August 31, 2014
(Jesus said) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
What do you want? What are you looking for?
Those questions were easy to answer when you were a child. Children know what they want. In no uncertain terms they'll tell you and anyone else who will listen. That's why, every year, Santa gets letters like "Dear Santa, last year I got a sister instead of a bike. Maybe some other boy wanted a sister and got my bike. We have kept the sister, but I'd still like a bike."
Children know what they want. But the older we get, the harder it is to find a good answer to that question. We probably shouldn't be surprised. The search to find an answer to what we want is age old. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve didn't know what they wanted. They thought they wanted knowledge and to be like God. But when they ate of the forbidden fruit, they found sin and death.
Since then, countless others have searched for and been eluded by the answers to this grand question. Their frustration can be summed up in the words of Solomon. In Ecclesiastes, he wrote, "Meaningless, Meaningless!" ... Everything is meaningless" (See Ecclesiastes 1:2). That was Solomon's verdict, and Solomon was a very smart man.
So, what do we want? What are we looking for? Can government give us the answers? Some leaders act as if they can. Every year countless laws are enacted, but people don't seem to be any more content, do they? Yes, government would like to give us the answers, but it isn't able. Advertisers think they know what we want. They believe their products can answer any and every want and need of humankind. Sadly, the myriad number of items being offered on eBay, Craigslist, and garage sales tell me the promises made by stuff just don't deliver.
So, what do you want? What are you looking for? Most people would say, "I want a joy-filled life." Yes, they want it, but those same folks would admit they haven't found it. Dreams remain unfulfilled, and they carry burdens as if they were glued to their souls. That's because, inside of each of us, sin and Satan have introduced a cancerous corruption that keeps us from finding what we're looking for.
So, what are we to do?
Jesus supplies the answer: "Seek first the kingdom of God." When a person does that, and when the Holy Spirit gives them faith in the crucified and ever-living Redeemer, they find the joy-filled life for which they have longed. Knowing that, Paul could confidently write to the church in Galatia: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness" (Galatians 5:22).
Yes, God's redeemed people have joy. How could it be otherwise? In Jesus their sins are forgiven, their eternal home is secure, and they have the confidence the Savior will be always by their sides, providing assistance, direction, help and hope.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that, in Jesus, I have been given all I need. May I reflect to others the joy that comes from faith in the Savior who gives me what I need and what I should always want. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries