“You bet your life…”

“You bet your life” . . . . . .

We all bet our lives” whether we know it or not. For those of you “seasoned” enough to remember, this “bet your life” statement might bring back memories of stand-up comedian Groucho Marx and the game show he hosted called “You Bet Your Life.” (No lives were lost in the filming of that program, just a little money and perhaps some pride if you thought you were pretty smart.) A funny coincidence is that the main sponsor of the show was a company called Lifebuoy. Get the humor, a soap that “lifts up” your life?

Actually, it did float.

I’m not saying we “lay a wager” with our lives actually on the line, but it is true that we do put the welfare of our lives at stake, present and future, by what we have chosen to believe and how we proceed with that choice. Most of us reading this article adhere to the claims of Christ for salvation and eternal life with some degree of faithfulness and perseverance. When we made this choice, there certainly were other options to consider and it seems more and more common that God’s greatest competition for the heart of man is the mind of man directed towards himself.

Do you ever wonder if you made the right choice . . . .  choosing to place your trust in Jesus? I’m not condemning you in any way if you did wonder or are wondering about that. We all like to believe we “traded up” when we exchanged “life management” from ourselves to Jesus.

I don’t want to create any confusion about a “performance-enhanced” relationship with God. I’m a cheerleader for grace. Big advocate. But in a sense (and we probably don’t comprehend this too fully from the start) aren’t we when we come to Christ deciding to “invest” our lives in Him? We are all familiar with the practice of investment in material senses which on occasion can be risky business, but how do we go about putting our “life chips” on the table in serious pursuit of Jesus and the kingdom of God? We could ask and challenge ourselves about any differential of value in the “chips” on the table compared to the ones we keep to ourselves.

Are you consumed now with worry over what next week or next year might just pan out to be “petty” things? Time has a habit of sorting those things out, doesn’t it?  Living life with that perspective would be similar to choosing to wait until we see things in life’s rear view mirror rather than seeking and trusting God in the first place. Scripture instructs us to persevere in two critical areas of kingdom living and, though it’s not always easy to stay on track, it is important to return on track as soon as possible after bumping into the guardrails. Jesus in Matthew 6:33 says the course to follow is to “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” Prior to that statement he is reaffirming our absolute value to God and discussing the priority of pursuing God first and that in response to that mindset and “heartset” God will attend to meeting our needs for life, including food, drink and clothing.

The second key area is found in Proverbs 3:5-10 where the writer instructs us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Again, this may be a tall order in which we strive, stall and repeat, but the promise of God in it is both certain and hope-giving. We are instructed to trust completely (all your heart). We are instructed not to bank so heavily on our wisdom but to trust God’s for our roadmap (and this takes diligence.) We are instructed to recognize and concede to God’s instruction in all ways.

We must remember as John teaches in Chapter 15 of his gospel that abiding in Christ, living as a branch attached to the greater vine and literally drawing life from it, is the life Christ calls each of us to and there is no gamble that this life, though challenging, will disappoint us or the One who calls us.

Think About It.