We must be able to say to others, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). Paul was able to say this even though he wasted about 50% of his life as an enemy of Christ. His life was full of perpetual joy (Philippians 3:1, 4:4) because he had counted everything besides Jesus as rubbish. Through his life, we receive 2 exhortations on how we too can live such a life:
1. Forget the past (Philippians 3:12-14)
2. Run to win (I Corinthians 9:24-27)
If you look at the past with the correct perspective, you will run faster! And, if you are running to win, no one should overtake you, even if their past doesn’t seem as “wicked” as yours.
Children too can live this way! There are 2 things we all have which are far more valuable than money:
1. Choice: God will never force you to receive Him, because He values your free will. When you choose to receive Jesus, you are saying that you want Him, not yourself, to make your choices from now on. Give your life to Jesus today — not because you may die tomorrow, but because then you can truly LIVE tomorrow… and for all eternity!
2. Time: Use your time wisely (Ephesians 5:15-17). Remember that God watches how you use your time in your earthly tasks — at school, at work, at home — to see if He can entrust heavenly riches to you (Luke 16:10-12).
Jim Elliott — who was martyred at the age of 29 while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ among the Huaorani people of Ecuador — once said, “He is no fool who gievs what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”.
There are really only 2 types of people in this world: (i) those to whom God will say, “You fool!” — because they wasted their lives living for themselves and for this world (Luke 12:20); and (ii) those to whom the world will say, “You fool!” — because they “wasted” their lives for God’s kingdom — but to whom God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Which type of fool will you be?