How Much Is Your Life Worth? (Part 4. What Does Your Life Mean To Your Family?)
Although this article is in a series, it is a Complete study on its own. (4th of 4 in series)
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine
Life as a child of God should be an adventure. It is, however, been my experience that most Christians do not even try to live their lives to the fullest. Most live day-to-day and only allow enough time to experience a nominal existence as a child of God. Most never try to make a statement with their lives, and those few that do, usually have attained a greater age and are feeling their own mortality. So much time and life just goes to waste.
In this series, we have encouraged everyone to take a serious look into their lives to see if there may be a way to come up to the potential that God wants for each Christian life. We called this "writing your life's message." In part one, we discussed what your life means to you and how you think you have spent your years lived thus far. It was stated that when we stand before the Lord we will be accountable for every thought, word and deed. There will be a value set for the life you have lived. Rewards will be given for obedience and withheld for rebellion. In part two, we looked closely at how God values and thinks of your life. We spoke of things we could do to please God with whatever time we have left on earth. In part three, the fact that the world does look upon us should make us aware that we may use our life as a testimony to those around us who do not know Jesus. It was pointed out how doing so gives our life purpose and fulfillment. We spoke of God's will regarding the lost and how we are to live to reproduce spiritually.
This last installment is the very important topic of how our life effects that of our family. We have a great opportunity to write a legacy for our children, for our grandchildren and even to the "third and fourth generation." This principle goes for good, and also applies to a sinful legacy should God be ignored by those given the responsibility in the family. (Exodus 20:5) The lives we lead are not lived unto themselves. They have impact upon others in a literal and spiritual context. A Holy Spirit-led husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter leaves an impression, a very real legacy that is passed on to succeeding generations.
"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous." (Proverbs 13:22)
The family is an interweaving of many social relationships which should have, at its very heart, Jesus Christ. The sad thing is the World knows not Christ, and Christians many times act like the world. When a family lives for Christ, there is always an abundance of blessings poured out on that family. Even when just one person lives for Christ in a family, God many times gives grace to the entire family for the sake of that one faithful person.
It is sad to see that what comes forth from sinners all living for themselves in a group is, well, more sin. It is in our nature to be fleshly, selfish and self-centered. The result of living your life your way is disharmoniousness, to say the least. The family was designed like a wheel spinning around Jesus as the hub. When you change the shape of the family and remove the hub from its center, the wheel no longer turns smoothly (or it can't turn at all). Place the hub back at the center where it belongs, and the wheel again turns, more and more smoothly.
"For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself." (Romans 14:7)
So what is your life's message to your family? As a father what legacy will you leave to your children? As a mother, what spiritual effect have you had on your family? Have you considered that your life should have a more meaningful influence on your kids than simply paying bills or being there physically to sit with them? And a question for children of all ages- are you a good son, daughter, sister, brother? How will a child that loves God effect the family?
The Life's Message Of A Spiritual Husband / Father. God designates the man in the role of head of the family. As politically incorrect as this notion is, it is fact. The world has seen men take on the title of family head and misuse it, abusing those whose lives are in his hands. God did not intend this station to be a vantage for lording it over others or being cruel to them. The man of God who prays and humbles himself before his maker is made to realize that to have any success at all he must be in total submission to God. After this lesson is learned then the next one comes close behind and that is for he and his wife to be in mutual submission to each other. This is how it works: The man submits himself to God and walks with Him. He learns to submit to his wife in the things that God empowers her to do in the family and in the relationship. The wife learns how to submit herself to her Lord and to her husband as he does those things God has for him to do in the family and in the relationship. Here, read it for yourself in Ephesians:
"See that you walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation [excess]; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God." (Ephesians 5:15-21)
The things listed here are the formula for leadership and the formula for submission, at the same time.
1. Know what the will of the Lord is. The man who leads needs to lean on God for understanding. (But you notice the woman here is also called to lead when the man submits to her. So as a man who wishes to serve the Lord, you must lead and also know how to give heed and follow your mate as well.
2. Be filled with the Spirit (controlled by the Spirit). This is a qualifier, for if the man is not controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, he will not lead but he will dominate in the flesh or guess at the way to go. Each of those choices will hurt his family. If the man submits to God and follows Him, it will keep the Spirit-filled wife able to follow because she and he are going in the same direction. But what happens when he goes his own way? It forces her to have to go another way because she can't follow a man in rebellion against God.
3. Speaking uplifting things to each other, singing, having fun, encouraging each other. A man leads his household when he encourages them and lifts them up. He teaches his children and makes it fun for them to learn about God. He is gentle and kind to them and to his wife which he treats as his own flesh. He fills his mind with the Lord and it spills out in love for his whole family.
