Psalm 34:14 - "Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
1 Timothy 6:11 - "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."
What shall we pursue today and this weekend? May God help us to pursue what is truly valuable!
A couple years ago, our young church member, Sydney Estill went to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to work in a protection zone for the critically endangered Black Rhino. Sydney's trip reminded me of what I learned years ago as to why Black Rhinos are almost extinct in the wild, with barely 5,000 remaining. The reason for their downfall is that people keep pursuing and killing the Black Rhino to get its large, front horn, and the tragedy in this is that the Black Rhino's horn is worthless in substance because it's made of the exact same material as human hair and finger nails. In essence, people are wasting a lot of time, endangering their own lives, and threatening the end to a beautiful creature because they're pursuing something that, in substance, is worthless.
Such pursuit of the Black Rhino's horn is a tragic parable for what many people will do today and this weekend, namely, waste a lot of time, endanger their own souls, and threaten the end of the beautiful creatures they influence by pursuing things that are worthless.
But God calls us, in today's Bible verses, to turn away from, even flee from, worthless pursuits, and calls us instead to pursue peace, righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.
Every man, woman, boy, and girl, should ask the question each morning, "What am I ultimately pursuing today?" And if we go a small step farther each day and ask God to help us see the true worth of our pursuits, the Living God, who is a God of clarity, will help us to truly see our pursuits for what they are, namely, a worthy and lasting pursuit or not. And then if we ask Him, God will gladly help us to not only shape and mold what we pursue but also our motives and reasons for our pursuits so that our own lives both are truly worth living and also serve to encourage the same substantial reasons in others!
Dear God, please help us to "turn away from evil and do good; [to] seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14) and to "flee [worthless] things [and instead] pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11). Amen
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson