If the Devil Can’t Make You Bad, He’ll Make You Busy

But if the answer is “no”–if he is not Lord of all your life, if you will not give him your best, if you will not live for eternity–you will “suffer loss.” You will not lose your salvation, but you will be saved “only as one escaping through the flames” (v. 15). Your life will bear no significance, no fruit, no result on earth or in heaven.

There will be a “payday someday,” as R. G. Lee used to say. It’s guaranteed.

A decision to make

When Jesus is Lord of all of life; when we want to glorify him with our best; when we live for eternal reward–then we will do and fulfill God’s “good, pleasing, and perfect” will for our lives (cf. Romans 12:2). Such is the clear teaching of God’s word. Why?

Why should we make Jesus the Lord of the entire building, of every part of our lives? Lord of our work and home and money and time? Lord of every day and every moment? Why give our best for his glory, using every minute of this day for eternity? Why not relate to God like an honest man who pays his taxes but certainly hopes he’ll have money left over to do with as he wants?

Let me ask you: would you rather I design your next computer, or let Steven Jobs or Bill Gates have a try? Do you want me to handle your money, or would you rather let Warren Buffett invest it? Would you rather take golf lessons from me or Tiger Woods? Tennis lessons from me or Roger Federer? Do you want me to play the piano at your funeral, or would your rather have Barbara Loest?

Do you think that God can do more with your life than you can do with it? Can the all-knowing Lord of the universe guide your steps and direct your decisions better than you can? Can he reward your faithfulness better than you can reward yourself?

Will he? His holiness requires him to redeem all that he permits or causes. He is all knowing, all powerful, and all good. By sending his only Son to die on our cross in our place, he proved how much he loves and likes us and wants our best. But he cannot lead if we will not follow. He cannot give what we will not receive. He cannot do for us what we try to do for ourselves.

Why not give him your building and your best today? Why not take a chance on the grace and goodness of your Father in heaven? Why not tell him that you’ll go whenever he asks, wherever he leads, whatever the cost? Measure what you have to lose by what you have to gain.

Conclusion

This week’s Time magazine features John F. Kennedy on its cover and the topic, “What we can learn from JFK.” The article likens the war in Iraq with the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War, suggesting that President Kennedy’s diplomatic and civil rights strategies are worth considering again today.

As I read the article, here’s what I learned from JFK: time marches on. Even the President of the United States will not be familiar in a generation. Even in a city as tragically important to President Kennedy’s legacy as Dallas, most people do not remember much of what he did or stood for.

My sons never heard President Reagan speak in person. I never heard President Kennedy speak in person. It’s been longer since the Vietnam War than it was from World War II to Vietnam. How long will the world remember that you and I were here?

But there’s a Payday Someday. “Only one life–’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Only what’s done for Christ will last. Why do you need that reminder this morning?