Looking For Perspective
Remember: you're living not for just the now – you're living for eternity.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing all right today? Oh, I trust everything’s going okay at your house. I’m glad to be back with you and feeling great, praise the Lord.
Look with me, if you will, please, at 1 Timothy 6, we’re down to verse 19. Paul is talking to Timothy about people who have some of this world’s good. He said, “Tell them not to look down on other people, and tell them not to trust in their riches because they could vanish overnight. Do their trusting in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Everything you have is from Him. Every good gift and every perfect gift,” James says, “Cometh down from above from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.”
Moses said to the children of Israel, “It is He that giveth thee power to get wealth.” “Promotion,” said the Psalmist, “Cometh not from the East or the West or the South, but from the Lord. He putteth up one, putteth down another.” Everything you have if you have anything, comes from God. And if you don’t have anything, that lack, even, is part of God’s provision in showing Himself almighty on your behalf. I have to say that the deepest and best lessons I’ve learned in my lifetime have come out of situations of need, not of situations of opulence. When you have enough, you tend to become self-sufficient. When you don’t have enough you tend to seek God more and see Him work.
I went to see Al Kahn, who at the time, back in the ’40s, was the treasurer of Chicagoland Youth for Christ. Went to see him one day, because I had a payroll to meet and my rule throughout life is, “If you can’t meet payroll, you’re out of business.” And so I had a payroll to meet and no money to meet it with, and that meant that I had to raise some gifts dollars in a hurry.
And I went to see him and talked with him. We had a good prayer meeting. He didn’t give me any money because he himself was strapped at the time, but we talked and after we prayed I said to him, “Well, Al, I don’t know why the Lord keeps us broke all the time.” And he looked at me and smiled, he says, “Well, it’s a cinch, Bob. You sure pray better when you’re broke.” [chuckle] There’s some truth to that, isn’t there?
What you do have is from God and what you don’t have is part of God’s opportunity for you to seek Him so He will work in your behalf. There’s always great possibility in answered prayer if you’ll seek God. Anyhow, he says, concerning people who have some of this world’s goods, “Don’t trust in your riches because they could disappear overnight.” And instead, he says, “Do good and be rich in good works. Ready to distribute, willing to communicate.” Then we came to verse 19, that’s about where we were the last time we got together. “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Now, we talked about that business of laying up in store. You remember? It’s what you give away for God, it’s what’s you invest of your life for God’s glory; it’s what you invest of your life, and time, and substance for the salvation of souls that’s going to show up in eternity. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal.” He said to the rich man who was worshiping his money, the rich young ruler, “Go sell that thou hast and give to the poor and come follow me and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven.”
God’s economics depend upon what I do with my earthly substance, in terms of eternal values. Does that mean you shouldn’t have a car or a house, or a warm coat or a TV set? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It means that what you have to do with should be used in the light of eternity.
Am I using my substance and my potential and my talents and my possessions in a way that I will wish I had done a million years from now, when I’m in eternity? See, that’s the thing that counts. Now, notice something. Paul said to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith,” this is 1 Timothy 6:12. We already were there for a moment. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life where unto thou art also called.” “Fight the good fight of faith,” you’re in a battle, how do you win the battle? Through faith. “They overcame,” John says in Revelation 12:11, “They overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
How do you win the battle? Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and through the commitment of your life and destiny to Him. It’s the only way you’ll ever win. You don’t win by trying, you don’t win by sheer effort, you don’t win by smartness, you don’t win by contacts that you make with other people of importance. You only win the battle, this spiritual battle, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “We wrestle not,” says Paul, “Against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So take the armor of God.” The helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the girdle of truth, the shoes of salvation, the sword of the Spirit; you take the implements that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the indwelling Holy Spirit will make them real in your life. So, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,” has to do with the attitude in which you approach the business of living. A complete commitment of yourself to the blessed Lord Jesus. You follow that?
Now, come down, where Paul is talking to the people with some substance in this world and he said, “Lay up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come that they may lay hold on eternal life.” What’s the idea? Do your investing in terms of eternity. Do your investing in terms of eternity. What is it going to mean? That’s why we tell Christians to make a will. If you don’t make a will, and the Lord calls you home and you die what the law calls intestate, which means without a will, the state steps in and divides your assets, divides your estate according to law and not a dime will go to God’s work, to your local church, your pastor, your missionary society, your Christian radio station; yes, your Christian college. Any of these things.
