Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3523

Jump Start # 3523

Matthew 7:7 ”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

  I admit that I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey, the financial talk host. Recently, his program has changed from dealing solely with money matters to job, marriage and relationship issues.  I usually grab bits and pieces of the show while driving to lunch. I’ve noticed lately some really complicated and deep problems. There are people who are massively in debt. The hole that they have dug is so deep, one wonders if they can ever get out. But caller after caller, it’s the same thing.

  And, there are some parallels to spiritual lessons as well. The N.T. uses the concept of debt to describe sin and salvation in terms of being redeemed or the debt being cancelled.

  First, it is easy to do what everyone else is doing. Just following the herd, being average, often isn’t a good place to be in life. Broke and without a plan is not a happy place. But spiritually, it’s the same. Being without Christ and just living day to day is certainly no place to be either.  We must follow Christ and not the crowd. Remember, the road to destruction is wide, easy and filled with people. There is a safety factor in believing that “not all these people can be wrong.” But, yes, they can be.

  Second, getting ourselves in trouble can happen so gradually that we don’t even notice. It’s that way with debt and it’s that way with sin. Just one step from the cross today. Then, just another step tomorrow. In a couple of weeks we have stepped so far away that we no longer can see the cross. And, when that happens, we have taken our eyes off of the Lord. We can’t find the Lord.

  And, what a graphic expression the Bible uses, “lost.” I’ve been lost a few times. I’ve gotten turned around in the middle of a woods and it took a while for me to get my bearings and get out. I’ve been lost driving before. As a child, I got lost in a store and the employees had to announce on a loud speaker for my parents. There is a period of time when a person is lost but he doesn’t realize it yet. He’s traveling down the road of life, thinking he knows where he is at, but he doesn’t. Then, when that moment hits him that he is lost, panic, fear and desperation fills the heart. Now the only thought is getting back to where one belongs. Becoming “unlost” or found, is the main concern. It’s that way physically and it’s that way spiritually. Many are lost, but they don’t realize it yet. For the few that know they are lost, seeking the Lord is the most important thing to them.

  Third, it’s hard to turn things around. I have listened to the Ramsey program for so long now that I can pretty much tell what the hosts will say. There are certain steps in the Ramsey way and they do not deviate from them. And, there are certain steps with Christ. We cannot deviate from them either. Getting out of habitual sin and addictions can be done, but it will take more than just reading a favorite verse from Psalms. It’s hard, and it begins with a person really wanting to break free. It was that hopelessness that led the prodigal to get up and come home. As long as we are content to dwell with pigs, we will. When we realize that life could be better and that God created us for better things, then our hearts will open and we’ll begin the process back to God.

  That desire to come back to the Lord is expressed in “Seek and you shall find.” And, here is something interesting. When the heart is truly seeking the Lord, he finds out that the Lord is seeking him. Luke tells us that the Lord came to “seek and save that which was lost.” So, put those thoughts together. The person lost is seeking to be found. And, there is the Lord seeking to find the one lost. What a beautiful picture that presents to us. The Lord isn’t doing other things and just waiting for us to come to Him. He is out looking for us. His Gospel is calling to us. He’s looking for us as we are looking for Him. And, in that way, one finds the Lord. God sends us reminders through people, posts on social media, and little things here and there that catches the eyes of those who are seeking. God is active. He’s out there looking for you.

  People need encouragement and support. The journey back can be long and hard. And, some will quit because they don’t believe that they can ever break free. Lectures, guilt and finger pointing is not helpful. They need someone to walk with them. They need to hear success stories. They need prayers.

  Life is messy and we sure can find ourselves in a lot of trouble very quickly. It takes determination, goals and focus to stay with the Lord. Can it be done? Certainly.

  There are people you know that may be discovering for the first time that they are lost. Help them. Be a friend to them. Let them know that the Lord is looking for them.

  Thank you, Lord.