It Will Become Even More Costly!

   While admittedly my opinion, it is not my conviction the rising prices of food and energy and other commodities are the single and direct result of the Ukrainian/Russian war. Such increases have been constantly increasing, and again (in my opinion) it is not pointed to pollical causes. (I remember 25 cent gasoline!) Nonetheless, these increases are real and unlikely to improve within a few months; it may well take years and is a part of our existence to which we have become accustomed. Yet, it hurts us in extreme ways!

   I think of farmers: most of their equipment runs on diesel fuel which is now more costly than seen in nearly a quarter-century, and, according to refining specialists, is easier to refine from crude oil than gasoline. I think of truckers whose vehicles are predominantly diesel fuel vehicles. These are the transporters of nearly all our supplies from food to clothing, to building materials, to medical supplies, and any other commodity you can name. And I think of the working man/woman whose family depends on their income for food, utilities, mortgages, health coverage, and all other needs and a few wants. Rising costs are combined with rising inflation (they go together) are severely punishing on all consumers, but especially those whose lives have consistently been of the “hand-to-mouth” economy; the very economy most of us call our “lives.” It seems punishing, but so said our grandparents with rising costs.

    Recently, a brother expressed his sentiment by saying, “It’s getting too expensive to go to work!” We might embellish that remark by saying as some might be thinking, “It’s getting too expensive to go to worship.” Well, we can’t deny that fuel costs are increasing and predicted to go much higher before it’s reduced again (if ever), but is it the Lord’s fault? NO! Should HE be reduced in our budgets, or perhaps cut out altogether so we can continue to afford to pay our bills, continue some comforts at home, or, as my brother suggests, go to work? Absolutely not! Read and consider earnestly Matthew 6:33!

   I’ve never understood why souls, including those who profess righteousness, so often think the Lord and His kingdom can be the first items “sacrificed” when things get hard, and yet they continue to beg Him for blessings both spiritual and temporal! Such actions smack of an arrogance that bespeaks, “God, continue to give us more while we give Thee less.” Such an attitude isn’t limited to financial expenditures, but too often comes in the realm of work/service. Apathy never replaces service: and greed never replaces loving generosity! Therefore, considering the spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3) upon which we depend, and which come from our Father in heaven (James 1:17), by what scriptural authority does the child of God “reduce” his/her contributions (yes, money), service, or attendance to His kingdom?

   We Christians must come to a greater understanding that we are part of a kingdom that is not of this world (John 18:36). Yes, we physically live in a temporal world, but spiritually, ours is a citizenry (conversation/life – KJV) in an eternal kingdom (Philippians 3:20 NAS). Therefore, we must not place our trust in these uncertain riches (1 Timothy 6:17), but in the living God (ibid.) After all, He said He would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). We either believe Him, trust Him, and are committed to Him, or we are not! It is just that simple!

   Another observation: What did Jesus give that we might have 1) the remission of our sins gained by our obedience to the gospel, 2) the gospel by which we learn what we must do to be saved by His shed blood, 3) the church to which we are added when we obey the gospel (Acts 2:47), 4) the promise of eternal life (Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:25) if we remain faithful unto death (Revelation 14:13), 5) the crown of life (Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 1: 1 – 10)? Was it not His life? What sacrifice did He give on our behalf? (Hebrews 10: 1- 10) Was it not His life? Then by what authority do we children of God, made such by being adopted to Him (Romans 8:15) as well as being born of the water and spirit (John 3:7; 1 John 5:4) ~ by what authority do we children of God sacrifice anything less to His honor and glory? (Romans 12:1-2)

   Careful students of the New Testament quickly note the extreme sacrifices offered by the earliest brethren (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32; 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 5; et al). These realities should permeate our minds as we contemplate our lives of sacrificial service for our King Jesus. Examine again 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and notice our giving must be premediated, and not just moments before the basket is passed! (See also 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 7) No Christian should give “whatever is left over after the bills” but instead realize that as a Christian, all things pertaining to Christ Jesus must come first in our life (Colossians 1:18).

   So, not only will the cost of everyday living continue to increase, so will inflation and the cost of all we purchase in this time world. It’s been the trend since we first established an economic system in this country sometime in the 1770s or 80s. Nothing temporal retains in actual value: it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for that item. But your soul – what’s that worth? (Matthew 16:24 – 26) Will it cost you more in this time world to be a faithful child of God? Most likely, and that’s the reason for this article. It allows me to ask this searching question: Why would you deprive God of what is due Him, to sustain your physical lifestyle? To do so shows you are more concerned of this earthly, deteriorating life than you are of gaining eternal, immortal and incorruptible life with Him. Yes, it may cost us more of earth’s wealth; but serving God is worth it all!