Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

by M. A. Jollay

Chapter Four

Stop! Don't short change yourself!

Most people are well aware it is wrong to take advantage of another. But they may be thoughtless about treating themselves with the same careful consideration. It accounts for the misuse of our times and talents, the abuse of health, and home, and many other practical aspects of daily living.

But nowhere do we blunder so badly and so frequently as we do in that permanent area of life . . . the spiritual.

Has there ever been a more comprehensive disclosure of this than surfaces in the question asked by Jesus?

"What is a man profited if he gain the whole world, only to love his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Few have aspired to so great an option as world dominion. None have succeeded in obtaining it. Most people are selling their souls for far less without so much as a second thought. No one gambles here but to lose both.

This is an issue of eternal nature no one can avoid. If we do not say "yes" to God, we have already said "no!" How decisive indecision is!

But even of those who have made a commitment to Christ, are we taking full advantage of what God has made available to us through Christ Jesus our Lord?

The oft-expressed Bible admonition to draw generously from God's abundant supply suggests many are not so inclined. There are those like a federal judge who was a member of our church in the mid-west. Discussing spiritual values with him one day, he remarked, "If I just get my foot through heaven's gate, I'll be satisfied!" And his life reflected that careless attitude.

No one can state more comprehensively the fuller spiritual life available to those committed to Christ than did Jesus Himself, when He said:

"I am come that you might have life and have life
more abundantly." Literally boundless life!

Yet all the other encouraging words spoken in the same manner, add their appeal to full response.

Listen to Peter's words before us today:

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Holy spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: may grace and peace be yours in fullest measure."(1 Peter 1:1-3 NASV)

So Peter turns his splendidly expressed salutation to these saints into a prayer. A prayer that the abundant grace of God, resulting in abundant peace, would be theirs.

There is no measurement to the grace of God. It is inexhaustible. There is no curtailment to the peace of God. It is perfect. These being ours "in fullest measure" is limited only by our response and capacity. We are the kind of Christians we choose to be. The extent of our spiritual development is in balance with our willingness to receive Him and be used of Him.

This is true of our present life. It will still be true in eternity. For in eternity we will be the product of all the choices we have made here.

Wise then is the man who bears this in mind and so orders his life.

So don't sell yourself short in those things provided for us in Christ Jesus. We are born again unto a lively hope (v.3). There is reserved for us an inheritance, imperishable and undefiled (v.4). We are kept by the power of God (v.5).

In this we are to greatly rejoice (v.6).

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