“Godliness helps people all through life…” – Proverbs 13:6 NLT
To a certain degree, we have bought into the idea that the life of godliness is costly. That the kind of discipline that is necessary for us to live a godly life can require extreme sacrifice. And all that is true. But if we’re not careful we can end up viewing the godly life as a one-side affair. We can find ourselves viewing it is as all “give” and no “get.” Oh sure, we get eternal life in the end, but in the mean time we just have to give up all our favorite habits and vices, we have to give up all our dreams and die to our desires. We have to give God all our time, money and talents. It can all end up sounding and feeling so lopsided, as if it’s an investment with no real return for our money. Kind of like buying life insurance. You keep paying the premiums, but you never really get to enjoy the benefits of your investment.
But the truth is, while godliness can be costly, it is far from stingy in terms of its payback. The Proverbs remind us over and over again that those who choose to live godly lives find themselves greatly rewarded – in this life, not just the one to come. As we have seen before, the godly, or those who seek to live righteous lives receive wisdom, discernment, fruitfulness, protection, provision, direction, and so much more. They have a resource and reservoir of power available to them that others know nothing about. It’s kind of like insider trading – but fully legal. God makes available His wisdom. He gives complete access to His power. He lets us tap into His vast bank of limitless resources. They are complete at our disposal, 24-7, 365. God is like a bank that never closes, and His assets never run out.
Godliness really does pay. Sure, it may cost us a little time to seek to know God by reading His Word. It may require a little sacrifice as we give up some of the trinkets and trash this world offers in order to give all our time and attention to Him. But God gives a great return on our investment. He makes it worth our while. There is the old adage, “You can’t out-give God.” That is so true. There is nothing He might require of me that is more costly than what He has already given me. He gave me the life of His own Son in my place on the cross. He sacrificed that which was most precious to Him in order that I might have life – abundant life – not just in heaven, but right here on earth. He has given me His Holy Spirit as a constant companion. He has given me His inheritance – undeserved and without limits. This all reminds me of the old hymn I grew up singing in my father’s church on Long Island: “He Giveth More Grace.” Read the lyrics, then reconsider just how much a life of godliness pays.
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Father, You just keep giving. And while I may complain sometimes about how hard this life of godliness seems to be, the truth is, I get back far more than I give. I have already received more than I deserve and far more than I could ever repay. The wisdom, understanding, discernment, peace, provision, and protection I get is simply icing on the cake. If You never gave me anything more than the salvation I have already received, it would be more than enough. But as the song says, You giveth, and giveth, and giveth again. Thank You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men