Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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The Bible

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First, let’s look at what Paul says, “But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8 CEV). Where did Paul come up with the idea that the “things” of this life are as nothing, from Jesus of course!  

 

In this chapter a young man ran to Jesus.  He was a very rich and he desired eternal life. But before addressing the depth of this man’s needs, Jesus looked into his heart and “loved him.”

The heart of God went out in love to this young ruler. He had his greatest good in mind when He told him, “Sell all that you have and give it to the poor.”  Jesus could see that his gold and silver would eventually weigh him down and choke out his desired “friendship” with the Master.

 

I have had the opportunity to share many, almost unbelievable, stories with people in the United States—miracle stores from around the world.  I am regularly asked, “Why don’t we see these miracles happen in this country?”  I respond by pointing to Peter and John as they stood before the paralytic on the temple steps (Acts 3:6).  The crippled man thought Peter was going to give him money, but Peter said, “I don’t have any silver and I don’t have any gold but here’s what I have . . . Then extending his hands, says to the cripple, “Arise and walk!”

 

He didn’t have silver or gold, but what did he have?  The Holy Spirit!  Peter knew God—for God was with him.  Peter finally realized that nothing was more important than his eternal friendship with Christ. Sadly, the rich young ruler would not exchange his silver or his gold for the miracle working power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

If you desire miracles to happen in and around you, you cannot seek after gold and silver.  You cannot push and shove to become the greatest in the kingdom. You cannot give lip service to Jesus.  If you do these things, you too, will leave God’s presence in sorrow. 

 

Instead, be like Bartimaeus (verse 47), who cried out for Jesus to help him in his blindness. And when the Creator answered, he cast aside his garment, his single possession, his silver and gold as it were, and fled to Jesus. He would have nothing stand in the pathway to the “Son of David.”

 

Two encounters with Jesus, two completely different results—it’s all about choice. What is your choice today? The Lord loves you and is calling you to join in fellowship with Him. Don’t let the “garbage” of this life cause you to “go away sorrowful.”

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference