From Here to Eternity

January 15, 2007

Daniel 12:3  “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

Philippians 1:21  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

You probably remember your final year of high school.  In my case, it had three major attributes which almost sound as though they contradict each other when you write them out.

( 1 )  I had to start being serious about graduating as the first three years were spent on fulfilling “more important” obligations such as clowning around, hanging out with my oddball cast of friends, and learning everything there was to know about extraterrestrials.”  (I was not a normal child; an understatement to be sure)  I had to take night classes in order to graduate on time. 

( 2 )  It was the last time that I “knew everything” that there was to know.  At least this was my self perception.  I was unsaved,  very self-serving in my outlook on things, and filled with every kind of crazy idea that you can imagine, but I “knew it all” just the same.  (Something happened as all of that knowledge seemed to disappear during my twenties)

( 3 )  My heart wasn’t there anymore.  While I had to go every day and finish the necessary classes in order to graduate, my heart was really fixed on getting past high school and on with my life.  While I had a lot of perceived fun in my final year, I really wanted to get out of school, out of Constantine, and out of Michigan.  I was there, but my heart was on the lifetime of events that lay just ahead.  This desire to be finished with school drove me to do what was necessary in order to graduate and put it behind me.  This is the aspect that I want to focus on. 

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find myself thinking a lot about the future; that being the realm of the everlasting where we shall abide forever.  While in this vessel of clay, I perform the duties of all who occupy a space in the physical realm.  I work, pay taxes, strive to be a good ambassador for Christ, strive to be a proper family guy, and strive to live peaceably with all men.  By the grace of God, I handle situations that arise through diplomacy whereas, in times past, I would have been more inclined to “fly off the handle.” I love my family immensely, and I’m genuinely concerned for those all around me who still neglect to come into the ark; keeping them in prayer at every remembrance of them.  I fulfil the role of a “model citizen” and I am a very content person. 

Despite this contentment in my life, my heart is very much not in this world.   While the joy of the Lord is my strength and I rejoice in having sweet fellowship with him, I long for the moment when he gathers us unto himself.  I patiently await the moment when this corruption shall put on incorruption and this mortality shall put on immortality.  The joy that I have in this life stems from this promise that’s available to all who will call upon the name of Jesus.  The promise of an inheritance incorruptable that fades not away. 

I wouldn’t have this joy if I were an atheist.  An atheist looks down the road and sees only death.  By this I mean that you get older every day, the outward man gradually breaks down, eventually you find yourself in need of assisted living, the health continues to deteriorate, and then you die.  In other words, for an atheist, it’s as good for them at this moment as it’s ever going to be.  A lifetime spent in trying to prove that there is no God with absolutly nothing to look forward to.  Their arguements are astoundingly complex at times and scripture is fulfilled in the process. 

II Timothy 3:7  “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

These folks are following a way that seems right, but the end thereof is death.  They oppose themselves and as such, it’s expediant that we stand in the gap for them.  This post seems to be falling into line with so many others, but we must take this seriously.  My one new years resolution was to simply proclaim truth as it’s the truth of Gods word that will make a person free indeed.  To sow the seed of the word of God, to water the seed when opportunities arise and watch God give the increase. 

My dad passed away last month from “natural causes” in the nursing home where he spent his final 18 months.  During that time, I would visit as often as I could.  Upon every visit, I would take note of the others who lived there; wondering how they had utilized their younger days when time seemed to be in endless supply.  I imagined that some were electricians, nurses, and mid-level-managers.  Some may have been teachers and a few may have acquired a tremendous supply of wealth whild they labored under the sun.  Some may have been pillars of their communities while some merely lived to “eat, drink, and be merry.”  Regardless of how they conducted their lives or how much they accumulated,  here, in the twilight of their years, none of that amounts to very much.  Truly you can’t take it with you and if all of your treasure is here, you’ll lose everything.  The following is a very familiar verse; one that’s quoted often, but it really fits this topic here; a topic that has strayed somewhat from its original intent, but is needful nonetheless.

Matthew 16:26-27  “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

I need to wrap this post up.  It’s my fervent prayer that we would all dive dilignce to the things that really matter; keeping our affections upon things above and reasoning out of the scriptures, with them who are outside of the household of faith.  In todays hectic climate, it’s ever so easy to fall into a state of slumber.  I guess that this is the reason for it’s being a continual theme. 

Speaking of slumber, it’s after 4:00am and I’m wrestling with physical slumber at this moment.  I’m on a second shift schedule and, as a result, I’m often awake at hours when everyone else is snoozing.  This is definately no time to be snooaing and I pray that we all would be watching as we see the day approaching.



One comment

  1. Sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a loved one at any stage of their life, even if you know where they’re going and that you will see them again; it’s still hard.

    “We do not grieve like those who have no hope.” But we grieve in our own way.

    My wife works in a nursing home and is surrounded by what you speak of every day. