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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of June 18, 2018

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot wrote that in his journal shortly before giving his life on the mission field. He knew that the cost of the cause of Christ is everything you have.

However, the things you give up to Christ (e.g. control of your own life) are things you couldn't keep anyway, but the things you gain as a result of faith in Christ (e.g. eternal life) are things you cannot lose.

Jesus said, in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Everything you have here on Earth will decay and rust away -- you'll lose it all. However, what you store up in heaven you cannot lose.

The author of Ecclesiastes, who was probably King Solomon, recalled, in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, how he had done great things and accumulated much wealth. Yet, he realized that accumulation here on Earth is useless: I undertook great projects ... I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. ... I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. ... Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:4,9-11). Even though he had everything he wanted, it was all pointless, because it didn't satisfy and couldn't last.

Take some advice from these passages. Trade the things you can't keep (your life, your money, your possessions) for the things you can't lose (eternal life, righteousness, a relationship with God).

Are you seeking God's presence or His presents?

You can learn a lot about what you want simply by examining what you are praying for.

King David said, One thing I ask of the Lord ... (Psalm 27:4). He had just one thing that was important to him -- just one thing! Are you begging God for many things, or are you asking Him for just that one thing: ... that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (Psalm 27:4)?

In that psalm, David was praying that he would dwell in God's presence and seek Him. Notice that his prayer had nothing to do with getting more worldly things from God.

So, instead of begging God to give you more worldly things, pray that you would dwell in the house of the Lord, knowing that when you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, ... all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

When you seek God, He promises to take care of all the things you need! Start seeking God's presence, and He will give you His presents.

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