Bigger. Better. Newer. Faster. There my mind goes again. Why does my mind so often slip into the craving mode? A faster car; a more powerful bike; a bigger home; more stylish clothes; a better return on my investments; a more exotic vacation; a more influential position; a more impressive body, etc.?

Have you ever noticed that those dreams often seem so shallow by the time you finish your daily reading of the Bible? As you sit in quiet contemplation – thinking of all Christ endured to save you, with your eyes brimming with tears, don’t those desires seem a little cheap and even slightly selfish?

Focus your binoculars on Paul, Silas and Timothy. It seems just now that they are in a huddle, late at night, with the candle burning. What has captured their attention?  The price of Armani cuff-links in the CitySlicker Quarterly? Or, is it the latest Cheetah Chariots magazine?

Peek through the keyhole. Who is Priscilla and Aquila meeting with in their home? Their interior decorator, a fashion consultant or their stock broker?  Or maybe it’s a VP from the Corinthian Coliseum dropping by to give them a good price on a Corporate Box for the upcoming games.

David writes about the people of the world who have their fun and bit of sun in this life.

Men of the world whose portion is in this life… Psalm 17:14

We need to bring our desires and plans under the microscope of God’s Word and His purposes for us.  To serve Him more faithfully and His people more effectively, we may, in fact, need something that’s bigger or better or newer. But really, is that my motive for wanting what I want just now?

Our neighbours don’t have Christ to satisfy the longings of their hearts and they are not thinking about their portion in eternity.  They are preoccupied and short sighted – thinking only about their portion in this life. They are operating according to the principles of the “men of the world.”

The Golden Psalm of David says:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup… Psalm 16:5

I wonder if Asaph, in Psalm 73, went from bowed knees to jumping feet after his time alone with God in the sanctuary.  He was going through a tough time as a believer. (We all have them.) Everybody else around him was moving forward but his life seemed to be much less exciting. “Why bother trying to honour the Lord? Sinners get all the breaks – while I’m up against the wall – at a standstill!”

Yes, Asaph was ready to call it quits. Thankfully, he got alone with God. And, it never fails: his thinking changed. He discovered that the people of the world are heading to hell – a place of great anguish. The only good time they will ever experience is the here and now – but then they perish eternally.

Asaph concluded:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Spending time with my Bible and in prayer can really give me a 180-degree shift in my thinking.

As a believer I have every reason to make different choices than the world around me. My portion is Christ and Christ forever.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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