4. Giving thanks for all things (contentment). He is content with his home and family. That does not mean that he doesn't wish for spiritual and personal growth in his wife and kids. It means that he is not seen complaining about everything under the sun. His wife and children do not hear how the money is never enough. Why? Because then the kids begin to feel like God is letting the family down. The children begin adopt an attitude that money is so important that they need to make money the focus when get they get their own household. It also discourages his wife. Not that a husband should not be forthright about money and indeed, in some households the wife is the person better in finances and she is the one that knows more about the family's income. But the attitude should be that God will see us through. We always have enough as long as we have Jesus and each other.
5. Submitting to one another (as they are led by the Spirit). The secret to leading is in following. If each is following the Lord then it will be easy to follow each other because God is leading them both in the same direction. If you decide to leave God's will then the spouse will have no choice but to leave off following and submitting to you, because God will be leading to do something else. Leading is following and following is leading.
Having said that, God views responsibility differently than submission. God holds the husband responsible first for the family's physical and spiritual well-being. This puts pressure on the man of God, for he knows that this responsibility must bring him to his knees. He knows he will not be able to do anything for his family without God empowering it. He must make his love of God genuine in the eyes of his family. If he plays a "god-game," if he tries to manipulate according to whim, or control his family in the flesh, then his wife and children will not be able to follow him (nor will they want to). His wife will see him as a dominating dictator that uses God to control her. His children will see church and living for God as a hypocritical mind game instead of a walk before the Lord. They will see God through the very real image they see before them in their father and they will feel - "If this is a reflection of Christianity I want no part of it!"
"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord?" Is this your goal? Do you try as Joshua 24:15 says, to "rule" your house well?
"One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
Joshua made that quote as leader of his household. What leader do you know, when speaking of a path to go, is unsure about the direction? He's leading! As for ruling his own household, look up the Greek work for rule (proestemi). It means to literally stand in front of a group of people as an example and to assist them to follow as needed.
The Biblical model for the husband to lead is how Christ deals with the church. The model for fathers is how Jesus leads His sheep. He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus will not force worship and good works from anyone. Remember, a man's fleshly tendency will be to dictate, to subjugate, but a Spirit-filled man does not behave that way. He is a shepherd and will "give his life for his sheep." Jesus said that a shepherd leads his sheep. He never drives them. The things Jesus did were to set an example for the church. He made the Scriptures alive in he heart of His followers. He sang songs with them. He taught them. Likewise, it is our duty as husbands and fathers to infuse excitement around the service of God. We never browbeat the Scriptures into our family, we inculcate them. To do that repetition is necessary but never browbeating.
"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them." (John 10:11-12)
"To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out his own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know His voice." (John 10:3-4)
"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8)
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)
So men, what kind of husband are you? What statement do you make with your life to your wife? Do you live your life in such a loving way your wife can follow you in confidence? Or, do you "lord it" over her so that she resents you, or can't, in all good conscience follow you? Do you listen to her and when she shows you wisdom and insight from God, do you submit to that wisdom from above? Or, do you dismiss it out of hand because she is not "the man?"
A man given a wife is given a great gift. Cherish her and listen to her wisdom. Follow Christ and the more so, for her sake. Do you show her that you love God and follow Christ? Or, do you force her to be the spiritual leader of your household while you neglect your responsibilities? Do you treat her with the same tenderness and compassion that you give your own flesh? Or, do you treat her like someone that is subservient to you?
What kind of father are you? Do you raise your children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord?" Or, do you browbeat them so they will not want to know God? Do you act the hypocrite around them ("do as I say, not as I do?") Or, do you show them how Jesus would act? Do you model love around them, loving their mother so they will know how a man should love a woman? Or, do you belittle your wife, or hit her, or ignore her, showing them that these behaviors are how they are to behave and are what they can expect when grown?
Children need a father. Only a father can show them a man broken before the Lord. No matter how much a woman loves her kids she cannot show them that. Only you can show them a man's perspective, that marriage is a wonderful thing. Your daughter will need to see that a man can love God and cherish his woman. When she sees that, she will want a man like her dad. Only you can show your son how a man is to behave, respecting his wife, kindly listening and responding to her, forgiving her as God in Christ forgave you.
