“These things I have spoken to you in parables, but the hour is coming when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will announce to you plainly concerning the Father.” - John 16:25
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Why do we eat? Is it just because food tastes good, and because we’re hungry? Why do we work? Is it just because we’ve got to pay the bills, and because we want stuff, like a nicer car or a bigger TV? Is there more to life than just satisfying our animal impulses?
Jesus said, “Do not be anxious for your soul, what you shall eat and what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the soul more than food, and the body more than clothing? But seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:25, 33).
Obviously taste and physical needs are important motivations in taking care of ourselves, but the Lord is urging us to think of eternal life. We can eat and sleep and work not just because we have to or because they satisfy a physical craving, but so that we will be able to help others, and in this way serve the Lord and His kingdom.
The joy of heaven essentially consists in having something useful to do: something other people need us to do and something we can do to serve the Lord. The satisfaction in a job well done and in seeing another person happy with our work is a blessing that comes from the Lord when we do our work for His sake. Other nice things, such as food and entertainment, vacations, having an honorable position in society, or wealth grow stale quickly without a meaningful purpose in life.
The same thing is true of marriage. We could think of marriage mainly as fulfilling a personal need for companionship—an emotional union. But by itself that gets old. What makes marriage lasting is the shared commitment to doing the Lord’s work. There is no greater way to serve other human beings than by having children and training them to live a useful life. That’s why, when God created mankind male and female, His very first command to us was “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:27-28). The Lord wants to share with us the happiness of doing something to help others.
So as you attend June weddings or go on a vacation this summer, you will enjoy them even more as you look beyond these events to the kingdom of God and His justice. We can think of these great events as preparations for service to the Lord and to our neighbor, and be grateful to Him.
You are welcome to worship at Kempton New Church on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.
Have a good summer!
Rev. Lawson M. Smith
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