Monday, January 6, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 17: Living for Tomorrow

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 17, January 6, 2014
Readings: Psalm 16, Genesis 17, 1 Chronicles 17, Luke 10:25-42

We all put a lot of stock in the future. Future values, future earnings, future experiences, a future home, a future reality. Suffice to say, everything that cannot be changed for today, could be changed in the future. Or at least that's what we want to believe. For if we had no hope of change, then why try? If our hard work, planning and diligence amount to nothing, then what's the point?

The hard truth is, there is very little certainty in an our earthly futures. I too, wish it was like Back to the Future, where Marty Mcfly goes back in time with an almanac and can predict sports scores, with the potential of making millions on a "sure thing." But we don't have an almanac for the future. We put our security in the hands of chaos. And God calls us to something better.

King David sings of this in the Psalms, claiming that for him, God will be his future. Rather than relying on the success of his investments, or kingdom, he will take the LORD as his portion, his inheritance:

"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." (Psalm 16:5-6)

David knows that his earthly riches cannot last. God's plans are David's inheritance. David is content to serve while he can on earth, but the earth is not where his security lies. His riches, his hope, is in the God who never fails. Everything he own can fall to pieces, but he is secure in the LORD:

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption." (Psalm 16:9-10)

Jesus also brings this lesson to the forefront in a very real way with some of his close friends, and uses it as a teaching moment - to instruct us in what matters, what lasts:

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)

Mary has chosen the good portion. Martha is distracted. Jesus makes the contrast here very clear. Martha is relying upon her good deeds, her service, to supply her future. She expects that because of her sacrifice, she will be rewarded. She is doing work to receive a reward.

Jesus doesn't call us to work for a reward. We are not paid laborers, receiving our due. We are children of the King. He owes us nothing, but has given us an inheritance. We came to him as nothing, but He has given us everything. If there was a work we could do for salvation, then we could demand our reward, our payment from God. But it is a price we cannot pay. A debt we cannot afford.

Our future rests not in our ability to produce, or create wealth, or even in our ability to do good things for God. Our future is secure because of who God is, and what He's done. We can be glad and rejoice. God will not abandon our souls. He holds our future, and His inheritance, our portion, is beautiful.

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