How to Count Your Life

Nothing is more satisfying than when you know you are being used by God.  If it doesn’t penetrate your heart; if it doesn’t radically change your life; it does you no good.   - Jan Smith
Debates are all the talk these days. With the presidential primary races in full swing, issues ranging from education to voting systems become all we hear about as experts and candidates debate, disagree over and critique. While these debates often make for great two-minute soundbites, folly between morning news anchors or late night comedy material, it’s a great deal of discussion over “head knowledge” or what people think. Head...
knowledge is great, the pursuit to know something and understand it has its benefits, but for what purpose?

During a political debate, perhaps the purpose is to be the one who knows the most or has answers to all the questions. But when it comes to our faith and trust in God’s multiplication, if that’s as far as most Christians get—just acquiring intellectual knowledge or thoughts about God—then we’ve missed the point entirely.

On Monday, we discussed God’s principles for multiplication. Then over the past two days, we dug into areas of Scripture where that principle played out. So we know it, but what are we going to do with it? As one writer put it, “knowing about a Bible principle is like knowing where a piano is.” Yep, there’s a piano, there in the corner. Does it move us? Does it change our heart in some way? No, not sitting there in the corner it doesn’t! But what about when it’s played? Music from that same instrument now has the capacity to move us, to change us, to penetrate our heart and make a difference. The same can be said for us as Christ-followers when we allow what we know to guide what we do.

We heard the stories this weekend of Creek attenders Tim Strand and Mackenzie Phelps. Tim wasn’t sure how God could use him so he started with what he knew and prayed for his neighbors and neighborhood. Mackenzie felt the nudge to use her skills and talents to lead a LifeGroup and now says, “I could lead a LifeGroup every night of the week.” Through these acts of giving, God’s principle of multiplication started working in their lives and He wants to do the same in all of us.

READ and THINK What does the Bible say?
1. Paul is teaching on the principle of multiplication as it relates specifically to financial giving, a very tangible area where when we give, God multiplies; but this verse can also teach beyond the financial. If it applies to our money, then it certainly applies to our hearts.

Question: What can we take from these verses that applies to all giving?

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (New International Version)
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.      And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

BTS4Answer:  LIVE What will you do now?
1. Where have you seen God using you lately? In your time, talent or resources? Where are you making the biggest impact? Why do you think that is?

2.  Do you trust and believe there is nothing more satisfying than using the way God wired you to serve Him? What gets in the way of completely trusting Him on this? In what way can the verse from today help to strengthen you? 

3.  Volunteering is one way to be used by God. It creates connection, can give you a sense of a bigger purpose and make a big impact on your spiritual walk. Is there a ministry or area where you have felt you need to be serving but haven’t taken the step? Have you heard about spiritual gifts but still haven’t done the assessment? If you answered yes to either, take a few minutes to list or consider why that is. Pray over the answers and for the next steps that, in part, can be taken at

PRAY God, what do you want me to know and do?
Try this prayer today: Dear God, You are what brings the ultimate satisfaction in my life. Show me if I have been content in just knowing You in any area. Help me to not grow any more comfortable there and to understand how I can move from knowing to doing. No matter what area You show me—serving, investing or inviting others, giving of my time and/or resources—I am willing to follow Your lead so that my life counts for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Watch the VideoDigging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD by the teaching pastor or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

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Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..


  1. Beautiful post, Jan, and oh-so-encouraging! Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. Hugs to you!

  2. Hi Jan, always a beautiful post with inspiration and good teachings. Thanks for sharing. Hugs for a great weekend.
    Blessings, cm