Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, June 3, 2022

Blessings of Hope tent
Last evening we attended a fund-raising banquet sponsored by "Blessings Of Hope", a local food distribution ministry that has grown immensely in recent years. It was held in this large circus type tent on property they are developing for yet another expansion.

"The Desires For Other Things"

Message summary: I regularly deal with "the desires for other things" in my life and expect this will continue to be a challenge for the rest of my life!

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“And others are the ones sown with seed among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things enter and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4:18,19).  "One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple" (Psalm 27:4). "One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13,14).

In the last two messages we have been considering three choking thorns (weeds) that Jesus taught about in the parable of the sower; the first two being the worries of the world (Wednesday's message) and the deceitfulness of wealth (Thursday's message).

The final thorn (weed) Jesus mentioned that has a choking impact on the newly germinated seed is “the desires for other things". All throughout history mankind has had a desire for these “other things”, beginning at the Fall when the desired "other thing" was the forbidden fruit.

Jesus does not specify what these other things are and the lack of specificity assures that this is a timeless message applying to all generations. I can’t smugly read the passage and feel "that sure doesn’t apply to me". Indeed I regularly deal with the desires for other things and expect this will continue to be a challenge for the rest of my life!

Spurgeon asserts that "all things except the things of Christ and of the Father are ‘other things’.  If anybody spends his life on any object, however good, short of the glory of God, the good seed is choked by the 'inferior' object."

F.B Meyer sees these other things as the "strong and inordinate desires for what may be right in itself, but which we follow with extravagant zest. What is right in itself may become wrong if we put it in God’s place, and allow it to monopolize us unduly."

Let us be thankful for our material blessings, abilities, learned skills, and variety of interests and whatever the "other things" may be that God has given to each of us. It certainly makes our lives here below more comfortable and pleasurable. It also gives us common ground with others who share similar interests.

At the same time we must be careful to submit our desires for these "other things" to Christ so that He will help us with proper prioritization, lest the other things become choking weeds. Above all, may the pursuit of following Jesus be the passion and desire of our hearts, as these "other things" fit into His plan for our lives in their proper place.

David in Psalm 27 expresses the singular focus that honors God, "One thing I ask from the Lord". Paul in Philippians 3 writes of his focus, "One thing I do".

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we submit to You our desire for those things that might be derived from our studies, our abilities, our interests, our accumulation of material things or anything else that makes us who we are.  We want to be careful to seek You above everything else, submitting these “other things” to You so they will be of blessing to us and useful for Your kingdom.  When they compete for our allegiance they choke out the vibrant growing relationship we have with You and soon make our lives unfruitful which can lead to a spiritual death.  Instead we want our hearts to be cultivated ground so that the good seed of the Word may take root and produce a great harvest of spiritual fruit to Your praise and glory, Father. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Yes I Will "   Video   Vertical Worship  "I count on one thing..."

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  Video   The Glorious Christ Live

Jesus, to You we lift our eyes
Jesus, our glory and our prize
We adore You, behold You, our Savior ever true
Oh Jesus, we turn our eyes to You

Blessings of Hope tent table friends
Blessings Of Hope banquet table friends last night.
Aaron Fisher, who founded the ministry is talking with us.

Blessing of Hope prayer for leaders
Praying for the founder, Aaron Fisher, and his dedicated family as the gathering concluded.

Lloyd and Mary Ann Miller
We always see many friends at these kinds of events including Lloyd and Mary Ann Miller. We first met Mary Ann many years ago through Daily Encouragement and went on to serve as chaplains to her family's business, Smucker Home Improvement and Smucker Laser.

The name, Smucker, is a very common family name in this area and commonly associated with local businesses. Many of our readers are familiar with Annie's Pretzels since they are available all over the nation and Mary Ann is a cousin to Annie. Any of you who visit Lancaster know that you can purchase some delicious soft pretzels among the Amish food services.

Lloyd and Mary Ann remain very active in their service for the Lord and we are so pleased to call them our good friends.

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Stephen & Brooksyne

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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