Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Living For Eternity

God has put us on earth to develop our character, to test our faithfulness, and get us ready for eternity. Paul reminds us in Col. 3:1-3, that we need to set our hearts on eternal things and to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice when he states: “Set your heart on things above . . . . . not on earthly things.”

This is a daily struggle because the temporal things tend to take precedence and the urgent things occupy our daily routine. There are many necessary things that we do in order to live. How do we keep those things from dominating our life and taking our attention away from the eternal? We need to remind ourselves what is eternal and what is temporal.

It all comes down to our priorities and what we value the most in our lives. What is of eternal importance in relationship to what is only of this world? We can see all around us that life is short and just a vapor that can vanish away. We are reminded that death can happen at any age as we observe the obituary page in the newspaper. You realize the brevity of life, when that someone who you spoke to recently, now is gone into eternity. The average person in America will live 700,000 hours. Isn’t it worth it to spend your time with eternity’s view in mind? It is imperative that you discover what God wants you to do with your life.

The Bible was written by our Creator, and is the owner’s manual for our life. One of the lessons that God has taught me through my illness is the fragileness of life. The psalmist states: “Remember how fleeting is my life . . . What man can live and not see death” (Ps. 89:47-48). Life is short compared to eternity and we are reminded daily that death is for everyone. The psalmist also states the following , “Teach me to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

In light of the brevity of life, we need to live every day as though it may be our last day. This would motivate us to live for eternity and not selfish pursuits. Just think how all of our lives would change. We tend to live for now and the temporary rather than the eternal. How should I live every day? I want to live with the realization that time is short on this earth and I need to do all that I can to live for the kingdom and God’s purposes. I need to look for ways today to serve the Lord and make a difference.

I realize that I have had several encounters with death, because each time my defibrillator has gone off it has kept me from cardiac arrest. I also recognize that the defibrillator is not 100% foolproof. My heart could get into such a irregular heart beat that the defibrillator would not get it back to its normal rhythm. All these factors are a constant reminder that God has been gracious to protect me and keep me alive. I believe that He wants to continue to use me and has deepened my message through my life experiences. I want to daily ask God to help me gain a heart of wisdom, especially when it comes to making the most of my time. I want my life to count for eternity.

As we read Scripture and meditate on it we will tend to keep the eternal in front of us. This leads me to live a more purposeful and focused life. As I apply God’s Word to my life issues, it keeps my focus on eternal things. God’s plan is that we are to grow and mature in Christ (Col. 2:7-8). As I develop spiritual maturity in my life, it will bring me to a place where the temporal is not as attractive. I can focus on the eternal and keep my priorities right because I will make God’s purposes my desire.

Who or what are you living for? One of the lessons that God has taught me through my illness is the fragileness of life. I want my life to count for eternity!


1 comment:

Phyllis said...

Hi, Dan,

Hope everything goes well for you.I actually was searching something about "Life that last for eternity" and landed to your blog. Life is really fragile but people don't realise untill something strike on them. Anyway, just wanted to tell u that "where Hope grows, Miracles blossom." This is another phrase that lead me to your blog before i search for eternity life. Cheers!