What I Really Want…

“What would you do with 500 million dollars?” I believe that is the popular question this week. As the powerball lottery reaches its largest sum of over a billion dollars, many people are asking that question. I was asked that question multiple times. Of course I really don’t pay attention to that kind of stuff, but since someone brought it up in my sermon on Sunday I started thinking about it. That is a lot of money. Truly $100,000 would be ok for me. That would at least get me out of debt. But what would I do with $500 million or more. I wonder how many prayers have been prayed these past couple of weeks asking God to give them the correct numbers? A lot of people look to this opportunity for their lives to be changed. Those people have it right, that much money will change your life, but how?

John Wesley who was a 18th Century Anglican Priest, the founder of Methodism, and one of my spiritual teachers, preached a sermon titled “The Danger of Riches.” The text that Wesley is preaching on is 1 Timothy 6:9, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” In this sermon Wesley states, “How innumerable are the ill consequences which have followed from men’s not knowing, or not considering, this great truth! And how few are there even in the Christian world, that either know or duly consider it! Yea, how small is the number of those, even among real Christians, who understand and lay it to heart! Most of these too pass it very lightly over, scarce remembering there is such a text in the Bible.” Wesley brings up a great point, how many of us remember this passage from the Bible, or maybe how many of you gloss over it by reasoning and thinking of all the good you can do with that much money? It is very tempting to not consider the temptation and trouble that comes with great wealth. Now, I am not opposed to being wealthy, but I believe that it will not solve your problems. The only thing that changes in your life with riches are the circumstances of your life, but who you are remains the same. Given enough time with wealth, that might change as well. For me the word that catches my eye the most is “desire.” Wealth has the potential to trap us in foolish or harmful desires.

Desires come from our heart. I think this is why wealth can be harmful. If you desire wealth your heart will seek it out. Your desires tell you What You Really Want. What I really want is to love the Lord God with all my being and to love my neighbor. That is a desire that I have had for a long time, but it was not always that way. For me my desires changed over time. Before Christ my desires blew like the wind, one way then the next. It took a change of heart to change my desires. Psalm 37:4 states this, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” That is a very truthful statement, but with all truth you have to see the complete picture to understand. I am sure that a lot of people take delight in the Lord and still desire the $500 million, so why do they not win it. The thing about God is He knows truly what is in your heart. Since God is the creator of hearts He probably knows it better than we do. I believe, whether we know it or not, all of our hearts cry out to the Lord and seek God always. We were created to desire the LORD only. By desiring the LORD we also desire what God desires. Thank about it this way. I love my wife and I truly desire to love her completely. Throughout our marriage, as we have grown closer, our  desires have been slowly becoming one joint desire. You see when you truly love someone or as the Psalmist states, “take delight in the LORD,” your hearts desire becomes one with the person you love. If you truly take delight in the LORD than your love becomes God’s love, your heart becomes God’s heart, your joy becomes God’s joy, your mind becomes God’s mind, Your Desires Become God’s Desires. So the Psalmist is very truthful, God does give you what your heart desires, but that is because you and God share the same desire. If you desire the same thing as God then there is no temptation into foolishness. There is no ruin or destruction. Your heart truly finds peace and fulfillment in God and that is truly life changing…

May you come to love the LORD with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. May you come to love your neighbor as yourself. For these two things are the desires of God’s heart. I pray that your desires become God’s desires which is what your heart really wants…

P.S. For more sermons by John Wesley you can find them at the Wesley Center Online, wesley.nnu.edu

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