Why should you stay
alive? Why should you even get out of bed tomorrow?
I know you need to
hold a job to pay the rent or house payment, or take care of the
kids, or some other seemingly pressing need but what is
the longer term purpose of your life? Why were you even put on
earth in the first place?
Many people don't
even think about the bigger picture because they are so busy "putting
out the fires" of every day life in busy America, or just
amusing themselves so continuously that they don't have time to
think about anything important in life. But who wants to come
to the end of their life and realize that the primary thing they
accomplished was paying 1,944 utility bills (that's monthly electricity,
gas, and water bills, from age 19 through 72).
My father died at
the age of 72. But he left behind a heritage of far more than
paid utility bill receipts. He had a life-changing experience
with God while serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. When
he got back to the states to finish college, he dropped his major
in electrical engineering, and got master's degrees in theology
and counseling. He went on to pastor in 14 churches over the 50
years of his adult lifetime, counseling many individuals one-on-one,
writing newspaper columns on Christianity, and generally investing
himself in blessing others selflessly.
He had some struggles
financially trying to provide for a family on a ministry income.
He sometimes worked second jobs to make ends meet. But he died
knowing his life had been invested in truly valuable ways that
had eternal purpose and reward. How about you?
I know you are probably
thinking that you are not called to the ministry but did
you know that every Christian has at least one (often more) spiritual
gifts that God has placed inside you to make a difference for
the Kingdom of God? These spiritual gifts are not our natural
abilities. We get those from our DNA. Did you realize that we
will each be accountable for what we do with our spiritual gifts?
And these spiritual gifts are an important reason you should stay
alive. You have a responsibility to God for the stewardship of
your gift(s) all the days of your life. You need to be using it
(them) for the glory of God. And yet my experience is that most
people aren't really sure what their spiritual gifts are.
The next reason you
should stay alive is that you can make a difference for the Kingdom
of God in this life. The moment you got saved, God could have
translated you to Heaven. (He's God, and He could do it any way
He wanted to!) He wants fellowship with you and what better
place to fellowship with you than Heaven! But He left you and
me here for now. That's because there's work to do! People need
to be witnessed to, churches and ministries need people to help,
and the work of God needs finances. Your life can make a difference
in multiple ways if you will be obedient.
job" you've got (or the "lousy customers" if self-employed)
can actually become much more fulfilling if you are giving
financially in significant amounts to further the work of God.
The combination of your time and talent produces finances that
could be changing the world for God! The devil tries to make it
seem like the two tithes plus offerings you should give to God's
work would make you have a 20 percent lower standard of living.
But even if it did so what! It would be better for you
and me to drive a used car and have a 20 percent smaller rent
or house payment all our lives and have obeyed God, rather than
to have shorted God and spent that little bit more on ourselves.
And actually, when we honor God by supporting His work financially
in obedient amounts, He blesses what's left in various ways so
that it goes further plus we will avoid many tragedies
and calamities that might befall us otherwise. I have had special
healings in my family, times I saw God deliver me from physical
death, etc., which I know were special rewards for serving Him.
Now we don't buy God's blessings but He promised special
rewards back when we are obedient in our finances.
I read a George
Barna poll this month which said current statistics are that
only 8 percent of Christians tithe! No wonder so many ministries
have had financial short-falls. I also read this month where one
long-time radio ministry said only 1 percent of it's listeners
ever sent an offering. Another minister humorously said, "We've
done so much with so little for so long, that we can now do anything
with nothing." Of course, that is funny but not true.
The factual statistics are that 4 out of 5 non-profit organizations
go out of business within 5 years. Churches and ministries are
struggling, ministers are struggling, and many Christians are
not doing their part. Some even have the attitude, "Then
let them eat cake." (That was a statement by Queen Marie-Antoinette
of France responding to the peasants' complaint they had no bread
to bake in their ovens. The "cake" Marie said they could
eat was the black carbon that caked up on the interior of their
brick ovens. Of course, Marie was put to death by guillotine not
long after that in the 1792 revolt against the wealthy monarchy.)
Corinthians 2:8 refers to evil spirits as the "princes"
or "rulers" of this age, depending on the translation.
The "rulers" or "princes" of this age vary
depending on which time period and geographic territory we are
talking about. But I am confident that one of the spiritual principalities
over America during this age has been the spirit of greed. Christians
have been held back almost supernaturally from giving into God's
work like the Lord wants them to. Jesus gave all He had to give
for us. Relatively speaking, Jesus is asking much less of us when
we only need to give 20 percent or so.
The Body of Christ
needs to be awakened to their purposes ordained of God. Every
person needs be engaged in Kingdom purposes. We are not on this
planet just to work cross-word puzzles until we finally die. Life
lasts a long time, so each person might as well get to work for
the Kingdom of God. Discover (or better understand) what your
spiritual gifts are. Don't be spiritually unemployed! And support
God's work with the finances of your household. You will be making
a difference, you will have purpose in this life, and Jesus will
someday say, "Well done thou
good and faithful servant."
Living for Eternal