Wasteful Living or Fruitful Service

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.  Then He spoke a parable to them, saying:  “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this:  I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

~Luke 12:15-21

Most Christians truly desire to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when they stand before God.  Sometimes, though, I think that we forget the alternative.  Think for one minute what it would be like to hear your Lord and Savior say to you, “Fool!”  Ouch!  That is the alternative.

Seeing these two options should be very sobering for believers.  I think that the church as a whole needs a serious reality check.  I don’t say this as a judgment, but rather as a teaching point.  We need not judge the church for the shape that she is in now, but we should be seeking to teach her how to become what she ought to be.

In his work, “The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and Dying”, Jeremiah Taylor puts it this way:

It is necessary that every man should consider, that, since God has given him an excellent nature, wisdom and choice, an understanding soul, and an immortal spirit; having made him lord over the beasts, and but a little lower than the angels; he has also appointed for him a work and a service great enough to employ those abilities, and has also designed him to a state of life after this, to which he can only arrive by that service and obedience.  Therefore, as every man is wholly God’s own portion by the title of creation, so all our labors and care, all  our powers and faculties, must be wholly employed in the service of God, and even all the days of our life; that this life being ended, we may live with Him forever.

Neither is it sufficient that we think of the service of God as a work of the least necessity, or of small employment, but that it be done by us as God intended it; and that it be done with great earnestness and passion, with much zeal and desire; that we refuse no labor; that we bestow upon it much time; that we use the best guides, and arrive at the end of glory by all the ways of grace, of prudence, and religion.

…And yet it is considerable, that the fruit which comes from the many days of recreation and vanity is very little; and, although we scatter much, yet we gather but little profit:  but from the few hours we spend in prayer and the exercises of a pious life, the return is great and profitable; and what we sow in the minutes and spare portions of a few years, grows up to crowns and scepters in a happy and a glorious eternity.

This was written centuries ago, but how true is this of our lives today.

Much emphasis is placed on “obtaining the American dream”, being entertained, pursuing whatever we want.  Face it, this life is filled with distractions.  In this, as with the “busy-ness of life” we need to look to what Jesus told Martha, “Mary sought the good thing”.  

Can we say that in our lives?  How many of us fail to give God even 5 minutes out of our day?  Really????

I think that we need to demolish our mindsets, and rebuild them with mindsets that are focused on eternity.  When we can do that, we can spend the majority of our days serving God, praying to Him, and worshiping Him with the sacrifice of a heart that is solely His.

Christians, it’s time for us to do a reality check.  What really matters?  Look at your calendar.  How much time have you spent with God today?  Yesterday?  All of last week?  How much time did you “spend” on pursuing things that will not matter 100 years from now?  Think about that…..

The work we do for God will last for eternity ~ The things we waste our time on will be gone in a matter of years.

Let’s stop giving God our “leftovers” (no matter how creatively we “fix them up”), and give Him all of our best.  He deserves no less.

Taylor goes on to say,

…that in all actions of our lives we always stand before God, acting, and speaking, and thinking in His presence…it will concern us to behave ourselves carefully, as in the presence of our Judge.

So, let’s wake up, sober up, and start taking our Christian life seriously.  It’s not about us – it’s all about God – Who He Is, what He has done, and what He is continuing to do.

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