Faith In Action. 04/08/2014 (Evening thought)

Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;  25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;  26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

This passage of scripture recounts for us how faith in the promises of God had a direct bearing on Moses' decision to cast in his lot with the people of God. In order to understand his mode of thought and his resulting decisions we must first understand a little of the prospects he was facing in life. At the age of twelve he was brought to the royal courts of Pharaoh, instructed in the most prestigious schools back then and had, what many people will describe as a bright future before him in the Egyptian administration.

Yet Moses made what many might see as a weird or nonsensical choice, to fore-go all the glories, fame, and luxuries of Egypt in exchange for a life as a shepherd, leading a people who often tried to stone him, and finally to die before reaching Canaan. Did it make sense and was it all worth-while? This question is one of the great issues every follower of Jesus must confront head-on and decide for themselves. In Moses' case we see what were the driving forces behind his decision, as revealed in his thought processes.

He first weighed in his mind the afflictions that would certainly befall him in choosing to be associated with God's people, against the enjoyment of the temporary pleasures and material things this world has to offer. And then after thinking it through he makes his decision. He chooses the experience, knowledge and fellowship of God rather than the transient things that are seen. The Bible goes on to tell us why he made this decision: He correctly valued eternal realities above the fleeting pleasures and possessions of earth and thus was granted an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory that does not fade away.

The very same questions confront us every day and the answers and decisions lie within the domain of our hearts. Many people choose the glitter and material things this world offers, and embark upon a journey of chasing an illusive dream, only to find out too late that the true meaning of life does not consist in an accumulation of wealth or in pleasurable experiences. This fact is what Jesus was referring to when he made the following statement. Let's read:

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

There are people who seem to be driven by an insatiable desire to acquire goods, as if this is the highest aim in life. Now while it is true that the Christian will work hard like everyone else, yet the accumulation of wealth or the rush of temporary pleasure is not his goal in life. A life of faithful service to God and to our fellowmen is of much greater value than the pursuit of happiness in the material things of earth. Leona Helmsley worked hard all of her life, expending all of her energies and talents in the acquirement of riches, only to leave 12 million dollars for her dog. To some folks this might seem like a very fulfilling life but Christ addresses this group of earth's inhabitants directly, with a question that begs an answer. Let's read:

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

In other words, what Christ was calling our attention to is the futility of laying up treasure on this earth, only to die and leave it all behind, as opposed to a lasting and meaningful relationship with God that will result in immortal life, with true riches that do not fade away.

In contrast, there are those who like Moses make the all-wise decision to follow Jesus, and find out by experience that Christ is the only way to an abundant life, both now and into eternity. Anyone who has had a lifelong experience with God will testify that they would not for anything, exchange their relationship with Him for any mundane advantage. Having Christ in our lives give us direction and a reason for living, and as we go through the ever changing experiences of life we come to understand that His love and care for His people are steadfast and sure. This fact is what drove the apostle Paul to pen the following words. Let's read:

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We therefore close with a text which will remind us of the results of the choices we make in this life, and it also contains a promise to those who look beyond the things that are seen to those things that are eternal. Let's read:

1st John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Happy are those who choose God as their all in all, for we will never regret the decision thus made. May we find joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment in serving The Lord Jesus Christ. "Good night" and God Bless!