Inspiration – Accountability and grace

Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene

Everyone has a theology in life. Everyone has an opinion about God.

The atheist believes there is no God. The agnostic is a person who believes nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

And while I could go on to give a definition of the theology of the major religions or philosophies of the world it would take up more room than is afforded in this column. There is no denying that everyone has a theology in life. We live with it and we live by it. We will also one day be judged by it.

This is accountability. A nasty word for some as many people would prefer to do their own thing or live by their own rules and not think about how they must one day account for all that they have said and done in this life. Many like to live by the motto, “Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse” or “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die”.

Others live their life like the person who received their first credit card in the mail and believes they can spend, spend, and spend but forgetting that the credit card bill will arrive and ask for the full amount.

Jesus tells a parable or a story of a young man who wanted to get away from his family and all the responsibilities that went with it. He gave his father an ultimatum – “Give me all the inheritance due me now or I will leave without it. One way or another I am not staying here.” He wanted to get out from under the authority of his father and live life as he called it while he was able to enjoy it.

His father liquidated some of his assets, enough to give his youngest son all the money due him. The young man no sooner had the money in his hands than he left the family farm and ran to a far away city. He spent many days living the life that he always had dreamed about – he ate what he wanted, he did what he wanted, he became very popular because other people like him enjoyed using the young man’s money to finance their own wild living. The young man was having the time of his life – wine, women, song and if it had been in Canada, he probably would have been going to Edmonton Oilers games.

Soon, he discovered he had run out of money, then his new friends left him as they had no reason to stay since the cash was gone. He was all alone. Broke and with no prospects or social assistance.

He got a job on a farm, feeding animals but even the animals were better fed than him as the country he was in took a devastating economic downturn and experienced a famine at the same time.

As with all of us, he began to remember what it was like back at home. He remembered that his father always made certain that all his employees were well taken care of. He decided to swallow his pride and return to his home and ask for a job. This once proud man, now dressed in rags, walked home and was ready for the worst. He had burned all his bridges and did not deserve mercy but was going to ask for it anyway. His father came running up to him and gave him grace instead of what he really deserved.

The Bible reminds us that each one of us, whether we believe in God or not; whether we worship the Living God or some other god; whether we live a life of doing good works to earn God’s approval or accept the grace given to us by reason of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, will one day give an account.

The question you and I should be most concerned with is: “How did I invest the time God has given me on earth?” Was it making money in “the patch”; making a name for myself in politics; spending my time making a name for myself in sports, or did I spend my time investing in my relationship with God?

You and I have the free will to decide how we will live our lives but we will also be accountable one day for the god we choose to serve – A god called “Me” or the God who created you, sustains you and loves you?

A very sad epitaph would be that we gain all that the world has to give but lost our eternity in the process. Come home – Prodigal Child – Come home to God. God is waiting with open arms to give you more love than you will ever experience here in this life.

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