Pastor Rick Lipira: Morning Devotion 08/18/21
I will be whatever God calls me to be!
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37
We continue with our devotions through the month of August with our beach\summertime theme. It was interesting on a recent trip to the sea how many creatures you see on the rocks such as hermit crabs, etc. that take on the appearance of their surroundings. Certain creatures may do this for a couple of different reasons. One is to deceive their prey into not recognizing their presence allowing them to eat their next meal. A second reason is to hide themselves from would-be predators. There are several sea creatures and various fish species that do so by camouflaging themselves. One species that I looked up is known as Sea Dragons. They look very much like seahorses but resemble seaweed. Their entire life is spent fitting in, blending in with their surroundings, and disguising themselves as something they are not.
How can I possibly weave this into a devotion regarding Mark 8? So many people spend their whole life and apply all their efforts trying to please a certain crowd of people, many of them we really do not even care for to begin with. Dave Ramsey says, “We buy things we do not need with money we do not have, to impress people we do not like.” For kids in high school and now earlier it is so important to “fit in” and be accepted even if it means tearing or pushing others down to elevate ourselves. It is hard work and requires a lot of effort to try and be something you are not.
Sometimes these disguises succeed, and we are so proud of ourselves for “arriving”, but we find out our efforts can be short-lived. So many times, these values and activities run counter to the ways of the Lord. There comes a day we need to make a choice; do we continue the charade and apply more camouflage or do we allow ourselves to be who God has made us to be. It is a glory to the Lord to shine as the person He has made you to be. It is a risk to drop the mask and the “pretend” because we can have all different safe masks we interchange depending on the crowd we are with. We can become quick change artists, Superman from the phone booth, (Millennials and younger are saying, “what’s a phone booth”) to please the new or latest audience.
What is that “thing” from this world if you could only obtain or be whatever you wanted to be, that would excite you the most. If you could achieve “that thing” and you then find it will cost you your soul, would you make the exchange? Beware because the law of “diminishing marginal utility” from you Econ class says that as you continue to consume something the satisfaction level drops with each bite. That is the way with things of this world, you find they are not what you originally thought, and you lose fulfillment quickly with use. Therefore, I encourage you to invest in the things of eternity that will never wear out, never get old, and never diminish in satisfaction. I have a feeling the things in heaven will get better and better as the days go by.
Pastor Rick Lipira