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Your Best Life When?

February 8, 2018

“It doesn’t get any better than this.” The old commercials showed a group of guys hanging around, fishing, hunting, watching the game and having a great time. The ad peaks when someone reaches into the cooler to pull out an ice cold can of beer while the announcer declares, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Modern advertising is not the only place that promises to make possible the immediate enjoyment of the greatest experiences of life. A popular author and preacher has written several best selling books. His books have titles like, Your Best Life Now, Your Best Life Begins Each Morning and Every Day a Friday. He is not alone. America is plagued by a legion of preachers selling the promise that God wants to give everone wealth, happiness and health.

If existence does not get any better than good friends, a great game and a can of beer, then we might as well spend every Sunday pouring out drink offerings to the gods of athletics. If our best life is now, we might as well do whatever it takes to get as much pleasure as possible before life is over. “Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we die.” Such thinking is contrary to everything the Bible teaches.

An 18th century preacher, Daniel Wilcox, observed that the wicked man’s abundant possession of the pleasures of life shows just how little God values earthly riches. Wicked men prosper because God cares nothing for earthly prosperity. Instead, God reserves that which is truly valuable for His children. In Luke 16 the rich man ate great foods, relaxed in great ease and was comforted every day by his many possessions while righteous Lazarus starved and suffered. Yet, in the end Lazarus received the riches of God while the rich man received the wrath of God.

Another rich man decided to build bigger barns, store up his treasures and enjoy his life. “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” (Luke 12:20) King Solomon lived for the pleasures of life and after years of frustration discovered, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanities.”

Psalm 17 climaxes with the difference between those who seek for their satisfaction in this life and those who look to the next life for full satisfaction. The worldling is filled with riches. He is surfeited with earthly treasures, but he gains them at the cost of something much more precious. He fails to consider the reality of the resurrection and the greatness of God’s glory. God’s punishment on the wicked is to comfort him with great possessions. Woe to those who desire the riches of this world and God gives it to them! “For what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

The righteous man is satisfied with God. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” (Psalm 73:25) Instead of living for the satisfaction of earthly desires, the righteous man desires God and lives for the eternal joys that are only found at His right hand. “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalm 17:15)

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