Summary: Why Everything You Do Today Matters Forever
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Luke 14:12-14
It’s easy to over estimate what we really need when we go on vacation. We wrestle with the thought, “I’d better take it, because I can’t go home.” So we pack more shoes, clothes, and electronic equipment than we need; we have to sit on our suitcases to close them! We pay the airlines for excess luggage. Our rental car won’t hold our all the suitcases so we require an upgrade. So what approach should we take? The real question is “How much can I get along without?”
Do you realize that vacation is only a microcosm of real life? We are guilty of accumulating too many possessions on our journey through life. We are tempted by ads that convince us to buy things we “just can’t live without.” This series is designed to help you understand that “Everything you do today matters forever,” as Bruce Wilkinson says.1
The God we serve is making arrangements to return to you the greatest “Lotto” winnings you could ever imagine. God is keeping an account of all you do for Him, and a day of reward is coming.
“For indeed your reward will be great in heaven.” Luke 6:23-NIV
We are impressed with a Nobel Peace Prize, the Heisman Trophy, or an Oscar. Do you realize that, like these awards, most of the rewards God has for us are being postponed until later? To be on the receiving end you must do it God’s way.
In preparing for this series, I’ve run across an old friend. His name - well, he has no name. No, I haven’t forgotten it; he’s only introduced as a Rich Young Ruler. His story is simple: Lots of wealth, one encounter with Jesus, and away he went, sad and broken hearted. His story has me thinking once again - if he was wealthy by Jesus’ standard…what am I? You see he couldn’t
· Purchase a second car, or a first for that matter
· Have a filling
· Fly to England
· Talk on the cell phone or email a friend
· He couldn’t relax and listen to CD.
Wow! If Jesus said he was rich, where do I stand with Jesus?
God wants you to understand and reap the rewards of Kingdom Economics, not American Economics. Jesus made it clear that God wants us to have our financial house in order.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age…” 1 Timothy 6:17 NIV
Paul reminds us that we don’t have to take a vow of poverty, but a vow of generosity. He leaves the door open for us to be rich if we do it on God’s terms. What are those conditions? I’m glad you asked. There are three:
1. Be quick to share.
2. Use your assets for kingdom causes.
3. Give expecting a reward.
I love to preach and teach in a crowd: people taking notes, lives changed by anointed ministry, new converts hanging on each word, seasoned believers offering nods and shouts of support as familiar truths fall from the pastor’s lips. Take the same setting and include a meal and the dynamics change immediately.
Jesus loved to teach when food was involved: on a hillside with a lad’s small and simple lunch; at Mary and Martha’s house, worshipping and waiting for a wonderfully prepared meal. At end of the Savior’s life, no meal takes on more significance than the Last Supper. More spiritual truth was taught in that short dinner engagement than at any other meal. The disciples were nourished on truths of servanthood, leadership, loving one another, the Holy Spirit, and the future.
It was in the post resurrection days that Jesus brought the disciples together. And what did they do? Ate. He did the cooking. “Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.’” John 21:12
There will come a day, when you too will enjoy one of those settings with the Savior. We call it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb; Revelation 19:7-9 tells us about it. In eternity, all who have been saved will join for a celebrated meal that will last forever. No meal will compare. No food will taste so good. The hospitality will be incredible.