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 (Living Waters 1986 Winter)
The Most Valuable Life
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            "You were brought with a price.  So glorify God in your body." (I Cor 6:20)

The life (soul) of a man is more precious than all the treasures in the world, in the sight of God.  Consequently, God Himself came into the world in flesh, suffered and died on the cross in order to redeem our sins and grant us eternal life.  Since we are bought by His priceless blood, we ought to perceive the preciousness of our lives and the mission He entrusted us.  If a man is in good health, he may live to the age of 80 (Ps 90:10). 80 years is only about 30,000 days.  If we subtract a total of 20 years of the days of childhood, old age, and sickness, about which we can do little, the remaining useful days will be less than 20,000.  Many of us have already lived half our lives and some have even stepped into the final years.  We should pray to the Lord to teach us to number our days so that we may gain the heart of wisdom (Ps 90:12), and maximize the value of our remaining life in the contribution towards God and mankind.  We should not receive salvation freely, but live a life glorifying God and benefiting mankind.  Ultimately, we shall obtain the reward of eternal life.

The true value of life does not lie in the abundance of possessions, knowledge, high status or material enjoyment.  It cannot be measured by external glory, but by internal spiritual quality and substance. (I Sam 16:7; Lk 12:15-21).  If a person possesses an excellent spirit, he will be able to establish an intimate relation with God.  God will use him to accomplish much valuable work.  Through the goodness, honesty and love issued from his heart, many people will be edified.  How precious is this kind of life!


Abraham had a simple and strong faith toward God (Rom 4:19-21).  He placed God first in his life and obeyed God's command in all matters (Gen 12:4-8;13:18; 22:1-3).  Hence, he received God's blessing throughout his life (Gen 24:1).  Through his close relationship with God, he brought immeasurable blessing to his family and relatives.  Sarah was a blessed wife.  Since she was married to Abraham, she lived in the abundant grace of God, receiving God's care and guidance daily.  Isaac was a blessed son.  His sincere faith and fine character was built up by Abraham. It afforded him the inheritance of a most precious legacy - the true God.  Lot was a blessed nephew.  He was fortunate enough to have Abraham love him as his own son.  Abraham risked his life, leading 318 trained servants to deliver Lot and his whole family from the hands of the mighty armies of four kings.  Again, he interceded earnestly for Lot and moved God to save Lot from the city of destruction - Sodom (Gen 18:20-33; 1 9:29).  How precious was the existence of Abraham to his family and relatives!

Cornelius was a devout man.  He feared God, prayed constantly and lived a life loving God and people.  He had great influence among his kindred and friends.  Through his spiritual cultivation and godly character, he manifested the invisible God to his family.  Even one of the Roman soldiers who served him was transformed to a devout soldier.  His good deeds were highly regarded among all the nation of the Jews (Acts 10:7-22).  His kinsmen and good friends received the salvation through him.  They even obtained the Holy Spirit while they were still listening to Peter's sermon (Acts 10: 24,44-48).  How precious was the existence of Cornelius to his family and kindred.

We should manifest such values to our families.  By drawing near to God and living spiritually, we shall reflect the glory of the divine character.  Through the virtues of honesty, gentleness, patience and love, our family will enjoy peace and warmth.  Our family and kindred may also receive salvation and God's blessings.  Because of us they will give thanks and glory to God.


Joseph was upright, obedient and very responsible since his youth (Gen 37:2, 12-17).  He was the most valuable son in his family.  Jacob, his father, loved him dearly.  His brothers were jealous and sold him to Egypt where he became the servant in the house of Potiphar, the Pharoah's captain.  God was with him and he brought God's grace abundantly to his master's house.  He turned out to be the most valuable servant.  Later, he was cornered by his master's wife.  In order to keep himself holy from fornication, he was framed of wrongdoing and put into jail.  Surprisingly, he became the most valuable prisoner in that jail.  Even the jail-keeper gave him authority over all the prisoners.  God was with him and through him other prisoners were blessed.  When the time of God had come, he was elevated to be the Prime Minister of Egypt.  He then became the most valuable official in the Egyptian kingdom.  God granted him wisdom and enabled him to interpret pharoah's dream, and save the entire nation from the peril of famine.  Ironically, a total of 70 people of his father's house also survived.  With a magnanimous heart, Joseph pardoned all the transgressions of his brothers and fed their families.  No wonder, the Bible records, "Joseph is a fruitful bough" (Gen 49:22).  How precious was his existence!

