2003-01-13 - Prospecting
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
I don't know if all of you are into prospecting. I think that, in some sense, we all are. In many respects even buying stock is prospecting of some sort. We are hedging our bet that this or that company will perform and so we stake some of our hard earnings on it. One example of poor prospecting happened in 1872. In 1872, veteran prospectors Philip Arnold and John Slack bought $35,000 worth of diamonds in Europe and scattered them on land in Wyoming. They managed to convince the Bank of San Francisco they had discovered a diamond field and made $700,000. I guess it was good for them, but bad for the bank.
There are lots of other ways to be a prospector. It is not all about money. We can prospect emotionally, physically, intellectually, and even spiritually. Or course, I want to focus on prospecting spiritually. We can put blinders on and simply think that we are right, but there are more Muslims than Christians in the world. So what makes us think we are right? I am not suggesting that we deny our faith, but I do feel that a healthy look at other faiths will confirm our trust and hope in Jesus Christ and help encourage us to serve Christ with more resolution. However, we have to do the work and we should first know our faith so we can stand up to the assaults that other beliefs will bring upon what we know to be true.
When I was a student at Arizona State University I spent a lot of time with mormons. I was not interested in their faith, but simply looking for the challenge of having to defend what I believe based on what they believe. I remember talking with a bishop at the temple in Mesa, Arizona and we both reached the point where it was clear that we did not agree on the means of salvation. He felt that salvation was based on works and I maintained that salvation was by grace alone. So I challenged him. I told him that for every verse in the Bible that he gave me that said that salvation was by works, I would give him five that said that salvation was by the grace of Christ alone. I thought he would bite and was not sure I was up to the task, but even more amazed when he backed down and told me he was not interested in such a discussion.
My point here is not to tell you a neat story. My point is that interaction with another faith challenged me and made me stronger because I had to figure out what I believed in contrast with what they believe. It was worth doing. It is more than prospecting when our souls are involved. We must be right on this issue. We can be wrong on the stock market (who hasn't been wrong lately), but we can't be wrong on the issue of our souls. To gain assurance, and confirmation can only lead us to be more resolute and firm in our convictions that our faith in Christ is sure and our service of Him is the result of the only sure prospecting we will ever experience in this life.
If you are unfamiliar with the term prospecting, you can substitute the word "hope," but at this point you would have to read this devotional all over again.
Soli Deo Gloria,