REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey, was first posted on July 27, 2014. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“What Can Go Wrong When We Worship a God of Comfort and Convenience”
1 Peter 4:1-2
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Pastor Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle Church told a story of a minister who told him that “two families left for another church because his parking attendants didn’t direct cars out of the lot fast enough.” That’s taking the so-called God of “comfort” and “convenience” way too far!
Actually, this story indicates that striving after comfort and convenience is a great idol in America, even in the church. By our actions, we behave as if Jesus died for us and rose from the dead so that we may be comfortable. Unfortunately, when the gospel of comfort is prioritized, we begin to disdain making sacrifices or even taking risks to serve God. Instead, God’s will is anything that would make our lives more comfortable and convenient, so much so that any trial that lessens our comfort level is seen as being out of the will of God, or even an attack from the devil.
However, an undeniable truth is that those who worship comfort and convenience will end up “liv[ing] the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires,” which would, in turn, make their lives quite miserable. They may still own a nice, air-conditioned house, but financially they are in much debt (incurred trying to afford the comfortable lifestyle), and relationally they are in conflict with too many people (those who seek comfort tend to bridle at anyone who causes them the slightest inconvenience).
Spiritually of course, they are not willing to suffer any inconvenience for Christ, including being slightly delayed in the church parking lot.
But today’s passage reminds us not to live like the people around us who seek worldly desires. Instead, the apostle Peter reminds us to look to Christ who “suffered in His body,” after which we ought to “arm [ourselves] also with the same attitude.” Only then will our lives will be driven by eternal values and goals rather than the fleeting pleasures of the world.
Prayer: Lord, help me have a right understanding of who You are in order that I don’t give into the thought that Your Son died to make my life more comfortable and convenient with easy passing day. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 8