John 8:21-32: 21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him. 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If we’re really honest with ourselves, we’d remember our stories of squander. I’ve many of my own, but one in particular has had a life-long impact. It took place when I was about 13 years old, in Junior High School in Arlington, Texas. As with most boys my age in those days, I built plastic model airplanes and cars. I had been saving for some time for a particular model, and (to me) it was expensive at $5. One day, with my friends, I went to the Forum 303 Mall to play arcades. You might have already guessed it, but I squandered my whole savings in no more than 30 minutes. I was upset, but my dad reminded me it was all my choice, and I’d have to save longer for the model. Lesson learned.
Just like the examples we all could come up with, we’ve squandered something else of immense value. There’ve been times, I’m sure, where we’ve squandered the Truth we’ve been given by Christ. Jesus left all in Heaven, came to Earth, was ‘lifted up’, resurrected, and ascended, all for us. For you and me. In doing this, he defeated death for all of us for eternity. And yet, we’ve squandered this Truth of great value through things like our lack of trust in the Lord or lack of surrender. The big question I believe we need to answer is this: What are we going to do about it? Are we going to continue to squander the Truth we hold? Heaven forbid!
My personal lesson with squandering has kept me from all manner of gambling and playing video games. I just can’t enjoy these things because my lesson stares me in the face. I move along to something else more fruitful. Just as our life lessons regarding squandering taught us to avoid their repetition, we should learn from squandering the Truth we’ve been given. But, despite this and other shortcomings, God remains faithful to us and abundant in his giving of grace. As you recall and contemplate the times where you’ve squandered the Truth, asking the Lord to change you as my dad did, read through this Psalm and know more fully your God knows and loves you!
By Rich Obrecht