May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Years ago I read a devotional by Bill Gothard entitled “The Overlooked Requirements for Riches, Honor, and Life”. He noted that in survey after survey there are three perennial top responses to the question, ‘What do you desire most?’ Things most desired are, financial security, respect/popularity/renown, and health/longevity. His focus in the devotional was on the Scriptural priority of learning “Humility and the Fear of the Lord” which he noted to be the forgotten or “overlooked” components of gaining things most desired by men. He took his text from Proverbs 22:4 - By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life. Sinful man has ever abused the basic desires for resource, respect, and life. Yet these desires, in proper balance, are not evil. In fact, they are God-given. The problem exists in that man focuses on seeking and attaining these things (the gifts) without seeking, knowing, and living in right relationship with the Lord (the Giver).
During lent we are called to commit afresh to two basic Christian principles, humility and repentance. Dear Christian, though you may naturally desire to be secure and healthy and respected, I call you to turn away from that focus. Set your priority on serving God and others. We are called to a holy conversation (manner of living) and godliness (2 Peter 3:11). May God give us grace to live in and focus upon those holy priorities. Remember, the preeminent way we serve others is to direct them to Christ! You might even say that witnessing of Christ by word and deed is the primary purpose of the Christian!
The LORD bless you, and keep you. The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace .(Numbers 6:24-26)
In Our Savior’s Service Together!
Rev. Dan Gilmore