So I always advise believers, that’s you, beloved, to make a Christian will. Start your will by saying… How’s it going… “Full control of my faculties,” and so on and so on. “Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, make this last will and testament.” Put your testimony in your will and then remember to take your assets. After you’ve taken care of your family and your loved ones, obviously, you’re gonna do that first. “If any man provide not for his own, he’s worse than an infidel,” the Bible says, so you take care of your family and your loved ones. But then you’ve got to think in terms of eternity. What is my estate going to mean in terms of eternal values? That’s something to think about, isn’t it? Now, you turn it over in your mind and pray about it, because Paul says, “Lay hold on eternal life.” How do you do it? By investing your substance in matters that count for eternity.
Oh, you know, some of you are going to meet in the glory. Somebody’s gonna walk up to you and thank you and you’ll say, “Thank me for what?” Why, they’re gonna say, “You supported a missionary in Burma and that missionary led me to the Lord Jesus Christ and I wouldn’t be here in the glory if it weren’t for that. I wanna thank you.” Something that you did that counted for eternity is going to be important a million years from now, and a lot of the other things about which we worry, and frankly argue and sometimes quarrel are not gonna be important at all. It’s true, isn’t it? Lay hold on eternal life. Oh, I wanna use my life, every bit of it, for eternity. That doesn’t mean you go around being pious all the time, you understand me. You can be perfectly human and thoroughly practical, and at the same time live for eternity.
I asked a friend of mine years ago, I said, “What do you do?” I meant do for a living and he smiled, he said, “Do you wanna know what I do to put bread on the table? Or what I really do?” Well, I said, “Why don’t you tell me both?” Well, he said, “What I do to put bread on the table is I’m an attorney. I have an office here in such and such town and I’m an attorney.” But he says, “What I really do, my real job, is to introduce people to the Lord Jesus Christ.” He said, “I wanna work at that all the time.” And so he did. Very few people ever came into his office without, and before they left, hearing a word about the Savior Whom he loved. That, my friend, is the bottom line so far as Christian living is concerned. Do what you do thoroughly, practically. God doesn’t require you to be an impractical dreamer in order to be spiritual. You don’t have to neglect your family in order to live for eternity.
I met a very angry young man, maybe 20, 25 years ago, who came to school and he was very angry and I tried to find out what the problem was, and it turned out that he came from a family where the father had decided that he was going to be very spiritual, he was gonna live for eternity, and so he stopped working, stopped providing for the family, he just sat around being spiritual. [chuckle] Yeah, he did.
And so the dear lady of the house had to work and the kids had to scrounge for whatever they could, and as a result, this young fellow came to school very angry at anybody who claimed to be spiritual. Well, the Bible doesn’t teach that. You’re not supposed to sit around and sing yourself into sanctified senility, now, you know that. So be practical and be thorough and do the things you ought to do and do a good of work at the job God has given you, but with all of your doing, beloved, remember you’re living not for just now, you’re living for eternity.
And so the attitude and the motivation and the use of your substance and time and talents, all needs to be directed to the fact that you’re still going to be alive a million years from now, and values then, will be eternal values, all right? Now, he goes on in verse 20, he says, “Oh, Timothy… ” His heart just overflows. Any of you who have children or grandchildren of your own or foster children or, as it was in this case, a son in the faith, you know how it hits you every now and again. It just wells up and spills over out of your heart. “Oh, Timothy.” In that expression, there’s concern, and there’s love, and there’s longing and everything that a loving heart can pour out.
Well, what brought this on? He says, “Oh, Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust.” You see, God gives to all of us a certain amount of basic equipment as being ours to use. And what you do with it is up to you, not up to God. What you do with that which is committed to your trust.
What was it in the case of Timothy? He had certain abilities: He could organize, he could preach, he could teach, he could exhort, he could lead, all of these things, he could be an example. We’ve seen some of these things in 1 Timothy, haven’t we? He had abilities. God had given him certain abilities and now Paul says, “Oh, listen, keep.” And that word ‘keep’ means ‘keep it and use it,’ don’t just neglect it, but use it. “Oh, Timothy, that which has been given you, guard it, hang on to it, keep it, don’t waste it. What are you doing with your abilities? Before this broadcast goes off the air, think and pray, will you, about what you are doing with that which is committed to your trust under God.
Dear Father today, help us to be true to the trust You’ve given us. In Jesus’ name, I pray this, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the king today and be a blessing!
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