A Life With Eternal Worth

“God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.” — 1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV

When I was in the Navy some ladies at a nearby assembly asked if I would give an elderly lady a ride on Sunday mornings to the breaking of bread, or remembrance meeting. I readily agreed, but I could not have imagined how this “chance” conversation would lead to so much learning and challenge. All that took place was the Lord’s doing, and it was marvelous in my eyes (Ps. 118:23).

As time passed I began to wonder, “How could a little old lady in failing health become such a powerful warrior for God?” The explanation was given by the apostle Paul in his first letter to the saints at Corinth (see scripture above).

In a tremulous, or shaky, voice that hid inner strength and determination, she would ask people she met, “Do you love Jesus, my dear?” There was such love and tenderness in her simple question that, as far as I know, no one ever took offence. But it was not only in witnessing that she excelled.

One day she mentioned a date and a time and asked me if I had been in danger at that moment. Sure enough, I had; it is something about which I am ashamed. She told me that the Lord had put my safety on her mind and she had to pray for me the instant He did. I had been delivered. Gradually, from snippets of conversation, I learned that God often woke her up during the night, causing her to get out of bed and kneel down to pray for someone in trouble or distress. During the daytime too she would sense the need to stop what she was doing in order to intercede on someone’s behalf. Since those days long ago when I was a young sailor, that dear old lady has been an inspiration to me.

Characteristics Of Believers 
We all have differing gifts and callings, but some things are the same. As believers, all of us are to pray and to encourage one another. We may not all be evangelists, but we are all called to witness and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).

We are not all teachers, but we can all accept that God has called us to comfort and to encourage. Isaiah said, “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Isa. 50:4).

Assuredly, we are not all preachers or heralds of the gospel, but we can demonstrate the love of Christ which is shed abroad in our hearts and which overflows to those around us (Rom. 5:5). God has given to each of us the Holy Spirit, and we are to tell the thirsty souls around us about the Source of living water. As we drink of the “living water” ourselves, dispensed by the Lord Jesus, we refresh others by the power of the Sprit of God (see Jn. 4:7-14, 7:37-39).

An Urgency 
The urgency of our day may add motivation to what we do. The world is beginning to experience the rumblings of the devastation soon to strike it. As we see the danger approaching we owe it to the Lord and to our fellow men to warn them of the dire judgment looming on the horizon.

Ezekiel expressed this thought very plainly for all to understand. When the clouds of war and judgment are in view, God will have a watchman from among His people to sound the alarm. If people hear and do not take warning, then their blood is upon them. However, if they hear and take warning they deliver their own souls. The watchman who fails to sound the alarm becomes responsible for the death of those he was to warn – their blood is on his head. We are all watchmen and we need to warn others of the imminent judgments of God upon this evil world. It is our responsibility to sound the alarm and to do so clearly (Ezek. 33:1-9).

If we are living a life of pleasure, heedless of the dangers for our neighbors, or if we are concerned only for earthly things, then our message will be uncertain. We will then be guilty of their blood (Joel 2:1; 1 Cor.14:8).

The Life Of Eternal Worth 
A life of eternal worth is one which gives diligence to show itself “approved unto God … rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Without Bible study we will be ill-equipped – unable to teach, witness, exhort, comfort and worship.

All these virtues merge into one by the power and discernment given to us by God’s Spirit (Jn. 16:12-14). The Spirit does not speak of Himself. Instead, He shows us the Lord Jesus. We are priests of a holy and a royal priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5). We are also “an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called [us] out of darkness into His marvellous light” (v.9).

Like the Aaronic priesthood, we are consecrated, or set apart, for sacred service. As they were washed, dressed and had blood applied to ears, hands and feet, we are likewise washed and dressed. Their hands were then filled with the pieces of the ram of consecration. Similarly, our spirits, souls and minds are consecrated by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, with His character and virtues. We are the true worshipers about whom the Lord Jesus told the woman at the well (Lev. 8:1-28; Jn. 4:23-24).

First Occurrence Of “Worship” In The Old Testament 
Abraham must have been tested to the utter limit when told to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. But in this we see how Abraham and we are led by the spirit of God to understand what it meant for God the Father to sacrifice the Lord Jesus and to lay upon Him the iniquity of us all. It is in this story that we find the first occurrence of the word “worship,” and there we discover the very depths of its meaning (Gen. 22:1-19).

An animal was offered as a substitute for Isaac, but the cup of judgment could not pass from the Son of God (Mt. 26:39). In this we see the burnt (ascending) offering which we offer to God; it is our gratitude and appreciation for the Lord Jesus and of Him. As priests we were given the pieces of the slain ram so we can present to God the virtues and the loving deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The book of Psalms shows how the offerings and sacrifices tell us about the Lord Jesus. One example quoted in the New Testament, with a messianic interpretation, is Psalm 40:6-8. We read in Hebrews: “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God” (10:5-7).

First Occurrence Of “Worship” In The New Testament

The first occurrence of the word “worship” in the New Testament emphasizes how we worship God and joy in Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is also worshiped by angels (Heb. 1:6).

Explaining the reason for their visit first to Herod the Great in Jerusalem, the wise men asked, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him” (Mt. 2:2). The wise men clearly understood that this birth, heralded by extraordinary signs in the night sky, was no ordinary birth. That they made an arduous journey through dangerous lands bearing very rich gifts is evidence for the strength of their belief. The message, written in the heavens, had profoundly stirred their devotion and their willingness to bow before the miraculous baby.

Final Challenge 
Today we have the privilege of being heralds, ambassadors, priests, prophets and worshipers telling forth the excellencies of our Lord Jesus Christ and joining the heavenly choirs singing His praises. “Worthy is the Lamb which was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). May we live in a manner that gives pleasure and a sense of sweetness to the Father and a continuous sweet song to God. That is a life worth living and one of eternal worth!

By Roger Penney