I am truly a very blessed person when it comes to having wonderful Christians in my life to look up to. My mother is an incredible Christian woman, who has always put God first in life, and taught her children the Bible. She has kept me in church, even on the days when I would’ve rather done anything else, she has kept me closely guarded from sin, best she can, she has taught me scripture and not only that, but she has taught me how to follow it, and has always been honest about the Gospel. My father was not a good Christian man, but my step-father is constantly striving to be a better Christian. He, as well as my mother, has kept us in church and tries to make sure that there is not a day when the church doors are open that we do not attend, whether or not we are tired, or if some of the family is sick. We go. My grandfather on my mother’s side was an amazing Christian man, and although he passed away when I was young, I remember him very well and remember the Godly legacy that he left. I have attended the same church for years; My family joined when I was 10, and it is the church that I was baptized in, and where I have learned so many wonderful things thanks to my Pastor. Our Pastor is a God-fearing, Bible teaching man who has taught his congregation well. In the last few months, I have also been listening to another Pastor (Pastor Clarence Sexton) online, and recently, I was able to meet him. I attend the services there whenever we don’t have service at my own church, and he has continued being a wonderful example, and has been so very kind to me and has talked to me so many times. I have had people invest in me. People who have sacrificed time and energy to tell me about the Gospel, to teach me properly, and to train me in the way I should go. I have had people pray for me, steer me towards the right direction when I am slacking, be truthful when I am backsliding, and be supportive when I am going through trials. I am very blessed, like I said. Many people don’t even have a single person who have truly invested in them and taught them how to live a Godly life, and how to pursue the Lord, and I have had many people touch my life. So, I have a debt to pay. I not only have a debt to pay to those who have invested in me, but I have a debt to pay to those who are in my generation who do not know the Lord. I have a debt to pay to younger people who do not know Him. To older people who do not know Him. “There is no age gap in the ministry.”
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
In Psalm 78, we read about the tribe of Ephraim; This tribe was extremely strong, extremely blessed. This is the tribe that Joshua came from. They were armed and ready for battle. They had been invested in by God Himself, they knew the truth…but they turned back in the day of battle. We, like the children of Ephraim, are armed. We have been invested in by others. We read in the first few verses on Psalm 78 that we should not hide the parables and the truth taught by the older generation from our children. We should show the generation to come everything the Lord had done, and we should teach them about His strength, His mercy, His holiness, so that the future generation will know Him, so they can have hope in God, so they do not forget Him, so they can know and keep the commandments. The tribe of Ephraim are a great example for us as to what not to do. They had been taught, but when it was time for them to go and invest the same way they’d been invested in..they turned back. When it was time for them to prove their loyalty to the Lord, they deserted Him. They didn’t leave a Godly legacy for the future generation. They forsook the Lord and followed their flesh, and did not pay their debt.
We all owe a debt, and we have to be willing to pay it.
In Romans 1, verses 11-14, we read about Paul, and what he says about this debt. It is our duty to impart what has been imparted in us. If we have been taught by Godly examples, we should strive to be Godly examples for other people. We should be investing in others. And I’m not just talking about casual witnessing! Be a part of someone’s life, be a true, lasting example to them. Be there for them when they need support, prayer. Show them how to live, not to seem righteous yourself, but to show them how righteous God is.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Paul saw how important is was to be a Godly example. He wanted to leave fruit among them, to impart into them some sort of spiritual gift and help them become established Christ followers! When you have been blessed enough to have had a Godly example in your life, someone who has chosen to invest in you, you should have a great desire to pay it forward. This debt is not some sort of terrible burden to bear; it should give us great joy to pay it. It should give us great joy to live in such a way that we know we are leaving a Godly legacy behind us for the generation to come.
I have been invested in, and in the last few weeks, I have felt the Lord pull me to somewhere in particular, and He has allowed others to come into my life so suddenly, and to invest in me, and I feel so greatly blessed. I want to pay this forward and to invest in other people. I want to pay my debt. We have people all around us who do not have a Godly example in their lives…so be that Godly example. Go pay your debt to them! Be willing to preach the Gospel to them and not just share it once, but to constantly be a light in their lives! Remember this… we are not owed anything, but we owe a great deal to others. Paul did not say “I am a victim, and others are indebted to me.” He said “I AM a debtor.” And if anyone was perhaps worthy of others praise for how he lived his life in Christ, it would’ve been Paul. But he saw that as he had been invested in by Godly believers, it was now his turn to invest in others. We are not victims!
When we have had an experience with God, when we have been saved and taught right, it becomes our duty to pull others in the right direction so that they may have that experience as well.
I want you all to do something this week. It may be Wednesday, but the week is not done. Go to someone who has invested in your life if they are still living, and thank them. Thank them for what they did for you, for how they invested in your life and taught you. Show them how much they mean to you. Perhaps, have them sign your Bible so that you may remember them and be inspired by their names each time you read the Bible, so you may be reminded to invest in others. And after this…pray and ask God for Him to lead you to someone who needs to be invested in. Whether that be a child, a teenager, or an older person. Find who God is leading you towards, find someone who needs the truth, and share it. Invest in them. Pay your debt.
*Post inspired by this sermon.