Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Life You Save...

John Wesley was known to tell people that he gave, not simply so others would be saved, but so that he himself would not be lost! What did he mean by that?

Check out Luke 16:19-31. It is the story often referred to as "The Rich Man and Lazarus".

The story goes like this. There was a rich man who had it all, food and clothing beyond what he could have ever needed. (Notice the way "luxury" is defined? Not by all the things you and I consider to be required. Simply having food and clothing meant he was wealthy.)

And there was a poor man, a beggar, named Lazarus. (Apparently he didn't have food or much in the way of clothing to call his own.)

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. (What a way to go! God's messengers came and personally escorted the poor beggar into eternity!)

The rich man also died and was buried. Not so good, in comparison. No angels. No Abraham. No such luck. As a matter of fact, the next line reads, "In hell (Hades), where he was in torment..." Ugh. Not so good to be the rich man, I guess.

You may be wondering, "What was the difference maker for each of them? What sent the rich man to torment while the beggar went to Abraham's side?"

...Abraham replied, 'Son, remember in your lifetime you received good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.'

We have been given good things, not simply to enjoy them or hoard them but to share them with others and to bless others; to honor God with our wealth and use it the way He chooses for it to be used.

THIS COMING SUNDAY we will be receiving an offering for Nazarene World Missions. It is our opportunity to reach around the world and touch some of the beggars and those who are in need with the good things you have received: the Good News and financial blessings (medical care, food & clothing).

Every penny that the church is given this Sunday for missions will go out of our church and be sent to those who support missionaries around the world in over 160 countries. Not one cent of money given for missions will stay here.

Will you join me and my family as we plan to set aside something beyond our normal tithe? One of the lives you save may be your own.

Grace & peace

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