Dream Word – PURSUE
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” NKJV
Nothing great is easy
“As we stood face to face I compared the fine handsome sailor I had first met with the broken-spirited and terribly altered appearance of the man who now courted death in the whirlpool rapids. His object was not suicide but money and imperishable fame.”So was the comment of Mr. Robert Watson regarding his long time friend, Captain Matthew Webb, who was soon to die in the Whirlpool below Niagara Falls, as he pursued his $24,000 swimming attempt at fame and fortune.
It was today in 1875 that Captain Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel. Covered in porpoise oil, beginning at Dover he appeared out of the waves some 21 hours and 45 minutes later, wading ashore at Calais. From this point on Webb became a legend in his own lifetime. The winning of other worldwide professional swimming races, coupled with extensive foreign lecture tours, brought in both the kudos and the cash this other Shropshire lad so evidently craved.
No doubt, being almost assuredly aware of this grim attempt of his at Niagara Falls, he was heard to say to himself, “If I die, they will take care of my wife.”Die he did and they found Webb’s body way downstream, some four days after the start of his ill-fated swim. His head had been smashed by the raging whirlpool current into the jagged rocks below the surface. Webb had pierced himself and his family through with many sorrows.
Captain Webb’s personal motto was “Nothing Great is Easy.” How true, yet this legend’s focus was in fact rooted in the passing greatness of worldly fame and fortune and when these two seas come together in any man’s heart friend, they will rip his hull in two. Our text for this evening says that the love of money and all its associated fortunes and fame is like impaling yourself on a roasting spit and torturing your own soul in all its attending, like licking flames. So we glean from our text tonight, that such a double death pursuance, is indicative of a shooting star grossly off its course and destined for adverse grief, for severe and piercing, pounding and penetrating sorrow! Interestingly enough this same Greek word for “piercing” is translated as “falling” in Acts 27:41, where we read. “And ‘falling’ into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.” What a picture for tonight, regarding the pursuit of fortune and fame, regarding the pursuit and love of money. “Doing this,” says the Scriptures, “is like swimming through a whirlpool of pounding seas, it is like impaling yourself upon jagged destruction, it is an eventual drowning in grief, it is the imploding of your life, leaving it like broken and washed up wreckage on the shores of your epitaph.”
Now the Bible could not be any clearer on the destructive and deathly results of the final outcome of this love of money and this pursuit of all the confidence and comfort of this world’s goods. Nevertheless, I tell you friends, the older I get and the less I have of money and of worldly security, the stronger becomes the desperate pull of this mad pursuance. The more I see my contemporaries seemingly settled and safe, then the more this measuring madness rises up within me. The possibility of deserting Christ and His call, of seeking my financial security rather than His Kingdom grows stronger in me with each passing day.
It is easier as a young man to be sold out to Christ, when the seeming safety of time yet to pass, allows the possibility of there to be yet some gathering in. Ah, but when time passes and all the planting seasons with it, when others’ crops are gathered in before your watching eyes, it is hard then not to sell out Christ and it is easy to bear the sad and now pale and poxy face, of a once strong faith now gone. “As we stood face to face I compared the fine handsome sailor I had first met with the broken-spirited and terribly altered appearance of the man who now courted death in the whirlpool rapids. His object was not suicide but money and imperishable fame.”
As we get older the call of Christ must get louder. As we get older the pull of His kingdom must get stronger, as we get older the focus of our eyes must get more laser-like and then, like old war horses, we must be blinkered in the slips so that no distraction should take our feet from the sure path we have been walking on for so long.
Where is your focus tonight, young person? Where is your focus tonight old man? Do you hear the rush of water and the pounding of waves, are you in the thrashing middle of the crush of two seas clapping their salty hands around your ears? Remember, “Nothing Great is Easy”, but consider and consider well, just what it is, that is God’s considered greatness!
Listen: “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:11-16
Pray: Lord, some of us tonight are desperate enough to throw ourselves under Niagara Falls. Lord some of us tonight have thoroughly lost our focus. Would You please once again throw into our lives that ever buoyant promise, of seeking first Your kingdom and with it, the promise of the addition of all things necessary for this life and this calling of Yours on ours. Help us tonight Lord to get that ring of rescue around our waist and underneath our armpits, then will You lift us safely from these raging torrents and deliver us safe to Your most settled shores of goodness, we pray this in Jesus name, amen!
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