"They cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave." Psalm 49:7-9 (NLT)
Do you think more about your physical well-being or your spiritual health?
Psalm 49 is one of many passages that force us to contemplate the fact that each of us faces death unless Jesus comes again before that occurs. It does not matter whether we have made a name for ourselves or not. We are like sheep with death being the shepherd.
"But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave." Psalm 49:15 (NLT) The Psalmist uses that statement as a loud and clear call for hope in a Psalm that offers no other.
When I was young, there were three topics not discussed openly: politics, sex, and death. In our generation the only one that remains confidential is death. Perhaps we as believers should broach the subject more often, so we too could exclaim, "God has redeemed my life! He has snatched me from the power of the grave!" Who knows, it may be a great conversation starter to discuss who and how death has been swallowed up in victory.
Lord Jesus, only in You has death lost its sting. Lord, stir those in whom that is true to proclaim victory in You faithfully. You alone are the ransom. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:7
"To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
I intentionally placed this after the comment on Psalm 49. While considering the question about the priority of physical versus spiritual well-being, my mind went back to Paul's discussion of the gifts of the Spirit. Since the Spirit has given each believer spiritual gifts, my thought was "Have I used and developed my spiritual gifts as I have my physical gifts?"
I must confess, for most of my life I have used my physical giftedness to provide for me and mine. Spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the Body of Christ. Have I been selfish in developing and using my physical gifts to the detriment of the gifts the Holy Spirit gave me?
I suspect if believers discussed each other's physical abilities we could easily point those out to each other. Do you think an evaluation of our spiritual gifts would be as easy?
Matthew 25 is a lengthy explanation of the kingdom of heaven. After discussing the ten virgins, Jesus talks about a man who gave each of his slaves talents, which are described as his property. (Matthew 25:14) Some of the slaves used the gifts for the benefit of the master and one did not. It did not go well for the slave who did nothing with the owner's property. The last section of Matthew 25 describes Jesus' return to claim His kingdom. As all the nations gather in His presence, Jesus invites some to participate in their inheritance and some He sent into eternal punishment. The basis of His decision is what each group did for Him. When each group explains they never had an opportunity to do anything for Him, Jesus answers "As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me."
Since the gifts of the Spirit are His property given to us for the benefit the His church, how important is the development and use of our spiritual gifts?
Holy Spirit, thank You for the spiritual gifts You have given me. I want to value them as You do and use them in my Lord's service as God my Father would empower me for His glory and the benefit of His children.