“The Thinker” is the name of a very widely recognized statue created by Auguste Rodin. The thinker represents “a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle.” (Quote from http://www.statue.com/the-thinker-statue.html)
Did you know that the Word of God encourages each of us to be this type of “thinker”? Let’s take a moment to see what the Lord has to say …
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. (Hag 1:5-7)
In our text, the main thrust of these verses centers around the phrase “consider your ways” –
The word “consider” is a translation of a three-word Hebrew phrase:
1. the first word of the phrase means “to consider, to examine, to give attention”;
2. the second word carries with it the idea of “the heart, the innermost parts”;
3. the third Hebrew word in our phrase is defined as “according to, because of”
The Hebrew word for “ways” is simply referring to the paths we have chosen to follow in our life.
If we put all of our ideas together we get this idea: the Lord is telling us to “to closely examine our hearts to understand the motives that drive our life choices.” How important it is for us to simply ask the question, “Why do we do what we do?”
The Lord was speaking to members of Israel whose lives were exhibiting a lack of satisfaction and contentment, and the resulting loss of divine blessings. He is instructing them to take time to ask the questions… “What is in your hearts that causes you to be never satisfied nor content?” and “What is taking place within you that is causing a lack of blessings to come your way?”
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Both for those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior, and for those who have never come to repentance and faith in Him… the need to examine our life’s motives cannot be underestimated.
For the Christian….
By examining our motives for our life choices, we can more easily see when our love for our Lord is beginning to grow cold. When we love Him as we should, His will and desires for us will take preeminence in our decision making.
We will ALWAYS put Him first, when we love Him as we should. (Deut 6:5-9, Matt 22:37-38) Do we find ourselves putting others ahead of the Lord in our life’s decisions? Someplace along life’s path, sin has slipped into our life and our love for Him has grown cold… (Matt 24:12) It is our responsibility to come before Him asking for forgiveness and allow Him to restore a right heart… (1 John 1:8-10)
For those who have never trusted in Christ…
By examining the driving forces behind your decision making, you will quickly come to a realization that the fulfillment of the desires of your flesh and mind are the driving forces in your life choices. The Lord explains your condition in this way:
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”(Eph 2:2-3)
If you see yourself in this condition what must be done? The Lord clearly reveals the answer to this question in the following verses:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”(Eph 2:4-9)
In these verses, the two main points that are presented are:
#1 – Christ must intervene in your life and grant you spiritual life. This can only be done through an act of God. No man can merit, nor gain, this gift of spiritual life through any works he may perform.
#2 – It is imperative that one who is dead in their sins come to Christ in submission to Him, humbly recognizing they can do nothing to gain their own salvation. A part of this submissive spirit is the willingness to turn their past sins, to trust Him with their entire life, and accept Him as Lord of their life.
Christ’s promise to each one who sincerely seeks Him….
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:35-40)
If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”