here are the slides from this week > clear eyes 6 – balloons

A 30-year mentor of mine told me before we left for our anniversary trip, “Remember the secret to marriage – try to out serve each other”.  That stuck with me all throughout the trip.  To put my needs aside and to serve her.  To serve without condition or payback.  To do so lovingly and happily.  Those thoughts convicted me.  Am I doing this?  Am I living for her … or me?

2 Cor 5:15 – “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Paul is reminding us that the DNA of sin is selfishness.  Sin causes us to ignore God’s existence and His rightful claim on every area of my life.  Because God is not in His rightful place in my living – that is, in the center of it all (see the slides).  I then insert myself in that place.  My life becomes all about me.  The borders of my concern go little further than my concerns for me.  I reduce my focus down to the small spaces of my wants, my needs, and my feelings.  I make it all about me.  The desires of my heart are gobbled up by my ease, my comfort, my pleasure and my success.  I want what I want and when I get what I want, I am happy.  At least for a little while.

You can keep going and keep chasing “life” in this world.  More adventure, more comfort, more stuff, bigger TVs, nicer cars, more fulfillment, more satisfaction.  You chase all you want but you’re never going to be satisfied.  You never get “there”.  You can have all the sex you ever imagined, and it’ll never be enough.  You can have all the money you ever thought you’d need, and you’d quickly find out, you want more.  It is always the quest for more, more, more.

The reflective question for us as we’re chasing all these things is this – “Where is your treasure?  What is it that you value the most?”

You need to realize that whatever your “It” is in your life, if you achieve it, you will eventually lose it.  We all will.

We chase life.  We chase false gods.  We look to things that are dying to provide us life.  We blow up “balloons” of money, sex, status, reputation, attention, of being noticed, of being considered weighty, of being revered as brilliant in our profession.  Anything that will seemingly fill our life and make us feel complete.  We chase “It” believing “It” will provide life.  It won’t.  These balloons are blown up to make our life appear abundant and full and meaningful.

balloons

The harsh reality is this – these balloons we blow up will never last.  They, like us, will eventually die.  No one ever achieves completion in these things.  Sex will, eventually, fade away.  Power is eventually taken away – no human ever rules forever.  Your reputation will pass.  Entertainment is fleeting – times are great and parties are fun but eventually, we go back to work and reality.  Your appearance?  Your cross fit body?  Well, you know what is coming for that.  If anything, you spend your time now trying to reverse the effects of aging.

How much money is truly “enough”?  How much reputation will it take for you to be satisfied?  Sex is great but why is it that it always leaves you wanting more?  Does the act itself ever finally satiate your desire?  Can you ever get enough respect?  There are always going to be some people who don’t think you’re so great. 

Is any of it ever enough?

 

Eventually, this is what is coming for these balloons…

popping balloon

Perhaps I have your attention now.  Clear eyes on this.  It is all going away.  Where are you placing your hope?  What is the fuel for your life?  Is it the things of this world or is it the King of kings?

We’ve all got a choice today.  Will I live today with open arms or will I continue to clutch on to the things of this world (see the next post on “amazon Jesus”) ?

And hey, I get it.  I’m talking about death and in your face a bit with some of this.  You just want me to lighten up.  This is probably why preachers don’t preach about death very often.  It isn’t popular.  This is in my face too and this scripture below puts a razor focus on it.  Don’t take it from me.  Hear the Word of the LORD…

“If serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself whom you will serve.”  Joshua 24:15

Because … face it … you are either serving the LORD or you are serving these balloons, filling them up with more and more vapor trusting that they will bring you life.  They won’t.

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