March 17

Text: Matthew 10:28-31

 "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (NASB)

Living for God is not a game!  It literally is investing life.  It is not dabbling in religion in case “God is there” when we die.  It is not doing religious acts to protect us in case “God is there” after death.

It is a commitment of faith that determines how we live and who we are—in marriage, on the job, when we are merely having fun, and when we decide how to use what we have.  Our lives are motivated by a desire to be righteous in order that we increasingly can know God and follow His ways.  It is a conscious dying to self in order to recognize the control of Jesus Christ as Lord.

The challenge is to understand the meaning and purpose of physical existence.  View one: We are only an animal.  Like all animals, we live and we die.  All that exists is the “physical here and now.”  There is no reality beyond physical existence.  The person, male or female, who does not indulge physical senses in non-destructive physical ways right now wastes life.

View two: Human existence involves more than physical reality.  Physical reality is less important than the spiritual reality.  What happens in the spiritual reality is determined by the way we use/invest physical reality.  The one who can guide us in that investment is Jesus Christ—he is a person’s way to connect to God.  It is his resurrection that holds us together and deals with our fear of death.  The non-destructive indulgence of physical senses cannot compare with the joy of living with God.

Each view—physical “now” indulgence or the delayed gratification of spiritual joy—is produced by one’s faith.  As we get old, that truth is increasingly evident.  The “now” of a 20 year old is not the “now” of an 80 year old.  We will all physically die.  What happens after death is real.

Jesus assurance: If we respect God, we cannot waste life.  His intimate knowledge knows our worth.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you view physical life?  Why?  (Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.)

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