Set Your Mind On Eternal Value

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We always lust for more. We’ll envy the new house the Jones bought even when our modest home is paid for. We want their house. Have you ever pulled up next to a nice SUV, but failed to notice the woman and 3 children standing in the snow at the bus stop right beside you? We’re too busy wondering how that gas guzzler must ride. Guys, have you ever ogled the supermodel–currently on her 3rd marriage–while your faithful wife–the mother of your children–is asleep on the sofa beside you? C’mon, don’t act like I’m the only flawed man in the room!

In the flesh, our appetites are insatiable. Sometimes, life plays out like an old school video game with never-ending levels. Each time we grab hold of the next big thing, almost instantly we want more; something bigger; something better; something totally unrelated to the last big thing, but still temporarily out of reach.You ever meet a millionaire who has everything money could ever buy, but still suffers from loneliness? Personally, I don’t know any millionaires, but they get lonely too. Money can’t buy happiness.

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.” If we could find it in our hearts to daily seek the Lord and ignore the cravings of the flesh, we’d have less stress in our lives. The big house on the corner doesn’t care that you’re trying to obtain it. It won’t make an effort to reach out to you; neither will the Bentley, or the yacht, or the promotion. But…if we set our minds and hearts toward obtaining Jesus, He will reach out and meet us…not halfway, but right where we are. Jesus doesn’t depreciate either, people. His value is eternal.

REBOOT

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While staring at the darkened images on my favorite monitor, a couple of recurring messages begin to run laps around the display: “Syntax Error” followed closely by, “A fatal error has occurred. Windows has to shut down.”

At first, the two messages don’t seem to register in my mind. I haven’t seen a ‘Syntax Error’ message since the death of the original floppy disc. My surprise is quickly replaced by the short fuse of anger. I was right in the middle of watching a web-cam couple getting pretty hot and heavy. I really wanted to see how the activity progressed.

As I frantically begin mashing buttons in a desperate attempt to free up the apparently frozen screen, my adjacent monitor’s screen saver blinks into a black screen. Suddenly, letters begin popping up on the screen, as if the monitor is in some weird form of DOS code.

G:/> what do you think you’re doing?

My fingers stop moving. They simply hover over the keyboard, as I stare at the black screen for a moment. I glance back toward the frozen monitor. The ‘Syntax Error; A fatal error…’ messages are now scrolling freely up and down the screen. I resume my manic button pressing, while cursing under my breath.

The adjacent monitor burps a loud “BEEP!”, and I almost jump right out of my seat.

G:/> i said, what do you think you’re doing?

“What in God’s name-”

G:/> don’t you dare use that language with me mister! you’re in enough trouble as it is…

G:/> …what with you downloading pornography, and all.

I’m flabbergasted. Who in the world hacked into my system, to watch what I was doing in the privacy of my own home? I can’t do anything but stare at the black screen.

G:/> well? I’m waiting for an answer.

“What the frick is going on here,” I shout at the screen. I’m lifting the keyboard to inspect it, when the frozen monitor suddenly burps an angry “BEEP!” at me. I’m so startled by the sound, I fumble the keyboard from my hands. It crashes to desk. Miscellaneous pieces of plastic and three dislodged keys come to rest. In a fit of rage, I swear the likes of which might put a sailor to shame.

The monitor to my left, previously displaying the revolving error messages, blinks black. Now both monitors are displaying DOS coding. The left monitor’s code stops my ranting, cold.

JC:/>  are you finished yet? he’s still waiting for an answer.

The right monitor displays a new line of code, as if answering.

G:/>  yes. i’m still waiting for an answer.

My unbelieving eyes dart back and forth between the two monitors. My mouth is parched. All at once, I’m dying for a drink of water.

“What is this? Who’s doing this?”

Both monitors “BEEP!” at me, and display the same message simultaneously.

JC:/>  i am!

G:/>  i am!

It suddenly dawns on me, what’s happening.

“Oh my…” I whisper.

Rolling my chair away from the desk, I drop to my knees, my face planted against the soft carpet. I spread my arms out along the floor as far as I can.

“Father God, please forgive my indiscretions. In a moment of weakness, I fell victim to Satan’s temptation. In that moment, he reverted me back into someone I once was. Forgive my lusting eyes, my loose and disrespectful tongue. Forgive my misplaced anger.”

From the floor, I hear both monitors “BEEP!” simultaneously. I glance up to find the right monitor blinking a blue screen. Red letters spell out “DOWNLOADING”. The left monitor is also blinking the same blue screen in rhythm, with the word “UPLOADING” sprawled over the display.

“Download/ Upload?” I ask.

As if in answer to my question, both monitors fade to black. Code begins to appear.

JC:/>  ephesians 4:22

G:/>  ephesians 4:29

I scramble for my Bible buried under paperwork on my desk; two months of dust smother its cover. Flipping to Ephesians, I careful read off the verses.

“Wow. Lust and deception; don’t use foul and abusive language. Thank you for reminding me, Lord.”

JC:/>  you’re welcome. i love you.

G:/>  leave the sin where it belongs. do not return to it.

My desktop’s power lamp died. Both monitor power buttons went dim. I sit down at the desk, pushing the shattered keyboard aside, and begin to read through the book of Ephesians, starting from chapter 1.