Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. (2 Corinthians 12:14)
When Jesus came into this world, He turned it upside down. The first became last and the last became first. The up were down and the down were up. It was far better to give than to receive. And Jesus Himself, who was sitting upon the throne of heaven, took off His outer garments, wrapped a towel around His waist, took a basin of water, and began to wash His disciples’ feet. The King of kings had taken on the role of a lowly servant. These are just a few examples of the radical transformation that our Lord wrought.
And yet, in a little over 2,000 years, far too many in the church of Jesus Christ have turned the world back in the other direction . . . and that direction is not the one we ought to be going in!
When I am sharing this concept with people in the church, they often ask how they can know for sure if they are living in the world that Jesus turned upside down . . . or if they are inhabiting the world that men have turned back the other way. It really is simple. Answer this question:
What do you seek after most in life? God . . . or the good gifts He gives you?
Now, I am not talking about what we all do from time to time—shifting our focus from our Savior to the stuff of life. What I am talking about is identifying the driving force in our lives. What is it that gets us up early and keeps us up late? Is it time we can spend with God and deepening our understanding of Him? Or is it time we can spend with the good gifts He has given us?
Go back over 2 Corinthians 12:14, our verse for today. The apostle Paul was making his third missionary journey to Corinth; look where his focus was. The love that Paul had for Jesus Christ poured out into the lives of those he ministered to, and because of this Paul could say, “What I want is not your possessions but you!”
Clearly this is a reflection of the heart of the great apostle. His world had been turned upside down by Jesus on the road to Damascus, and he chose to live in that upside-down world from that day forward. Never was he focused on the many good gifts God had given to him; Paul was always and in every way focused solely on God. He wanted more and more of his relationship with God; because of this burning desire deep within his heart, he focused more on people than he did on their possessions.
May that be the confession of our lives as we live in the upside-down world where we become servant to all and slave to our Savior. At this level of living, we will be able to say to God each day what Paul was able to say:
I WANT YOU . . . NOT WHAT IS YOURS!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!