This past Sunday I spoke a message about not wasting your life but making your life count instead. The inspiration for the sermon theme was the book of the same title written by John Piper several years ago. I recommend that you read the book if you really want to be further challenged about spending your life well while you still can.
I gave some pretty inspiring examples of people who are making a difference in our world with what they have. We spent time looking at the parable of the rich fool that God condemned for wasting his life by spending it on himself and losing all that he had accumulated overnight because he failed at the most important thing in life. His fatal flaw was not being rich towards God with his stuff. As a result he lost everything he had worked so hard to gain including any eternal reward from God as an inheritance.
The challenge is the same for every one of us. We have been given so much by God already and it’s up to us to use everything we have for the growing of God’s kingdom. In fact, one day each of us will stand before God and give an account of what we have done with all that we have been given. Whatever we’ve done for ourselves will be lost and whatever we’ve done for Christ will be acknowledged and rewarded. While material possessions are an obvious focus here, it is important to surrender everything to the Lord for his use including our time, talent and treasure. Giving quality time to God’s work, using our abilities to serve others for God and sowing our money into God’s mission are ways to spend our lives well and not waste it.
To me there is nothing sadder than seeing someone waste his or her life. It’s sad because they don’t have to. They have every opportunity to make their lives count by being generous to God with everything they have but this is usually easier said than done. It is so tempting to hold on to things instead of holding onto God, to think that possessions can satisfy your inner longings and to assume that you have lots of time left to get it right. Unfortunately acting on those beliefs will rob you of getting the most out of life for now and for eternity.
When you are wasting your life you usually don’t recognize it. You develop daily living patterns that are self-centred and self-serving and leave serving God and others out of the picture and you don’t give it a second thought. The result is that you develop deep spiritual and emotional longings that go unsatisfied and leave you vulnerable to wasting your time trying to create an environment for yourself that serves your wants and wishes. Living this way is never fulfilling because it sows seed into the wrong place. It is true that you reap what you sow. What you give to God and his purposes will last forever and grow into an eternal inheritance for you while what you keep for yourself will rust, wear out and disappear over time and not have any lasting impact for the kingdom of God or yourself.
So, are you spending your life wisely? Are you generous towards God with everything that you have? Will you commit your time, talent and treasure every day to God for him to use to build his kingdom here on earth? Will you make daily deposits in God’s work with everything you have and by so doing lay up treasure in heaven? There is no better way to make eternal investments.
It’s entirely up to you how you spend your life. Be sure to spend it well. Don’t waste it but make it count for Christ at every opportunity.