We must want what is good with all of our hearts. Like our Lord who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,” we must be moved primarily by joy and hope. The prospect of one day seeing God’s face must be the main part of our strength.
Just as surely as any work of art ever revealed the heart of the artist, God’s creative work tells us that He is a God of love. A world like the one we live in could not have been made by a God who did not take delight in beauty and joy.
Let us not trifle with our responsibilities, but let us also not forget the manifold goodnesses of God that have made us want to accept those responsibilities. When the final tally is made, our labor will matter little if it was not a labor of love.
Honesty about our yearnings and our guilt is not easy. But the good news is that it leads to an appreciation of grace in which God can save us. Hope can only be ours when we admit that our hearts will never be completely healed in this world.
The very worst disadvantage of the cluttered life is that being at peace and growing in our relationship with God become almost impossible. Perhaps there are a few who could manage such a juggling act, but not many of us can do so.
What if we find ourselves, as most of us do, already among the affluent? Then we need to be honest about the difficulties and dangers that face us, and we need to do whatever it takes to compensate for the disadvantage of our possessions.
There aren’t many Christians who wouldn’t say that God is their most valuable treasure. But where is the evidence of that? The real location of our treasure is most easily discovered by looking at where we invest most of our energy and enthusiasm.
God’s patience is great, but it is not open-ended. Sooner or later, our opportunity for repentance will be interrupted. This is not a matter of “if” — it is only a matter of “when.” We are encouraged, therefore, to seek God while He may be found.
What if we don’t see our need for God? If our hearts tell us that our desire is less than it should be, what can we do? We can begin by “desiring to desire” God. We can at least make the choice to lay down our rebellion against Him.
If we find ourselves failing consistently to obey God and to enjoy the good things that come from obedience, then it’s time to stop trimming the leaves of the tree and strike at the taproot of the problem: our lack of love for God and other people.