Friday, August 22, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Jeremiah 24:4-7
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 'For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 'I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
I feel like Israel today. Verse seven's "a heart to know Me" hits how in a special way this morning, for I was up in the wee hours of this morning wrestling with the selfishness remaining in my heart. I had an analogy run through my mind where giving the believer Spirit-informed conscience was like giving a corporate manager stock options. On our own, we're going to be selfish and do what we want to do, rather than what the Owner wants us to do, for we're more concerned about our pay and our perks rather than the well-being of the firm. When we have a stake in the firm, our well-being is linked to how the company does and we're more likely to do things in the Owner's interest, for it is now in our own interest. A Spirit-informed conscience has us hurting when God hurts and joyful when God is joyful. When we're selfish and doing things that aren't in God's interest, our conscience hurts. It becomes in our best interest not to sin, for the pleasure we get from the sin in outweighed by the pain it causes our conscience. We've got a stake in God's business and are acting like co-owners of the family business as co-heirs with Jesus. I'm still selfish. I'm still looking out after my best interest. However, when God's best interest becomes your best interest, it winds up making a virtue out of acting selfishly.

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