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When You Want More

Devotions

A plumber was working in a rich man’s home. When he was finished, he asked the owner if he could ask a personal question. “How much money is enough?” the plumber asked. The wealthy man thought for a moment, then with a smile he replied: “Just a little more.”

Disappointment is linked with desire. In itself desire is not bad. Desire is often what motivates us to improve ourselves and strive for something better. But desire can be a destructive force in our lives. James warned about the destructive potential of desire in James 4:1–3: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

The solution is not to eliminate desire but to place our desires under the authority of Christ. In today’s text Jesus shows us how to orient our priorities. His question in verse 25 must have puzzled His hearers. It is true that life is more important than food, and the body is more important than clothing. But without food we cannot live, and the body needs clothing to stay
warm.

Jesus was not minimizing basic needs but pointing His disciples beyond their needs to the one who is our great provider. The God who has given us life and the body already knows that we have need of all these things (v. 32). “Care can only be cured by care,” theologian Helmut Thielicke observed. “Care about many things can be cured only by care about ‘the one thing needful.’”

Apply the Word

The concerns we have about food, clothing, and employment are important to us. They are also important to God. The same love that prompts Him to provide for these daily needs also compelled Him to provide for our spiritual needs. He offers righteousness as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. Ask Him to provide you with your most important need.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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