God has been leading Pastor George and me to scriptures about choices and their consequences. Today’s bible passage is Luke 16:19-31.
Anyone who’s been a believer for a while is familiar with the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Pastor George and I pray you revisit it with a teachable spirit, for this story has much to say to us. The rich man knew that Lazarus was outside his home and chose to ignore him. Not only didn’t he feed him, he didn’t tend to his physical wounds, his open sores. When God places someone across your path with a need, what do you do? Like the rich man, do you pretend the person and need don’t exist? Do you give of what you can and help the need as much as your finances and possessions allow? Do you respond immediately or do you procrastinate? What choices do you make when you clearly see that God placed this individual across your path? Do you do what you think or want to do or do you act according to God’s prompting and leading?
Did you ever stop to think about how God feels about your choices? It’s pretty plain toward the end of the story when we see Lazarus with Abraham and the rich man tormented by flames and tremendously uncomfortable. It’s interesting that the rich man seemed to accept his fate only to request an act of mercy and compassion from the one he had numerous opportunities to show compassion and mercy to. Abraham responds that it’s impossible for Lazarus to do as the rich man requests, since there appears to be a separation between the two after physical life experiences. It appears that God does draw the line and that our choices can indeed have eternal consequences.
It’s important to understand that both men knew God and about physical and eternal life. Lazarus was comfortable in Abraham’s embrace, and the rich man did not seem surprised at what happened to him. From his response, he realized he should have done things differently during his physical life so that he would have a different and better eternal one. He also realized his choices made for a done deal.
God is very interested in the choices you make every day in living the life He wants you to live. It may seem like a simple, silly question, but will you choose from this moment on to please God and be instruments of His love to those He sends across your path or will you look to please yourself and take care of your needs and desires alone? Will you pick and choose situations that are comfortable or convenient and ignore the other needs? Will you give whatever is needed immediately regardless of what your plans were before the need came to your attention? Will you give of your time, your compassion, your possessions, your food, your money? Remember the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Do you choose to be a sheep or a goat? Your choices can determine your eternal future.
copyright 2013, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved