Have you noticed? We say you’re valuable if you’re pretty. We say you’re valuable if you produce or if you have a lot of money or a big home. If you can slam-dunk a basketball or snag a pop fly. Appearance and performance are the measuring stick. Pretty tough system, isn’t it? Where does that leave the ugly or uneducated? The aged or the disabled? The unborn child? Please understand, this is man’s system. It’s not God’s.
If there was anything Jesus wanted everyone to understand it was this– a person is worth something simply because he is a person. That’s why Jesus treated people like He did. Jesus’ love doesn’t depend on what we do for him. Your value is inborn. Period.
I know I don’t deserve a love like that. None of us do. When you get right down to it, any contribution we make is pretty puny. Therefore any calculation you do make about your worth is flawed because it is not of God. See yourself through God’s eyes. You are loved and valued like no one ever will be. No wonder they call Him the Savior!
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.— Philippians 4:12-13 NLT
What are you drawn to when you feel down and empty inside? Is it the desire for more or better possessions or is it something else? Will things really fill that empty place in your life or is there something better?
The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power. When you become a Christian God gives you the Holy Spirit to lead you through life. He provides the best wisdom on the right choices to make.
No matter what you have, be it a little or a lot, you will always have enough through God’s provision. And, the best part is you will have peace without wanting more.
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.—Matthew 6:19-21
What do you want out of life? Perhaps an even more challenging question is, what is it that consumes your thoughts, time, energy, and money? As Christians, we live in two worlds—this earthly one and a heavenly one. However, since the earthly realm is all we can see, it’s easy to become sidetracked and begin living more for it than for the spiritual realm into which we’ve been transferred by Jesus Christ.
One day we will each appear before the judgment seat of Christ as He evaluates our works (2 Corinthians 5:10). But this doesn’t mean that our eternal security is at stake—Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, and we are citizens of heaven. We could, however, lose rewards depending on our handling of earthly treasure as opposed to that of heavenly treasure.
Instead of waiting, let’s begin to pay attention now to how we’re living. We must guard against investing everything for ourselves and nothing for the life to come. When we are blinded by our own desires and personal satisfaction, it is easy to become lukewarm about spiritual matters. Then God seems far away, we have no hunger to read the Bible daily, and prayer is reserved for those occasions when we need help.
The Scriptures repeatedly warn us to be attentive to spiritual matters—the Lord is to have first place in our life and be the center of our affections. Setting our hearts on the lesser things of this world not only robs us of heavenly treasure; it also keeps us from enjoying the spiritual blessings that are available right now to those who are in Christ.
An old gospel song says, “This world is not my home / I’m just a-passing through. / My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” It’s a good reminder for all of us that this life is not the end goal. As Christians, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and are not to love this world or what it offers (1 John 2:15). In fact, to do so makes us enemies of God (James 4:4).
In today’s passage Jesus tells a story about a rich man who lived for himself and ignored the Lord. He was a success by earthly standards but discovered too late that his riches and comfort were only temporary. After death, he experienced the consequences of his choices—eternal separation from the Lord.
It’s important to realize that this man wasn’t judged harshly by God because of his wealth. The rich man’s mistake was that he prepared everything for the body but nothing for the soul. Our culture practices a similar style of living. Acquiring material riches and satisfying oneself is the primary pursuit of many in our world. In fact, fulfilling personal desires seems to be the goal whether one’s bank account is overflowing or nearly empty.
Despite what our culture thinks, this life is not about us. It’s about being reconciled to God. Whoever repents of sin and turns to Christ for salvation will live eternally with Him in heaven. But those who reject or simply ignore the Lord will suffer eternally. Death comes to all of us, and we never know when. Therefore, if you haven’t trusted Christ as Savior, do so today. Your eternal destiny is at stake.
“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.”— Isaiah 48:17 ESV
The verse above identifies two important things that the LORD our God does for us. If we grasp hold of them, we will learn something important about the LORD. If we grasp hold of them, our lives will go better. The LORD is the God who teaches us things that are important to know and the LORD is the God who leads us in the way that is important to follow.
First, the LORD our God teaches us things that are important to know. He teaches us to profit. The word “profit” in this context refers to that which is profitable to us; it refers to that which is a good investment for us. When we need to know what will work to our benefit and what will improve our lives for the better, it is the LORD God of heaven and earth that we should learn from.
Second, the LORD our God leads us in the way that is important to follow. He leads us in the way we should go. The “way we should go” in this context refers to the direction we should take in life; it refers to the moral standards that define how we should live our lives. When we need to find the proper pathway through life and the right thing to do, it is the LORD God of heaven and earth that we should follow.
The LORD our God knows what will be profitable for you and He knows the way you should go. If you are not too proud to listen to His teaching, and if you are not too stubborn to follow His lead, then your life will be better for it.
Happy Labor Day to all my friends, family and readers of my blog. I hope your day is relaxing and filled with love and fun activities. God bless all of the workers in America.