Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. OíConnor
Main thought: to examine what true riches really are.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Whole Chapter: Romans 14 In context: Romans 14:16-18)
What is it that builds depth of character? Is it the things we have, or is the things we become? Is it what we know from our heads or what we know from our hearts? Is it the miraculous that happens to our bodies of clay or the miraculous that happens to our hearts?
Many people find themselves chasing after the fruits of life without realizing that the fruits will never be obtained without us becoming fruit trees of life in Christ. And that will never happen if our pride hasnít experienced its own death so that we may rise to newness of life with Him.
Matthew 7:21-23 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Notice in the following text those who will follow others because they have witnessed with their eyes the miraculous; Acts 8:11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. (Whole Chapter: Acts 8 In context: Acts 8:10-12) Acts 8:9-13 9Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." 11They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
And, not only are there those who will follow after the miraculous when they are of satan, but also when they are of God; John 6:2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. (Whole Chapter: John 6 In context: John 6:1-3)
Could it be then that is why God says to Thomas what he does in John 20:24-29 24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Notice verse 29 ďBecause you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.Ē God realizes that it is not the seeing with the eyes that produces depth of character, but itís the seeing with the heart. Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Whole Chapter: Ephesians 1 In context: Ephesians 1:17-19) The miraculous didnít build depth of character when God led Israel out of Egypt any more than it will today. And yet, there are those who get so consumed with looking for the miraculous that they totally miss the heart of God and that is He desires relationship with each one of us. His heartís desire is not for us to delight ourselves in His Power, His creativity, His Wisdom, or His Holiness, but in Him! Those that emphasize His Power, emphasize the miraculous, those that emphasize his creativity emphasize nature, those that emphasize Wisdom emphasize the accumulation of knowledge of His Word, Those that emphasize Holiness, emphasize living a Holy life, but those that emphasize The Heart of God, His Son, grow in perfect balance with their heart not centered on the attributes of God, but on God Himself! God will be the one Who will then perfectly develop those traits of Himself within us exactly as they should be.
Who do you think will inherit the kingdom of God? Those who are seeking only the kingdom of God with all of its indescribable beauty will miss the most beautiful thing of all and that is God Himself. Knowing Him and growing in relationship with Him is more wonderful and beautiful than all the streets of gold or the gates of pearl. And that will be for whom the kingdom of God is for, not for those seeking it, but for those seeking Him! Our relationship with Him is more valuable to Him than all of the beauties He has made. Our wealth will be in direct proportion to how much He has been the focus of our hearts and not the things of Him. Oh, how we rob ourselves because we donít take the time to listen to His Heart.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving each and every one of us more than we can fathom, teach us how to spend time with You so that You may develop the beauty of Your Son in us. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen.
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