Friday, July 13, 2012

Gift or Giver, Which Do You Want?

The other day my wife came in the door from grocery shopping.  She did our twice a month run for food, toiletries, and diapers (we buy diapers in BULK).  While she was gone my oldest, Drew (4 years old), asked over and over again where mommy was (she had left to go shopping during his nap).  I assured him that mommy was shopping and would return soon.  He said over and over again, “I miss mommy” (he’s very dramatic sometimes).
Finally, when she came in the door she told Drew that she had gotten him Toy Story shampoo.  From that moment on he was focused.  He had to find the Toy Story shampoo in the flock of bags.  He didn’t think another second about his mom (and definitely not his dad).  He was focused on what mommy brought home for him, not mommy.
Mark 3.7-9
[7] Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea [8] and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. [9] And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 
Do you see what the people were doing? There were huge crowds following Jesus from every corner of Israel.  They were coming out of the woodwork to see Jesus.  They wanted to be near Him, they wanted just to touch Him for a second.  Why?
Mark 3.10
[10] for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 
The people pressed in on Jesus so much so that Jesus wanted a boat so that they couldn’t crush him.  They pressed Him to get near to Him.  They wanted to be close to Him.  But they didn’t want Him…they wanted what He could give to them.  They didn’t want the person of Jesus, they wanted the healing that He could give.  They didn’t want His face and what He was teaching, they wanted their lame healed, their sicknesses taken away, and their demons cast out.  They didn’t want Him.
Can You Identify?
I’d like to be very pious right now and say that this is NEVER me, but I can’t…I do the same thing.  If I’m really honest, I get caught up in what Jesus can do for me and what I “need” Him to do for me. My walk with God looks more like a bunch of Justin Bieber groupies pining for an autograph rather than seeking God’s face to know Him and make Him known.  I imagine I’m not the only one out there.
An (Embarrassing) Exercise:
  • Take out a sheet of paper or open a document.
  • Make a list of your most recent prayer requests or things you “need” God to do for you.  Be honest, no one sees this but you and God.
  • Look the list over:
    • Is it stuff for you that would make you happier?
    • Is it asking to know Him more?
Do you feel like a Jesus groupie or a Jesus follower?  At the end of my list I’d have to write groupie.  I don’t want to be that though.  I want to be a follower who is about KNOWING Jesus not just trying to get stuff from Him.
There isn’t anything wrong with pouring out your needs and desires to God. He wants you to, but if that’s all you do then you are missing the point.  You are being a 4 year old who is looking for Toy Story shampoo.  I don’t want to love the Toy Story shampoo, I want to love the person who brings me the Toy Story shampoo.
What about you?
Christ is all,

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