At the age of 20, Daniel was captured to Babylon which indulged heavily in idolatry and adultery.  He resolved to keep himself holy from defilement (Dan 1:8) and was determined to live a life, praying three times a day (Dan 6:10,11).  He possessed exceptional spiritual qualities and a noble heart.  Through communing face to face with God, he formed an excellent spirit and divine virtues.  He found favor with God and the king, and was the most valuable person in his generation.  In terms of worldly success, he was elevated from captivity to the head of religions in Babylon, and was finally chosen as a president (equivalent to prime minister) of the Persian Empire (Dan 6:1-3).  In terms of contribution to the Kingdom of God, he became God's precious vessel and a greatly beloved prophet (Dan 9:23; 10:11).  Through visions and dreams, God revealed to him His great plan for mankind, and major events from the time Babylon until the end of the world. He was likened to a bright star in heaven shining in the dark age of the world and was a living testimony for God (Dan 12:3).  How valuable was his existence!

We should establish strong spiritual living and be transformed daily by the words of God and the Holy Spirit to become Christ like (Phil 1:20).  Whether we are in school or society, we may manifest ourselves as genuine Christians, reflecting divine character so we may draw others to God, whereby they may obtain salvation and blessings (I Pet 2:12; Acts 11:24).


When Ahab became the king of Israel, he married the wicked woman Jezebel and caused the entire nation to fall into the great sins of idolatry.  God's fury came upon the house of Israel, the plague of famine prevailed upon the entire land for three and a half years, and many people died (Lk 4:25).

At the verge of desolation, Elijah suddenly appeared and shouldered the great task of reviving the faith of the whole nation.  He lived a simple and frugal life. (2 Kgs 1:8).  He was equipped with a strong spirit and fearless courage (Lk 1: 1 7); was disciplined and trained by God in order to learn complete obedience and trust (I Kgs 18:1-15).  Relying upon God, he boldly challenged 850 false prophets at the foot of Mt.Carmel.  Through the power of prayer, he defeated them, turned the hearts of the Israelites to the true God and destroyed all the false prophets.  Then he went to the summit of Mt.  Carmel and prayed importunately seven times.  God sent showers of rain to relieve the prolonged drought so the entire nation survived (I Kgs 18:16-46).  When he completed his work for God, there appeared a chariot and horses of fire, then Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven.  Elisha beheld this magnificent wonder.  He cried out with extreme adoration; "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen." (2 Kgs 2:11,12) The sole existence of Elijah was more valuable than the entire army of the nation.  His contribution to Israel is immeasurable.  How precious was his life!

At the age of 40, Moses' faith became mature.  He did not forget how God saved his life.  He'd rather be the child of God than the son of Pharoah's daughter.  He did not treasure the glory of Egypt and its sinful pleasures but desired the reward and the everlasting glory of God.  He forsook his own benefits and status to devote his life to save his people out of the bondage of slavery (Heb 11:24-26).  After 40 years of spiritual training, God chose him as His precious vessel out of the furnace of affliction (Is 48:10).  Because of his willingness to render his life unconditionally to God's service, God entrusted him with the greatest task in the Old Testament era - leading more than two million Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land.  Through this work, he also fulfilled the perfect pre-configuration of God's salvation.  When he accomplished the work of God, he came to the border of Canaan.  He climbed to the top of Mt.  Pisgah and overlooked the promised land.  Then, he reflected the 40 years hardship of shepherding God's people.  Moses must have had a clear conscience to meet God in peace.  The last 40 years of his life were the most glorious and valuable.  The scriptures say, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" (Deut 34:10).  He was likened to a burning candle (Jn 5:35) slowly melting away and sending forth a bright light to shine over the entire nation.  He can also be compared to a grain of wheat buried under the ground, sacrificing himself to bear two million "grains" (Jn 12:24).  This is the only means for a lowly and useless being to be transformed into an extremely valuable person.

God loves us dearly and chose us from the world to give us salvation, grace and peace.  He even sacrificed Himself by coming into this world in the flesh to die for our sins.  Hence, it is reasonable that we offer our lives to the Lord to repay His great love, by becoming valuable workers in God's Kingdom.


May the Lord help us to understand that life, is temporal but very precious, so that we make full use of each day to receive the words of God and pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  May the mighty power of God transform us into His precious vessels so that we can be valuable persons, at home, school, in society and the Kingdom of God.