So much more than a bowl of candy
Our son "cleaned up," as it were, for Halloween. He was going to go to a party with friends, but that didn't materialize, so he went around town looking for people to give out candy. And he came home with a 13 pound sack of it! He poured it out and we sorted through and counted. Nearly 300 pieces! He told us he wanted to eat it in a week, but we kinda figured that 40 pieces a day was a bit much.
When we were children, we would look at a big pile of candy and think, "It doesn't get any better than this!" Of course, we grow older, and that comment is reserved for nice cars, nice houses, and nice vacations. Yet the Lord has more than we can even ask or think in store for us (see Ephesians 3:20). He says in Isaiah 55:2, "Why do you spend money on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and you will enjoy the choicest of foods" (HCSB). Now that doesn't mean that enjoying candy or even something more than that is not good. But if that's what excites us most, we are missing out on so much. C. S. Lewis said it so well in his sermon, "The Weight of Glory":
It would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We
are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when
infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud
pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday
at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
So what is it about the things of earth that captivate us and take our minds from the riches, the overflowing? Satan wants us to focus on those things. "What if there's no God"? he tempts. "This fruit will give you all you could possibly need and want." And so we get the candy, the car, the house, the vacation, and think we're doing well. But we fall so far short.
At times, our perceptions are totally backwards. I received an e-mail about an article in the Barnabas Fund about 3 Christian girls who were beheaded, and one who was seriously injured. One of the heads was found outside a church, leading police to suspect a religious motive. Possibly Islamic militants committed the murders.
These girls must have known the danger they placed themselves in by proclaiming their Christianity. Maybe they had some candy in their lives, but I would imagine that thoughts of expensive cars and houses and jewelry were beyond possibility in their eyes. The murderers perhaps thought they were earning favor with the false god Allah, and keeping the girls from any hope of reward. How I wish they could see the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2) these girls are now enjoying. They are at the Lord's table rejoicing in His presence and tasting of His goodness. Those poor fools who murdered them are like the Laodicean church. The Lord scolded them for thinking they had all they needed. In Revelation 3:17, He says:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that
you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (ESV).
Remember, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Whatever the murderers and their victims had possessed in riches or lack thereof, God blessed or cursed them according to how they saw Him. The girls saw (I should say "see") Him as Lord and Savior, and He has showered them with unspeakable joy and love. I pray the murderers will one day turn to Jesus, but if they keep thinking that their current path is going to lead them to glory, they are very mistaken. They will acquire more and more riches and glory according to their perverted beliefs, but in God's eyes will be "wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."
OK, I'll admit it. If my stepson allows me to I'll have a couple pieces of candy tonight. But God willing, I'll see at as a small example of how God so richly pours down His blessings upon us.
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Tags: Halloween, Jesus, Bible, Indonesia, crime, success, destiny, C. S. Lewis