda logic:

follow Jesus + good family + money = everything

They believe that following Jesus is going to guarantee a good life with nice things and happiness to spread all around.

Well, if we were taking a Divine Test, that answer would have red marks all over it.

Let me explain: the Bible never shies away from warning believers that they will endure suffering and hardship. 11 out of 12 disciples went through gruesome deaths. 2 Corinthians 4 says, "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

James 1 even says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

So, I propose a new equation:

Jesus + nothing = everything

In other words, if we have a solid relationship with Christ, but get none of the "nice" things of this world to comfort us in this life, we are ultimately blessed. And this is mainly because those things, in and of themselves, will lead to emptiness. So if God decides to give us pain and trials in this life in order to bring us closer to Him, it is to actually a gift!

Why? Look at the flip side. If he gave us everything we could ask for in this life but denied us Himself, wouldn't He actually be cruel? Instead of giving us satisfaction and complete joy in Him, we would be wasting our time trying to find fulfillment in His stuff.

My main point is this: let us be completely satisfied and self-contained in our relationship with Christ, not needing other things in this world to satisfy our souls.

Let's start doing some new math.


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