Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rental Car Love Of The World

We go on living in the world and using the things of the world - but we can build no future with them, for the Cross has shattered all our hope with them.
- Watchman Nee, Love Not The World

It's funny how temptation starts.   Yesterday we took our family car to the shop to have some paint and body work done after a minor accident with an ATV/Mule a few weeks back :).   The insurance company provided us a rental car for 4 of 5 days while our car is the shop.   So in the meantime the car you see below is ours....but not really.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that though we can pretend (as we tell Maggie) it's ours, it's not.   It drives so smooth, it's a beautiful color and you don't even need a key - You just press a button and it starts!   Our garage seems to sparkle like a show room floor with this car sitting in it!

Over the next few days the temptation to "get acquainted" with this rental car will be great so I'm trying to resist even driving it;  I don't want to pour gas on the fire.  Our car is perfectly fine, in fact, it meets our needs exceedingly well - Megan and I have thanked God for it on numerous occasions.

Yet like a mirage it sits calling me to enjoy it, believe that I need it and buy into the idea that having it will quench a thirst I heretofore was unaware I even had. 

Indeed there is an ever-present temptation to buy into all that the world offers.   Christ knows that our only hope of not being overcome by our love of the world is loving Him more (1st John 4:4).  One of Jesus' many conversations provides insight as to how easily we can deceive ourselves and how grace alone can make sense of our confused hearts. 

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone.  You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"- Luke 18:18-20
The man sought Jesus' answer to the only question that really matters.  Jesus' response struck down the young man's justification by works (i.e. doing) worldview when He said, "why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone".   He then goes on to list the laws that must be kept.

But the man missed the first part of the answer Jesus gave mistakenly believing he'd kept the law "since he was a boy" and His response to Jesus' following command reveals the true nature of his heart.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
- Luke 18 22-23

In this world the equation is simple: Money = Power.   The man had considered his identity in this world more valuable than his standing in the next.   He loved wealth more than God.   In so doing he had broken the first commandment (Do not have any other gods before me. - Ex. 20:3) and what's worse, he was completely self-deceived; He was unaware that he was worshiping at the alter of self in striving to maintain his wealth and power.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1st John 2:15
But the man's idolatry was not lost on Jesus who offered the first pill in a prescription for health: Repentance (i.e. letting go of his old life, his old love, his old worldview).
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 
- Matt. 16:26
The emptiness that letting go of his power would have brought the young ruler could have only been supplanted by Christ's power in the man's heart and Jesus knew it.

There was no space for Christ as long as the man's heart was full of the love of money (power).   Christ had essentially asked for a room in 'the inn of the man's heart" but was rejected once again.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
- Luke 9:58

So he made his decision and it was a poor one.  The rich young ruler's bondage continued and thus, he walked away a sad slave and not a glad man freed by God's grace.    

This town ain't big enough for the both of us and it's not   me that's going to leave.  
- Sparks, 1974 

Letting Christ's richness fill our hearts is the only choice that pays eternal dividends and draws us into a life free of the love of money and power that twists hearts and relationships spreading only and always destruction.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
- Hel­en H. Lem­mel

This is why, though we have already been captured by His finished work on the cross, we seek Christ, that in so doing He will loose the world's grip on our hearts that are so often prone to roam.   


This Week and Next:

* Tyler Men's Gathering - 7am Wednesday AM - Kings Cross Chapter 5
    2 American Center, 5th Floor (Ritcheson Law Firm)

* The Magills - Saturday May 21st - 7:30pm-11pm - The Freeman's Backyard Concert Series in South Tyler.   Shoot me an email if you're interested (mpmagill@gmail.com)

* Tyler Men's Gathering - 12pm Monday @ Dakota's - Kings Cross Chapter 6
    5377 S. Broadway (back room on the left)

* Saturday May 28th - The Magills w/ The In-Laws and Outlaws @ Chandler Cityfest 4pm-7pm


1 comment:

  1. Any garage with this car would sparkle like a star! I hope you get your car fixed soon. Well, I hope you enjoy your ride for now. =)

    -Tyra Shortino