Men: Consider your Life's Message To Your Family
The Life's Message Of A Spiritual Wife / Mother. Maybe this is from my own male perspective, but in my estimation, the woman has a much harder role to fill than does the man. It is she that must make up the difference if her husband is lacking. It is, for example, the husband's duty to get the children learning about God, but if he doesn't, she must. She must be aware of his spirituality and support it, but at the same time she must not blindly follow a man not following God. He's just a man and can be misled or be in the flesh rather than the Spirit so she must lend her strength to him. At the same time, she can't enable him in any habits or sin patterns he may have. She should be strong as set forth in Proverbs 31, but must shun her own tendency in the flesh to want to subjugate her husband. It is as inappropriate for her as it is for him. She needs to listen to her husband but only when he is led of the Lord. She needs to know the difference. She must care for her children while showing respect for her husband. She shows the children the proper way to lead and submit. Her role as wife is as critical as is her role as mother. Many times women put the children before the husband, and the marriage suffers. Sometimes they put the husband first and exclude the children, and the children suffer. The Biblical model is for the woman to love the Lord first with her whole heart. Next comes the husband and then together they raise the children with a united loving front.
O to be the Proverbs 31 woman! This description is so unlike many Christians in churches today that have a far different view of the "proper" behavior of a woman as wife and mother. This woman described here is amazing, talented, intelligent and her husband appreciates it. Take a look:
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches her hands out to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known [because of her] in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, let her own works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:10-31)
See all of the things that a woman does who has the respect of the Lord? You see that it undergirds the family and her husband? God holds him responsible for the family direction but she, in God's power is a major force in making it happen. She is trusted and respected and has a reputation in the community. She has strength and wisdom, servants (employees) and money all under the cover of her husband (because he is responsible first to the Lord for her). Her husband does not take her profits, it is hers according to this Scripture, as she follows the lead of the Lord in her life. Of course, she knows that all things are the Lords and she knows that she is one flesh with her husband, one mind, one spirit with her husband, so this income does not come between them. Both see income as theirs in all things together. Yet she has earned this and it is recognized by both that her work has blessed them.
So, ladies, what kind of wife are you? Do you understand the responsibility that God in Scripture lays upon your husband as head of the family? If the family goes down the wrong path, God holds him responsible first. He cannot be punished for your sin, but he still has to try to keep the way straight for the family. It is such a trend to feminize men. The world tells women to be the leader and that men are idiots. They are told that men only wish to subjugate them so do not let them. They are told not look at life as though two spouses are one flesh, keep monies and business and problems separate. This is wrong. The Bible teaches a concept called "inter-dependence." It means that each leans on the other for their strengths and are stronger together. It is different than co-dependent or independent. Co-dependent means that each are encouraged and enabled to be independent of the other. Independant is neither having to much of an impact on the other but living essentially separate lives in the same house. Both of these concepts are doomed to failure and thus we see the divorce rate. Only the Biblical concept of interdependence will succeed because of God as the creator of marriage designed it that way.
What do you believe about your husband? If he is not the man of God that he should be, what is a woman supposed to do? Well, as we have said already, the first thing a woman of God must do is be walking each and every step with the Lord, following Him. The Holy Spirit sees and knows your task as wife and mom. He will instruct and empower as long as you submit to God. All you must do is written in the Book, so read it. The Bible says that the wife is to help a weakened husband see the error of his way and to strengthen him. She is to help pick him up, to look out for him as he is told to look out for you. If he falls short of his duties as spiritual leader, she is supposed to be there to fill the gap. I know this is a big responsibility, but God promises to empower the woman of God to do this.
So what kind of message does your life as wife send to your family? Do you show your husband a woman that loves the Lord? Do you love Him? Do you follow your husband when he is following God, or do you resent him and live your life separately from him? Do you insist on making rules all must live by, or do you let God make the rules for your family? Do you undergird your family, or do you tear it down around you? Do your children see a wife that complains constantly about money, or a mom that trusts God to provide? Do they see marriage positively because they watch your life or are they being trained to hate marriage?
And ladies, what kind of a mother are you? Do you help train up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Are you a model for your daughter a Christian woman in a Christian marriage? Do you show your sons an example of what a woman of God is like so he will seek out a woman of God when he seeks a wife? Does your daughter see how to become a woman of God when she watches you? It is your job to show her what an amazing thing God did when He created woman and marriage.
Women: Consider Your Life's Message To Your Family
The Life's Message Of A Spiritual Son / Daughter. Sons and daughters come in all ages and levels of understanding. God made it simple for them. Obey your parents. Obey God first, but then obey your parents. To rebel against authority, and parents in particular, is the sinning world's way. God says obeying your parents will mean a longer life for you. So what a child must do is listen and watch, practice and learn. And children do, to the good and to the bad.
