WHO IS THE LAZARUS IN YOUR LIFE? (Luke 16:19-31)
The purpose of God is that we “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”. Colossians 1: 10. Even the poor are in God’s purpose. Lazarus had faith or else he will not be in Abraham’s bosom. God’s purposes are not often understood but it is all to his glory. Lazarus though poor conducted himself, in trust and remained expectant from God. His life was an opportunity for the rich man, to show kindness, to be used of God to help his fellow man. He blew all of his chances- but his dog saw flies on Lazarus and licked up his sores, the best it could do. The rich man drove his chariot in and out with Lazarus at his gate waiting for food crumbs from of his table, but found no mercy and the rich man lost his chance. Lazarus, the poor beggar who was full of sores died.
“And As it Is Appointed unto Men once to die, But after this the judgement” – Hebrew 9:27
By reading the story of Lazarus, it becomes clear that one should not wait until death is at the door to consider where they will spend eternity. In death, eternity immediately becomes an issue. In the case of Lazarus, when he died the angels came to carry and usher him into the bosom of Abraham. When the rich man died he was simply buried. The story of Lazarus and the rich man shows that after death there is nothing that can be done about eternity. Hence, eternity is an issue that people should consider before death arrives. If they do, they still have time to make changes and accept the will of God in their lives. Also, we should remember that death is not on our personal schedule. It can come at anytime and it can be sudden. Therefore, we must always be prepared for eternity by accepting Jesus.
Another lesson that we learn from the story of Lazarus and the rich man is that in our lives we are given chances to show kindness and perhaps manifest the hand of God in our lives.
Lazarus desired to be fed the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. The rich man, clothed in purple and fine linen, fared sumptuously every day. Yet, he denied the will of God by refusing to help Lazarus in his time of need. Which person are you, and what purpose are you fulfilling to your fellow man in God’s master plan. Are you a Lazarus or better said, who is the Lazarus in your life? How are you acting, and where will you end up?
“Blessed Are the merciful: For they shall obtain mercy” – Matthew 5:7
In hell, the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torment and seeing Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Where will you be if it is you die? The rich man said to Father Abraham, “have mercy on me (note that after the rapture this will not be possible), and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. Abraham called him son and reminded him that he had his chance in the world but did not use it, and it was too late now- besides there is a great gulf fixed separating heaven with Lazarus and hell with the rich man. Maybe the rich man could have taken the opportunity given to him through Lazarus at his gate. Watch your gate; there may be a Lazarus at your door. Show mercy; think about the poor always with you. The purpose of God and eternal values must be uppermost in everyone’s mind.
The fact that a person is poor does not mean that God does not have a purpose for their life. Jesus Christ said , ” for the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (John 12:8). Do not despise the poor who are in Christ. The purpose of God is all that matters. If you give to the poor, you are lending to God (See Proverbs 19:17 which states “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again”). – The Church contributed to the poor at Jerusalem – The issue of rich and poor is in the hand of God. While we preach prosperity, and look down on the poor in our midst, remember the purpose of God for each individual is in the hand of God. Riches are good, but how many rich people are actually happy and are not carried away by their riches.
Lest I forget, who knows how rich Apostle Paul could have been if he sold every chapter of his sermon, like preachers do today. Many preachers are specialists in every subject in this world. They have many books, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes that they offer to the public and their members in particular for lots of money which the poor in our midst cannot afford and therefore left out of the supposed blessings.
Imagine each apostle with his airplane, fleet of cars, bodyguards, extensive wardrobes and homes in different parts of the country or world, and large personal bank accounts like we see today. Something is truly wrong and the problem is not just the preachers, but also the followers. People do not take the time to check the scriptures and match the lives of the people today with those who are in Hebrew 11. These are the people we shall stand with before God.
“Of whom the world was not worthy: They wondered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth — All obtained good report through faith” —- Hebrew11:38-39”
Through all of this, remember Lazarus will definitely line up with the saints in Hebrew 11. He overcame poverty and the strains of this life by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Think of how many of us will say that it is not God’s purpose, if we were in Lazarus’ shoes. What shall a man give in exchange of his or her life? (Mark 8:36-37)
How many cars can a man drive at the same time, How many beds can you sleep on at the same time? Eternal values must always be in our perspectives, decisions and judgments. You can only end up where Lazarus is (Heaven) or where the nameless rich man is (Lake of Fire). The choice is yours.
By Douglas E. Amobi