The Joy of the Journey: What are your motives?
As we begin this week, here are a few things to think about… When we often set space aside to fast, pray, study the Word, and meditate on the Lord, there are times when we do it based on selfish motives. It is good to have a plan of action for your time with God; however, we also need to realize that doing these things only to receive what we want is a selfish motive. In Mark Chapter 3, the crowds often followed Jesus to receive something from him.
“Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.
And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.”
Many people were crowding Jesus that day but were uninterested in getting to know Him. They were only interested in what they could get from Him. They only wanted to be healed of their diseases. Jesus, as the healer and miracle worker, was very popular, but Jesus wasn’t interested in popularity. He wanted people to hear the message behind the miracle. The Bible does say that Jesus healed many of them. He sometimes blesses us, even when we seek the blessing and not the blesser.
If we’re not careful, we can be like the people in this story. The gospel is free, but it is not cheap. The price of our salvation cost the Son of God His very life on the cross. So then, let us not be guilty of wanting the blessing and miracles but not wanting Jesus! I always tell my church there is only one miracle with no expiration date. Every miracle Jesus ever performed had an expiration date, except for one. The blind He healed, the lame, the lepers, and even those who rose from the dead (Lazarus) would eventually die. But those whom Jesus saves from their sins have experienced the most significant miracle without an expiration date. When we die, we will be with Him and other saints forever. That is the power of the gospel!
That brings me to my challenge for this week: Whatever your motives might be, can we not lay aside the list of things we are praying about and seek a deeper relationship with Christ? When we spend time in prayer and the Word of God, can we not make a conscious effort to know Jesus and draw closer to Him more profoundly? Could we not make it our desire to know the one in whom all blessings flow? We can have joy in our journey when we know the source of that joy. Take time today to refocus on the ways of the Lord, for when we seek Him first and His kingdom, all other things are taken care of.
In His Love