A person starts life with greater innocence than they have when they begin to age and perfect their sinning ways. A baby beginning life is selfish; demanding food, comfort, time and attention. But as children grow, so do their sins. When a child is young a parent can give them insight into how to view life and overcome their sin because they (the children) have inherited many of the sinful tendencies of the parents. The Bible says that this is so that the children may have parents that are "in their corner," having already dealt with many of the same things themselves.
"For I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fouth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Exodus 20:5)
Hopefully, the first lesson the parents teach a baby (as soon as they are able to understand) is that there is a God and He comes first. A child's heart is eager to learn and in the majority of cases, if a child is taught rightly, he will return to that basic beginning even after many years of experimenting with sin. This lesson can begin even before birth when the parents sing and speak to the mom's swollen pregnant tummy. They can rock the newborn and tell him stories of Jesus and of a God that loves them. Repetition and inculcation lays a solid basis on which the child may build, with their life lessons of successes and failures. Even if a child has no parent to do that for them, God promises to be their Father and to teach them with the problems of life that comes at a child. So what a child must do is listen and learn what God is teaching him in life.
The second lesson a child should hear is that all truth comes from the Source of truth and expressed in the Holy Word of God. It is the sole rule of truth and practice. So much of life is left to the schools teaching and the schools are not speaking truth to our children from the Source of truth nor are they using the Bible as the standard of truth. It falls on the parent to teach and the child to listen.
"Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right." (Proverbs 20:11)
"Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." (Proverbs 23:22)
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3)
"A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation." (Psalm 68:5)
It's not that sinning humans have not complicated it for children. Child abuse, divorce and infidelity, pornography and godlessness have crept into children's lives via parents. Divorcing or separated parents use the children as leverage to have power, one over the other. Obedience is then clouded in the child's mind with them imagining that their loyalty to one over the other will buy them love. The sin of a cheating dad or mom whether with a stash of porn or an actual person has its effect on them as well. Children are capable of listening to God through it all. Consider Josiah and his father Amnon. Amnon was a murderer of children, an idol worshipper, an evil, evil, man. Josiah was able to weigh out his obedience to the Lord and become a godly man, a wise king. (2 Kings 21-23) Consider Samuel that had no parent with him to teach him but was given away to the priests to be raised. He only saw his parents once a year. As the boy grew, he listened to God and to God's word, becoming a mighty man in the LORD. And there are many other examples of children whose obedience became part of a legacy that remained with them their whole lives and into the lives of their children and consequently into generations beyond. Moses, David, Timothy and Mary the mother of Jesus to name just a few.
So are you a good son, a good daughter to your parents? Do you listen to them? As you have grown into adulthood have you continued to listen to your parents and to obey their wisdom? Remember it is always God that must be obeyed first but parents are not to be just dismissed as irrelevant.
In my case, my parents would love me to rejoin my family and return to the Jehovah's Witnesses religion. I had to choose between Jesus and the Witnesses, and I chose the Savior. On the other hand, I have never just discounted my parents as irrelevant. I have always had an open channel to them and should they ever want to fellowship with me, I would gladly let them, they are my parents, my family. Being a son or daughter does not end with adulthood. Parental responsibility does not end, nor does childhood respect of the parents.
There is also the "little" matter of siblings and the love that supposed to exist between them. The great commandment is: Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. I submit to you that you are to begin with your parents and your siblings as your "closest" neighbors. How do you behave toward your brothers and sisters? Do you love them or do you dismiss them, perhaps having feuds with them that last years?
When it comes to what God sees as important and relevant to His use, He does not discount children.
"But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matthew 19:14)
Are you a young person? God thinks of you as important to Him. Just because you are young does not mean you can't make a difference for God. Are you an adult son or daughter? God expects you to listen to your parents that are alive and obey their wisdom. Are you a sibling? God expects you to love your immediate neighbor, love your brother and sister, forgive them for wrongs done to you.
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." (1 Timothy 4:12-13)
Series Summary: The Results Of Living God's Way. God places value on our actions here in this life. A husband that loves his wife and stands as a spiritual example for her, earns treasures in heaven. The wife that acts as does the woman described in Proverbs 31 has value far above rubies, as far as God is concerned. A father that makes good decisions for his children, providing for them and giving them all his heart, will cause that child to want to walk a similar path. Mothers that are faithful in raising their children are rewarded and blessed by them and God. Children who see their parents love one another and respecting each other's role and ministry before the Lord will receive a legacy that stands forever. Children who obey will continue a legacy or begin one of their own simply by loving God and obeying His words.
