HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
April 9, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

How do you plan to live?

Pastor Robert Ramphal, Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12:16-21, Jesus tell us a story.

“A rich man’s farm produced a big crop, and he said to himself, ‘What can I do? I don’t have a place large enough to store everything.’ Later, he said, ‘Now I know what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones where I can store all my grain and other goods. Then I will say to myself, you have stored up enough things to last for years to come. Live it up! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You Fool! Tonight you will die. Then who will get what you have stored up?’ This is what happens to people who store up everything for themselves, but are poor in the sight of God.”

I know there are a lot of people who plan out their lives, and even the lives of their children. They have a calendar and an appointment book that are filled with events, meetings, and financial arrangements that consume most of their lives.

They know exactly how to invest their money, because they have spent a lot of time and energy studying strategies of investments.

They have taken great care in planning to buy or build a home that would make them feel comfortable and well secured. Even the furniture, the appliances, and all the latest gadgets and television sets are carefully selected to go with the decorum of the house.

They do all their homework in selecting, and buying a car that lends prestige to their status in the community.

When their children are ready for school, they carefully pick and choose the schools where their children will go and they plan out the cost of all their education and career.

When they travel, they know how to get the best travel plan and services. They travel in style, and when they dine out, they research the finest restaurants for culinary taste and aesthetics. Dining is very pleasurable, and the cost of eating out is of no concern to them.

Many are not satisfied with what they have, and are constantly planning to do more and more with their business and lives. They have this insatiable drive to keep on achieving more and more, no matter what it takes. They are truly dedicated to their cause and their goals, sometimes at the expense of their families and friends.

In reading the story that Jesus told, it is interesting to see how self-centered this man was. He had an overflow and an abundance of goods, but for him, this was not enough. He wanted more. He did not care about the unfortunate people in his community. He had a pre-occupation with the future. He wanted to make sure that he would never find himself in want and hunger, and that his way of life would be maintained as long as he lived.

My question for this article was, how do you plan to live? But behind this question is a more serious one. I am really asking you, how do you plan to die?

We are always planning out our future in terms of financial security and our physical well-being. We want to make sure that if and when we get sick, we will be able to get the medical help and medicine we need, and when we get old, we will have money to take care of all of our needs. Some of us even go as far as planning where we would like to be buried, and what kind of words will be put on our tombstones.

The points that I wish to express here are that we plan and plan, and yet we do not take into account the conditions of our souls. We seem not to plan for eternity.

The scriptures say,. “it is appointed unto man once to die, after death the judgment.” If we live sinful lives, when we die, all the money in the world will do us no good. It will be left behind. All the burial plots and nice tombstones with wonderful words will mean nothing.

We all need to plan to die with the intention of going home to God in heaven. As Christians, we know that we have to have our lives in order through Jesus.

The only way to God is Jesus. Jesus has said that no man can come to the Father, except through him. What this means is that each one of us needs to plan his/her life in Christ. We have to confess our sins to God, and ask Jesus to wash our sins away through His blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary for all of mankind.

With penitent hearts and a strong desire to live for him, God’s forgiveness for each of us will be given through His son, Jesus. This becomes the best plan for living the rest of our lives. Living without Christ is like living in a world of emptiness, but living in him is the experience of fullness and rich living that money could never buy.

In all your planning, never leave out Christ. He will show you how to plan successfully and how to reap the rewards of good living. He must be placed first in all of our undertakings, and everything else will fall into place.

How you plan to live or how you plan to die will not be a troubling question for you to answer if Jesus is in all your plans. Read the Bible, study it, refresh your mind, apply it to your life in daily living, and you will be automatically planning to live or die in Him. God bless you all.

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