Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 1, 2013
The Rich Man and Lazarus
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I have prayed over and over again for God to help me with self esteem around people. I don't feel comfortable talking with most people and especially in large groups, therefore I don't like social events and always feel embarrassed about myself. I always feel like I'm not as important as any else.
ANSWER: Remember this, you were made in the image of God. He created you and gave you unique qualities. Your are special to Him. He loves you. As a child of God, you are not defined by this world, but by your relationship with Christ. Your worth and value is infinite because of who you are in Christ!
Jesus's account in Luke 16 of the rich man and Lazarus was one of the passages in the Bible that had a profound impact on shaping what God has called me to do with my life. It is a powerful contrast of someone that had nothing in this life, yet upon his death was forever with God, and someone that had everything you could ever want in this life, yet upon his death was forever separated from God.
I have shared often that death is the great equalizer. If Bill Gates would die without accepting Christ into his heart, like the rich man in Luke 16, the moment he dies he will be eternally separated from God. All of his billions, all of his great accomplishments, all of his "good works," will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Likewise, if a homeless man in Chicago dies but knows Christ as his savior, like Lazarus, the moment he dies he will be eternally with God his Creator. The fact he had no money, or no possessions, or never did great things in his life will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Let me share with you an interesting observation about this passage of the rich man and Lazarus that the Holy Spirit showed me many years ago. For the beggar Lazarus to be eternally with God he had to be "saved." That means someone took the time to share with him the fact God loved him and he could have a personal relationship with God. Lazarus obviously made the choice to accept God into his heart and life.
As for the rich man, one of two possibilities exist. The first one is nobody ever took the time to tell him about God's love. He lived his life without anyone ever approaching him about his eternal soul. The second possibility is that he was told about God's love and simply chose to reject it. The fact is he died without God in his life and that is why upon his death, he was eternally separated from God.
My word for you today is this. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, are you simply living your life in the safety of your salvation? What that means is are you satisfied that you are saved, have the assurance of everlasting life, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the lost in this world is simply not a priority in your life? Only you can answer that question. Please take a moment right now and ask yourself if you are simply living in the safety of your salvation.
I love you and care about you so much. The reality is there are lots of people that do not know Christ as their Savior. They are literally on a conveyor belt heading straight for hell, an eternal separation from the God that loves them so much. If you know Christ in the pardon of your sins, if you have the assurance of everlasting life, are you doing all that you can to help the lost find a personal relationship with Jesus?
I will be praying for you today. Somebody saw the need in Lazarus' life and shared God's love with him and he got saved. Chances are people saw all that the rich man had and never considered that he needed God in his life. The fact is, EVERYONE needs salvation. It is God's desire that ALL come to repentance and NONE be lost. God is calling you today to leave the safety of your salvation, and reach out to the lost and hurting in this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please read these words and watch the short video message: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,