Lately certain verses are resonating with me.
"Blessed [happy] are the poor in spirit [the humble], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."(Matthew 6:33)
These verses speak to me because sometimes I get caught up in thinking about how I look, the clothes I wear, my hair style, make-up, the stuff I own. I have been influenced by the media that tells me that I should try to "look seven years younger" or that I need to own a certain pair of shoes, dress in fashionable clothes and look a certain way (Good Housekeeping). The truth is that I can only take this kind of thinking for so long before I break down. Experience has taught me that this is not the way to happiness or a sense of fulfillment but that this leads to feelings of futility. With this world's "water" I need to keep returning to the well time after time, Jesus however promises that "whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
Jesus knows the futility of setting my hopes and dreams on what our culture says is desirable, material goods, intellectual advancement, beauty or critical acclaim. Using these devices to fix what is wrong doesn't work because our satisfaction erodes with time and we must seek more. If I build a house out of sand adding more sand as it erodes will not fix the problem, I need to start over again using a completely different material. (Matthew 7:24-27)
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
Once in a while I forget Jesus words and I begin to build a little sand castle for myself and then Jesus reminds me of his words.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness"
The following is an old hymn. We sometimes think that hymns are out of style but I have found that they hold wisdom that is often lacking in our culture and times. I know that I have much to learn from these oracles of God.
A Hymn of Grace
THE SOLID ROCK
Keith W. Ward
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.