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Whole Life or Term? 

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” Romans 12:1 

If you were going to buy life insurance tomorrow, two terms would be presented to you immediately: Whole Life or Term.  Whole life means that you buy coverage for your whole life at the same monthly premium.  It matures when you reach 100.  It’s not a good idea, from an insurance point of view, to own this type of policy.  Term life means that you buy coverage for a certain period, usually one year.  The cost is very low because all you are buying is insurance.  The younger you are, the cheaper it is to buy this kind of policy. 

Let’s not talk insurance.  There is a far greater question that must be answered. Are you truly making a sacrifice of your whole life to God? Or are you giving God a term policy—-a limited commitment? Your whole life consists of not just your time or money, but of your identity, your loves and affections, your values and judgments, your future and potential. It speaks to career, job, home and possessions.  It speaks to marriage, husband, wife, children and relationships.  It speaks to dreams, ambitions and plans. 

A term commitment means that you will do what you are doing for right now.  As long as it works for you, as long as it gives you pleasure, as long as it remains convenient, as long as nothing else seems more attractive, you will stay with it. Term commitment means that God is always up for sale…that you will always compare him and his word with competing forces…that you will first and foremost ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” But God demands nothing less than an entire forfeiture of your life to him for him to use, to spend, to consume as he wishes. 

The Old Testament system of sacrifices constituted the main way God dealt with the sins of the Israelites.  Sacrifice began in antiquity. Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 4:3-4).  Noah expressed his gratitude for deliverance from the flood by presenting burnt offerings unto the Lord (Genesis 8:20). The patriarchs built altars and offered sacrifices on them, calling upon God at the places where He had revealed Himself to them. “Indeed, to sacrifice seems as natural to man as to pray; the one indicates what he feels about himself, the other what he feels about God. The one means a felt need of propitiation, the other a felt sense of dependence” -Edersheim. 

Whole life or term refers to commitment levels.  But, whatever happened to unwavering faithfulness?  The most powerful churches got that way by leading people to wholly commit their lives to God.  Term contracts with God, or tentative, limited forms of discipleship, weakens the church’s integrity.  The church needs sold-out saints.  The first church grew through absolute discipleship.  So will today’s church.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18  

God is issuing a call for whole life commitment that never looks back! Commitment that never second guesses. Commitment that says, “I started out to go to heaven. I will climb every mountain. I will ford every stream. I will endure every hardship. I will survive every valley. I will walk on through loneliness and despair, success and defeat, pain and discouragement. I am going to make it because I give my whole life to God.”

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