July 26, 2010 by Mitch
Filed under Blog, Bulletin Articles, Articles on Christian Living, Articles on Church Growth, Articles on Evangelism, Articles on Faith, Articles on Real Christianity, Articles on Relationships, Study on Christian Living
What an amazing and wonderful picture the totality of the sacrificial offering was. Read more
For many years now my wife and I have been collectors and “shoppers” of antiques. More shopping than buying, but still fun. One of the thrills of dabbling in antiques is to find a piece in an antique shop that is similar to one you own and using the price of the piece in the shop to establish the value of the piece you have in your home.
Recently, I have been involved with liquidating the estate of my late uncle. He had been a collector of metal toy soldiers for more than sixty years. I have spent many hours reading books, searching online, and corresponding with dealers to establish the value of his collection.
From both of these experiences I have been made aware of a marketing truth. The VALUE of an item is equal to the PRICE someone is willing to pay at any given time.
Using this principle, what is the VALUE of your SOUL?
Romans 5:8 says, “But, God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The VALUE of our SOUL is equal to the ultimate PRICE willingly paid by Christ at a time when we were without VALUE.
PRICE PAID, LIFE OF CHRIST = SOUL’S VALUE, PRICELESS
Matthew 16:26 says, ” For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own SOUL? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his SOUL?”
I read something this morning that made me think. In order for me to live, something else must die. I’m supposed to meet a friend for lunch today. I know I’m going to have some chicken. Where did that chicken come from? Not a Star Trek food replicator. That chicken was born, lived and then died so I could live. Before PETA has a cow, even if I go vegetarian, something has to die for me to live. We don’t eat inanimate things. No one eats rocks, plastic or metal. We eat living things, even if its fruits and vegetables. If I’m going to live, something must die.
I should, perhaps, not let those things die lightly. I should, perhaps, have a great respect for what God has done in this creation. When the cow, pig, chicken, fish, or lamb dies I should have some respect for that. It is not an easy thing for me to live.
However, these in a small, physical way simply call to mind the great spiritual truth. For me to live, someone had to die. The wages of my sins is death (Romans 6:23). The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). This was why God established sacrifices. Death was required. Since life is in the blood, the sacrifice took the place of the sacrificer’s death (cf. Leviticus 17:11). For the Jews, in a real sense, life was sustained by death. If God had not allowed them to kill animals as sacrifice, He would have judged and destroyed them.
Yet, we press on to the even deeper spiritual truth. We seek eternal life, spiritual life. For me to live, someone had to die. That someone was Jesus. Jesus died for us, so we could live and not die (II Corinthians 5:14-15).
Perhaps it doesn’t matter if I respect the circle of life and all that dies to sustain my life on a daily basis. However, I had better respect the life Jesus gave so I could live and not die. Living isn’t free. It cost someone something. Jesus paid that cost.
Thank You, Lord!
Let’s face it, when we hear a lot about good deeds we know where it is going to hit us the hardest—the wallet. Obviously, not every good deed is a monetary good deed. But sooner or later, we can’t help but notice that in Scripture many of the good deeds affect us financially. Whether we are talking about hospitality, sending aid to Christians who are going through a famine, being a good Samaritan, feeding and clothing our brothers and sisters or helping the poor, eventually our good deeds are going to cost us money.
That’s what makes these good deeds so scary, especially when the news tells us the economic sky is falling. This is where II Corinthians 9:8 comes in. Paul wrote, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
Now this is not a promise from God to drop any amount of money or material goods in your lap that you claim you’ll give to others. However, it does point out that when we are a blessing to others, God will bring blessings to us. That is exactly why God blesses people. Not so they can hoard the blessings, but so they can share them. We are not alone in this work of good deeds. God is extending His grace so we can be sufficient for performing these good deeds.
If I clinch my fist around whatever blessings I have received, my hand will be closed to the blessings God may want to give me. However, when I open my hand to others, it becomes open to receive more of God’s blessings.
This is not the health and wealth gospel that makes good deeds a selfish investment, hoping I can give $10 to some preacher and receive $100 back for my trouble. That motivation isn’t about being zealous for good deeds at all. Rather, this is an extension of God’s promise in Matthew 6:33. If we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He’ll take care of us.
If we have contentment with our blessings such that we can share them with others, God will continue to bless us. If we are so discontent that we cannot share, God will stop blessing us. It is that simple. Of course, if I have contentment and I don’t receive a greater blessing, I’m still okay with that. I simply use what God has given me knowing that “it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have” (II Corinthians 8:12, ESV).
Be content. Be a blessing. Then and only then will God truly bestow His richest material blessings upon us.