Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the multitude of their riches,
None of then can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him-
For the redemption of their souls is costly,
And it shall cease forever-
That he should continue to live eternally,
And not see the Pit.
- Psalm 49:5-9 (Emphasis mine)
Let's be Honest
I think most of us - if not all of us - could say that we wish we had a million dollars so we could save the world. We could donate to this charity or that. We could pay off a family member's debt (and our own). We could buy tons of canned goods or toys to hand out to the needy at Christmas time. If only ... we could do so much.
We'd also give God the world to save our loved ones. As if we had the power to do so. Maybe if we love on our unsaved spouses, fathers, mothers, friends just a little harder, a little more, we would see them accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. If we served. If we prayed an extra hour today. If we pushed ... invited them to church again.
You're Not My Savior
As I read this week, the verses above jumped off the page at me. God is not looking for a bribe. He's not looking for a ransom. He's not looking for an excuse to give us eternal life upon our deathbed. He has wanted to do so since the beginning of time, when the Word was with God, and the Word was God. We cannot save our brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends. It's not in our power to do so. No. Only God can save a man. Only God paid the ransom for our iniquities through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Get Out of God's Way
We must remove our Savior mentality and allow God to work in the hearts of our loved ones. Yes, love them with the love of Jesus. Remember that love is gentle, kind, and full of grace. Yes, pray fervently. For the prayer of a righteous man avails much. And yes, invite them to go to church, but don't force their hand. No one likes a pushy Christian who has all the answers to life's dillemas.
You're Not My Provider
Ultimately, it's God who owns the name Jehovah Jireh. It's God who provides even our basic needs. It's God who has blessed us with careers, income, and the ability to give. It's God who puts the food on our tables every day and provides the funds to sponsor that child in Honduras. It would be a true blessing if He poured an abundance of money into our bank account this year. But money isn't the heart issue.
Seek First the Kingdom of God
The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are seeking first the kingdom of God, because then all these things will be added unto us. After all, our bank account isn't going to heaven with us. And the next generation may make unwise choices with their financial inheritance. What is important is the treasure we can take to heaven with us. Did we feed those who hungered for the Word of God? Did we live as an epistle that proclaimed the love of Jesus? Did we share our testimony of God's goodness and mercy following us every day of our lives? What eternal inheritance are we leaving behind?
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let's remember the cost of our redemption. And praise God He was willing to pay the price. Because He loves us so much.
And remember, to Jesus you were worth it all ...