Back to the Start

IMG_2988I haven’t been to the gym (nor am I planning on going) but I bet you money they’re busting at the seams right now.  Resolutions to get in shape, to lose weight, to fit into those old jeans are driving memberships through the roof.  Me?  I ate pizza for lunch.

The new year always begins with a bang.  Everyone of us, in one way or another, takes stock of where we are, where we thought we’d be, and where we’d like to be when the calendar rolls over with a new last number.  Some are militant about it, others philosophical, while others act like they don’t care at all (liars).  There’s something about that number change that stirs something in us all.

As I said in my last post, I’ve been taking stock of where I am in my relationship with the Lord since the year began.  I pray you have been doing the same.  Today, as I was reading in Genesis, this verse hit me:

And he (Abram) went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai.” Gen. 13:3

This return took place after Abe had journeyed down to Egypt (foolishly) and lied about his wife to Pharaoh.  He went down to Egypt because there was a famine in the land God promised to give him.  He was looking to the world to help him, instead of looking to the Lord.  Not a good year for Abe, I must say.

So what did he do? Did he go out and try to find new land?  Did he go in search of another god? Did he leave his wife to find another?  No!  He went back to where it all began.  He went back to where God called him to go.

In this new year, how many of us are seeking satisfaction, comfort, solace, hope, etc. in every place the world has to offer?  Instead, we should around, go back to the start, and seek it from the only One Who can truly give it: God.

There’s a reason the gym will be empty in 3 weeks.  The jeans still won’t fit you in 2 months.  The new car won’t complete you, and neither will the new “friend.” As Solomon wisely stated, it’s all vanity.  Well…it’s all vanity if it’s not founded in and upon Christ.

So this year, as you walk out your resolutions, as we all try to make changes (cause let’s face it folks, none of us have it all together!), why not make one that will truly change you?  Why not return to the lover of your soul, the One Who died that you might have life?  Or, if you’ve never turned His way before, why not try? You’ve tried everything else.

So let’s go back to the start.

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3 thoughts on “Back to the Start

  1. A good post Matt. So, I am curious what your thoughts are on evangelizing to people who genuinely don’t see a greater goal in life than simply getting enough money to live “comfortably” all of the time. I had a discussion with a co-worker the other day, and I was finding it very hard to get the point across that Christ is the only true and real lasting purpose and joy we need. His counter: money makes things easier to deal with (which in a wordly way, he is right). What are we to say as Christians when a person just straight up doesn’t get it? Now obviously the Holy Spirit has to move in this person’s life to truly change him, I understand that. What I have a hard time dealing with these days, and not just in this one example, is people understanding what I am saying, but simply not having any use for it. It’s as if people are so used to hearing the Christian story that it has become completely void of any real meaning or value. Anyway, these are just a few thoughts of mine. Any real life examples or advice would be appreciated, as you are, after all, my senior brother in Christ.

    • Joe,

      Thanks for stopping by. This morning, we had our men’s breakfast at church, and we were in James 5, and I couldn’t help but be struck by the irony of getting your question right before we went in. James has some pretty scathing remarks for people (in the church, mind you!) that look to money as the be all and end all. He makes the point that their gold and silver will corrode, implying that it wasn’t real gold and silver to begin with! It’s a false treasure! It’s passing away! Jesus warned us not to store up treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, but rather store up treasure in heaven that will NEVER decay!

      There is a growing coldness to the things of God in our world, and I’d say especially in our nation. We have grown complacent in our comfort. Your co-worker, from a worldly perspective, is simply voicing what many (even in the church) believe: money solves everything. And outwardly, perhaps for a while, it will seem to be true. We live (still) in the most prosperous time in history. We have conveniences galore that people, even a few years ago, could only dream of! Many, if not most, people, like your co-worker, see this life as all there is. As the old saying goes, “he who dies with the most toys wins.” I just want to have a good job, a nice house, a car and take care of my family. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And money certainly helps.

      However, what happens when the job ends? What happens when your wife gets sick, and there isn’t enough money to fix it. What happens when your world is turned upside down? What happens when you die and stand before God? This is the one thing that we will all face, yet its the one thing we prepare the least for!

      I believe, if people will be truly honest, then they will face these issues. Trouble is, most of us don’t want to think about them. We want to stay in our bubble.

      In the end, no one comes to the Father unless the Spirit draws him, as you said. We have to continue to be faithful to share the truth and shine the Light of the Gospel into ever place we see the darkness. The result is up to the Lord, but we must continue to be faithful to share. Don’t lose heart, bro! Keep telling them about Jesus! You don’t know what that seed might bring forth!

  2. Matt,

    Your words are meaningful and encouraging. I agree with what you have said, and please remember me in your prayers brother. Be blessed!

    grace and peace,
    Joseph

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