Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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[2] Things that grab our attention and the disciples

A Roman house with columns.Picture the scene: Jesus leaves the Temple and his disciples follow, saying things like:
“Aren’t these buildings impressive!”
“Yes, absolutely outstanding!”
“I think all the Temple trimmings make it superb!”
“What a magnificent place!”

That may not grab our attention, but it certainly was attracting their attention.
So how does Jesus answer them, as they gaze up at the impressive buildings, and as they feast their eyes on the grand Temple?

Does He say: “Yes they are wonderful buildings, but they have got to be knocked down, it′s a shame really, when you consider all those hours, those skilful craftsmen put into it?”

No, He said:

Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Man polishing his car - his pride and joy.Notice, He describes them as just ‘things’!
How many things in the world grab our attention, and worse still, how many things steal our heart?

Do we ask God to give success to our undertakings, so that God may be glorified, and that we can do good, OR that we may be enabled to eat and drink better, and to wear more desirable clothes, and to gratify our pride?
What about all the luxuries, rooms full of stuff, and what about all the electrical gadgets, and other things that entice our hearts?

James calls worldly people adulterers, because they give their best affections to other things, rather than God. (James 4)
We can also give our best affections to other people, our friends or family, rather than to God.
James writes:

You adulterous people, don′t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?”

That doesn’t mean we can′t have non Christian friends. It is a matter of priorities, number one has got to be God.

Perhaps the disciples looked at the magnificent buildings, and were ready to weep for them, because they were going to be torn down.
But Christ had wept for the people! He was concerned about the souls of men and women, and not ‘things’.

Jesus was not held, or attracted by the worlds finery.
We need to look at the things in this world, and see that they are destined to crumble, rot, fade, and disappear.
The world′s glory is just a vapour, which quickly vanishes.

But if we seek for the glory of God, that will be eternal, everlasting.
The people mentioned for their faith, in Hebrews had a correct view of this earthly life.
It says that:

..they admitted that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own – they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11

They saw themselves as strangers on the earth. There wasn’t much that they could call their own, they didn’t want to accumulate wealth and treasures, and too many things, because they were just passing through.
The time on this earth will be short, but eternity is a long, long time!

Our interest, our heart and affections, should be focused on Christ in heaven, and that′s where our savings account, and treasures should be.

Images: thanks to GSP 100,000 clipart CD

Peter Reason

December 2011

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