Matthew 16.23 observes, He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”

What are God’s interests? Do we really believe God has interests? Do we think those interests are simply that we be good?

The size of our god will determine the belief we have in that god’s interest in our life and in the world. If our god is small, distant and aloof, then that god will have only a minor interest in the world and what is going on. If our god is small then he will only be concerned with our moral behavior, setting the standard at our doing our best to be good.

If our God is the One True God described in the Bible then our God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. This God has been working since the beginning and continues to work at bringing all glory and honor to Himself by all of creation. The earth, the stars, all animals and all people everywhere are to declare by their words, their worship and their behavior their love for God manifest in their obedience to God. To be concerned with God’s interests is to be fully focused on His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

So what if we are not all that engaged with seeing God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? We are a stumbling block to God. A stumbling block, a liability rather than an asset to God’s work, places us in the same family as the enemy of God; the devil himself. Man’s interests are selfish. They are focused on being more, doing more and having more.

God’s interests are focused on Him being more, us serving more, and more people having Him as their God. Those who are assets to God’s interests are those who are producing for God. God said that those who were truly plugged into Him would bear much fruit because fruit bearing brings much glory to God which is His primary interest.

If we will focus on God’s interests and be successful at producing results toward those interests then we will:

  1. Read the Bible regularly so we can know with greater clarity God and His will.
  2. Engage people in order to move all people closer to knowing Jesus and obedience to His commands.
  3. Support those who are likewise engaged in the interests of God whatever that may take: time, talent or treasure.

It’s not that any of this is hard it just takes making God and His interests our chief priority. And what if we fail? What is the eternal cost of being a stumbling block rather than a building block?

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