THE LESSONS OF JACOB MARLEY
1. “I wear the chains I forged in life.”
What we do here, determines our position there!
Hebrews 9:27 (NET) People are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment.
We’re either storing up treasure or we’re storing up judgment.
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 (TLB) For the living at least know that they will die! But the dead know nothing [about their future] . . . .Whatever they did in their lifetimes—loving, hating, envying—is long gone, and they have no part in anything here on earth anymore.
John 5:24 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from [spiritual] death into [spiritual] life.
That’s why at Christmas we celebrate the Savior—Jesus! He saves us from our sins—our bad choices—our penalty! We no longer have to wear the chains we forged in life!
2. “Mankind is our business.”
It is all about people. Never sacrifice a person for a thing. Only people have enough value to make to Heaven.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
Isaiah 65 (NIV) I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create.
Psalms 49:16-19 (CW) Don’t be awed by the rich and famous, with their beautiful homes. When they die, they will take nothing with them. Even a man who flatters himself on his success in life and is praised for what he has accomplished will die and be buried like those before him.
The ONLY thing we can bring with us to heaven is people.
3. Know the weight of the chain you bear.
Acts 8:20-23 (BBE) Peter said . . . “Your heart is not right before God. Let your heart be changed, and make prayer to God that you may have forgiveness for your evil thoughts. For I see that you are prisoned in bitter envy and the chains of sin.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
The weight of your chain is in direct proportion to:
- Unrepentant sin. The weight of guilt, shame & regret.
- Unforgiveness. The weight of bitterness, anger & hatred.
- Unbelief. The weight of envy, hopelessness & depression.