Honestly now, have you even considered your life at all, to evaluate how you live it? What kind of life do you lead? Don't even try to blame the quality of your life on money, or the lack thereof. Money does not make a person into a person of character. What makes character is the obedience of a heart that grows ever closer to the Holy God of the Bible. As this series unfolded, we considered how none of us live our lives by chance. We were placed here for a purpose and that purpose is to influence others. We are blessed with much good when we live right and we are cursed and cut short in this life when we rebel. We spoke of our lives as having a value put on them by God. Popular belief gives the impression that we are here by chance and our lives mean very little in the universe. God has said that is a lie. Our lives are precious in His sight. We can have a tremendous affect on those around us for good or evil. This series has tried to expand the view we have of our lives, remind us that God cares, and explain how He expects us to behave. We spoke of the rewards for a good life.
If you think about it, the life that we live on earth is really just a moment in time. People cling to this moment in time as if it is all of the existence they will ever know, as if they will pass into oblivion once they close their eyes to this world. That simply is not true. We fall asleep in death and open our eyes up to eternity. That eternity will either be with Jesus or not be with Jesus. Apart from Jesus is where all sinful mankind and Satan's hordes end up. Everyone that calls on Jesus to save them ends up with Him forever. The life before that, the one that you're living right now on this earth, determines where eternity will be spent. Now consider how a hundred years (which only a choice few live) would be nothing compared to a hundred billion years. And a hundred billion years is nothing compared to eternity because eternity never ends. Should your emphasis be on living with a view toward how you could selfishly spend this life on earth, or should your eternity be formost on your mind?
The picture I chose for this series has the title "My Life." I chose that because it is a mantra chanted by everyone that rebels. "It is my life! I will live it how I choose!" This is a true statement but do you see how much choosing right will mean to you? God does not force you to make choices, nor does He take over your mind to think for you. But a forever that never ends means that the choices you make so lightly here, have very great never-ending consequences there.
So go ahead, ask yourself the hard questions. Don't put it off. Eternity depends on it!
Question no. 1. Where will you spend eternity? Don't think this question has no answer. Religion today has lied to its constituents and said that one cannot know until he stands in front of that gate and his life is added up, his good verses his bad. Then, it is said, that if his good outweighs his bad he is let in the gate. Simply stated, that is a lie. Admittance to heaven is not based on good works.
"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)
To say it as clear as I can, heaven's admission is paid for by the blood of Christ. If you have come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and asked Him to be your Savior, you are as good as in the door right now.
"For whosoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
A simple faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, is all one needs to have heaven as home. If you have that kind of faith and are willing to turn from your sin to Jesus and live for Him you can be saved. Just call on Him, pray this:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I cannot pay for my sin on my own but I believe You died to pay for my sin. I know Your Bible says that You put on human flesh and then died to give me life. I know You were in the grave three days and rose again and I believe it. I ask that You forgive me of my sins and save me. I turn now from my life as I have been living it and I turn to follow You as the only Way of salvation. Thank You for hearing me and saving me. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Question no. 2. Now that you know you are a child of God, how shall you live to please the God that saved you and gain rewards in heaven? God loves all people and wants as many as will listen to hear the good news that heaven is not that far away. But who will hear without someone to tell him? We have been sold a bill of goods if we believe that we pay someone else to tell others, someone like a pastor. So many people never even bother to learn anything about God or His word because in their heart they believe that it is the pastor's job and that's why they pay him. That's a lie. The reason Christians pay tithes is not so that pastors will do our job of witness so that we don't have to do it. When we pay tithes we lend our money to God for His work to the lost and poor in the community. The church may pay the pastor a salary but that is not to do everyone else's job, it is to do his. The pastor's job is to be a pastor not to win every lost person to Jesus even those around you. It is your job to win those people around you to Christ.
"For whosoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:13-14)
"He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD and He will pay back what he has given." (Proverbs 19:17)
Question no. 3. How can you impact the greatest number of people for Christ beginning with your family? Haven't you ever wanted to be a part of something that makes a difference, something big and important? Have you wanted to have recognition for something that you had done? What about recognition from the most important person in the universe, what about the appreciation of God Himself? You have a chance to be part of a legacy, to know that people were saved from hell because you obeyed God. You have a chance to be an example to people that you love so they too will be with you in heaven. How much would you give to spare a member of your family from eternal punishment so that he could be with you in heaven forever? The things you do today will invest in the future. Where are you investing this day?
Millionaires give cars, boats, houses, money, and lifestyle to their children (and sometimes to their dogs and cats). These things can be stolen or swindled or frittered away foolishly. That's why God says to build treasures in heaven "where moth or rust" does not consume or thieves do not break in and steal. So, where are your "futures" invested? In, heaven where moth and rust and thieves do not remove it from you, or with Christ who keeps it safe from harm and it builds into a dynamite retirement package. Think about it.
Others in this series of independent articles: