In my lifetime, have seen and experienced love’s embrace. This week I was looking through the plethora of plastic that I carry in my wallet and once again my heart skipped a beat. No, I didn’t find an extra twenty, but a small piece of plastic that was given me over 40 years ago by my high school sweetheart. She picked it up on a field trip in some souvenir shop, dropped it in a card and handed it to me upon her return. But I still carry it today. It says, “Precious things are very few, that must be why there’s just one you!” For those of you who are not in the know, yes I married her! My point is, that though many a year has passed love has grown and still causes my heart to stir today. Still, after all these years, we are the object of each others affection.
The old adage, you always hit what you are aiming for comes true in life and in love. George Barna, discussing worldviews says it this way, you do what you think. According to Solomon, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” So, what’s the object of your affection?
We can get into a lot of trouble when the main thing is no longer the main thing. Out of focus living can cause us to go so far as to forget why we are even here. Pastor James Boice told the story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, “Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark.” Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging up at home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, “I didn’t come up here to read.” When we forget the true object of the game of life we are in danger of striking out! So just what is the object of our affection?
The prophet Micah said, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Listen closely to what the word of God instructs us. Number one, “do Justly.” In other words, do what’s right. Not just when people are watching but especially when only God is aware. Secondly we are to love mercy. Mercy, which is not getting what we deserve, is something that we are to love. We are to not only want others to know the love of God but we are to do what we can to help bring that relationship about.
Lastly we are to walk humbly with God. Don’t miss the word with! Simply supposing to walk with God is of none effect if we do so without genuine humility. A perfect love toward God can only exist when we get ourselves out of the way. James wrote, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” And Peter would echo, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction—or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late. Many a life has been shipwrecked because the true object of life was out of focus or overlooked. John Wesley once said, “I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.” What is the object of your affection?
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Regional Director for Church Ministries he can be reached at 740-935-1406