Hidden Intent

Today’s post is for the spiritually mature. When we are mature we face different dangers.

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, (1 Kings 4:34; 10:1). Yet, he married foreign princesses, (1 Kings 11:1-3), to make political alliances, (1 Kings 3:1), and let them serve the gods of their nations.

The result? In his old age, his wives turned him from the One true God, (1 Kings 11:4-8), and he wrote, “It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke,” Ecclesiastes 12:8. The Message

Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, “The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.” The Message

Hidden intent. What is my motivation? (Proving I am right?) How is my attitude? (Cheerful or grudging?)

Jesus told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give everything to the poor. Then all his wealth would be in heaven, (Matthew 19:21). (Cool, I can transfer wealth to heaven.) But he went on to say the man was holding on tight to things he couldn’t bear to let go, (Matthew 19:22). (What am I holding tightly?)

Peter asked him what they would get because they left everything, (Matthew 19:27).

Matthew 19:28-30, “In the re-creation of the world,…anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields – whatever – because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” The Message

Then Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard, (Matthew 20:1-16).

“This parable…is closely connected with…Peter’s question (Matthew 19:27)…It is designed to show that while they would be richly rewarded, a certain equity would still be observed towards later converts and workmen in His service….’last hired, first paid’….the sum you agreed for is paid you….by indulging the spirit these ‘murmurings’ at the ‘penny’ given to the last hired, you miss your own ‘penny.’ …Men who have wrought in Christ’s service all their days may, by the spirit which they manifest at the last, make it too evident that, as between God and their own souls, they never were chosen workmen at all.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. II

My attitude and motivation are known only to God. In the end, they can disqualify me. Being mature means you know there is always room for growth and a need for grace – just like in marriage!

Matthew 19:11, 12, “But Jesus said, ‘Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace….But if you’re capable of growing in the largeness of marriage, do it.’ ” The Message

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