“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

ALTHOUGH GOD’S GIFTS ARE GIVEN FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT, THEY’RE ALSO GIVEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS. There is an important sense in which the good things of God have been given to us as a stewardship or a trust. We’ve been entrusted with these things on the assumption that they’re to be used to accomplish His purposes. It is a serious misappropriation of God’s grace to spend it all on endeavors that are simply self-centered.

Even when we see the importance of seeking God, we often don’t see the importance of our motives in seeking Him. Yet this is a matter that must be carefully considered. When we seek God, why do we do so? Is it, first and foremost, in order to be rightly related to Him so that we can make the contribution He wants us to make within the web of relationships we’re a part of? Or is it simply to get what we want for ourselves so we can have the kind of life we prefer? No matter how diligently we seek God, the outcome will always hinge on our motives. God’s blessings must be seen as furthering His purposes, not our own agenda.

One of the most impressive things about the apostle Paul was the purity of his motives in helping others. Toward the end of his life he wrote to one church, “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:23,24). And to another church, he simply said, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15). It’s no coincidence that a man with this kind of motivation found himself endowed with great resources from God.

Concerning Himself, Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). As He carried out His mission, there were times when He needed support and sustenance. We read of a time when “angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:11). He never failed to be helped when He needed help, because He never failed to use His Father’s gifts for their proper purpose.

“God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters” (John Henry Jowett).

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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