I love Ann Voskamp’s blog. Her words hold a peace and wisdom you don’t often find in today’s culture. I was reading a wonderful post from her the other day on scripture memorization and some of her words really hit me hard.
Is Jesus merely useful to you–or is he ultimately beautiful to you?
When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want him to move my world.
When Jesus is ultimately beautiful to me, it’s my heart that is moved–and this begins to change the world.
When I see Jesus as useful, he’s a gadget to make my life better. When I see Jesus as beautiful, He’s a joy that makes me live better.
Am I a Jesus-user?
Or a Jesus-adorer?
Which am I? I don’t really want to answer that. It’s even hard to think about. Because if I’m really being honest, I’m a Jesus-user.
I expect him to be there for me. I want him to arrange the world to my liking, and if it’s not there, I consider it a “trial.” My heart is only rarely moved to his will. He is the band-aid that makes my broken life bearable. Not the living water who gave his life to pay the ransom for my sin. He’s the last resort, break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency God. Not Jehovah.
How am I pursuing godliness when I am only using him for my benefit? I am not taking in his beauty, his almighty power and perfection. I am not submitting myself to him or his word. What good am I if I am not tender to his word or his will?
Thinking further about this, there are two things I want this year. I pray for godliness and I pray for contentment.
For my first memory passage this year, I have chosen 1 Timothy 6:6-8.
Godliness with contentment<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”> is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
God has proved himself faithful and constant over the few years of my life. Every need and many of my wants have been provided in simple ways, even miraculous ways. He has given me so much, but I am always holding my hand out for more.
What would it look like if, instead of holding out my palm for stuff, I held out my hand for God? What would it look like to slow down life a little bit, live simply, and pursue HIM?
Paul tells Timothy this is to his gain. And not because godliness and contentment will make him rich. At least not in the way most of us would like. Godliness and contentment are to our gain because we are blessed with the richness of God’s beauty and the peace of knowing him more fully.
That is what I want this year:
Godliness and Contentment.
To become more like Jesus and trust more in his plan.
To getting what HE wants,