Today, perhaps more than ever, people, both Christian and non-Christian struggle with setting goals and priorities. There are many reasons why people struggle with such things, nonetheless, the way we perceive reality plays an important role in our choices.
As humans, we have two primary options when making important choices. We can approach reality from God’s eternal perspective as taught in the Bible or from man’s limited one. The more we embrace God’s understanding of reality, the more His priorities will permeate our choices and lives. The more we embrace a man-centered approach, the more skewed and misguided our choices and outcomes will be.
We Have Brought Nothing Into This World
When contemplating the choices we make verses like 1 Timothy 6:7 can prove very helpful. There it says “For we have brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Regardless if one embraces the Bible or not, few people would dispute the validity of this verse.
All of us struggle with choosing and maintaining godly goals and priorities, yet verses such as this can help ground us in our decisions.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:7 that “we have brought nothing into this world.” How is it that scripture can say that we have brought nothing into this world? Each of us comes with a number of things a body, mind and soul for instance. If that’s the case, then what does 1 Timothy 6:7 mean?
Simply put, no man brings any material possession or personal accomplishment into this world upon birth. As large as a mother’s belly may become, her offspring does not bear any material possessions. As beautiful as a new born may be, none are known for personal accomplishments. All of us are born into this world without any material possessions or personal accomplishments. That is what 1 Timothy 6:7 is pointing to.
We Cannot Take Anything Out
As strongly as 1 Timothy 6:7 asserts that we can bring nothing into this world, it says, “it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Indeed, when we came into this world, we came with a body, mind and soul. When we depart, we will leave our body and mind behind.
In Genesis 3:19 God said to Adam, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Man was created from the dirt of the ground, and his body will decay until it becomes part of the ground once again. Thus, when scripture says that “it is certain we can carry nothing out, ” it is referring to all the material possessions we possess at the time of death. All these things shall remain behind.
Some people make very foolish choices in hopes of attaining wealth, possessions, fame and the like. Yet for every person who has attained such things, countless others have lost everything in their pursuit.
How is it that so many get caught up in the rat race? Simply put, by nature, people tend to strive after those things they find pleasing to them. For many the lure of material possessions grab them at a young ages.
At times you see it coming out in children at Christmas. When the gifts are being opened you may see some focusing not on the gifts they received, but looking around at what others got.
All of us are born with certain cravings, and as we grow and develop, so do our cravings. For some it’s a car or a house. For others it’s a woman or a man. Some people crave adventure or the wild life. Of course there are others who crave it all!
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 says, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss…”
Clearly, based on the Bible, the only thing that can be stored up and passed on into eternity are those good works that are truly pleasing and glorifying to God.
Friendship With God or The World
Scripture says, “we have brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” We can build on the foundation we have in Christ either “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw.” Statements such as theses force us to wrestle with the question, where does my loyalty lie? Does my friendship reside with God or with a worldly system that goes contrary to God?
A true and active relationship with Christ challenges even the most immature Christian to reconsider their direction, goals and priorities, for God’s Word searches deep into the pliable heart.
The Bible provides food for thought to help us better grasp the significance of this topic.
In Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, “for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
“What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” The answer is nothing, nothing, nothing!
Why would it profit him nothing? “We have brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Even if a person were able to gain the entire world, if we can’t keep it, what have we gained in the process? Nothing!
As much as we have gained nothing, spiritually speaking, we have lost everything! As we pursue the world, in the process, we have failed to faithfully follow Christ. As we opt to choose our own way over the Lord’s, we forfeit our souls forever.
Why is it wrong to make our primary purpose in life to pursue the things of the world? In doing so, we are putting the world and our own self interests above God. James 4:4 says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” By putting the world first, in a sense we worship it rather than God, thus, proving ourselves to be opposed to God.
One might wonder if this is fair of God to expect? Well, if a father does everything possible to help his child, and the child refuses the help and refuses to even recognize his fatherhood, why should the father recognize a kinship between them? This is exactly how many people respond to God the Father. Why do people waste their lives chasing after a world they cannot possess? They love the world more than their heavenly Father.
What is our purpose in life? Are we attempting to gain the world or follow Christ?
All those who have entered into a true relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior are called to a new life, and a new purpose as well. This is part of the Holy Spirit’s transforming ministry.
In Titus 2:11-13 the Bible says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The very thing that once was our main purpose in life, striving after the world, we are called to turn away from and turn to Christ.
What is gained in the process? Titus 2:11 says, salvation, verse12 says, soberness, righteousness and godliness, berse 13 says, the blessed hope, which is the second coming of Christ.
For some these things mean nothing, but come eternity, they will be everything.
How is a believer in Christ to make this change in pursuit?
The Bible says in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The transformation spoken of here occurs at the point of salvation. At that time the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the new believer. The Holy Spirit works within the believer throughout the course of their walk, to shape the believer more and more into the image of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it speaks of the indwelling saying “or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
As we daily spend tie before the Lord searching our hearts for sin and inconsistencies, and seeking forgiveness, cleansing and restoration, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit we are able to find true and lasting change. We are then able as Titus 2:12-13 says, to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts” and in turn able to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.”
That which was once impossible, through faith in the risen Christ,, now is possible.
Scripture says in Luke 16:13 that “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.”
Who are you serving? What are you pursuing? Are you pursuing godly goals and priorities, or those of the world?
The choices we make in this world are eternally significant, choose wisely!