Friday, November 27, 2015

What Are You Looking For?

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.                             --Jude 20-21
                                                                                                                                           
As I write this post, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Most people will at least think about the things they are thankful for, and some will share that list around a table loaded with food. But, if we’re honest, most people are not very grateful the other 364 days of the year. Why is that? I believe it is because they are looking for something they will never find.

Some are looking for wealth. They work 60-plus hours per week, squirrel away what they don’t spend on luxuries, and hope that someday they can retire to a life of leisure. Some are looking for love. They go online seeking dates or marriage, or maybe they go out to the clubs, hoping to meet Mr. Right. Some even stay with Mr. Wrong, simply because they do not want to be alone. Others don’t really know what they are looking for, but they know that they are not content, and they won’t be until they figure it out, find it, and get it.

The problem here is not that no one ever gets what they are looking for. The problem is that they are not looking for the one thing that can bring them the contentment they crave: The mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. As our passage above tells us, we are to be looking for the mercy of Christ unto eternal life.

As believers, what is the reason that we are not motivated to look for that mercy? Because we have not done the things listed in the words right before this. We have not built ourselves up on our most holy faith because we are too busy building ourselves up on false hopes for good health, plenty of money, or the love and esteem of others. We have not taken the time to pray, and when we do it is rarely in the Holy Spirit, because that takes time. Time just to be still before the throne of God and center our minds and hearts on Him. No, our prayers are too often quick and perfunctory, just hitting the bullet points and counting on God to take care of the rest.

My dear ones, how can we keep ourselves in the love of God if we do not take the time to do these things? The answer is, we cannot. Oh, we are kept eternally in His love. If the Lord has saved you, then nothing can ever take that love away. But we miss the multiplication of His love when we don’t take the time just to be with Him. So, this Thanksgiving, my challenge is this: Instead of thinking on what you are thankful for, ask yourself why you are not a more grateful person in general? What are you looking for? How does it compare to the mercy of God unto salvation? My prayer is that, as you begin to meditate on the wonderful mercy of God, you will find the contentment you are seeking.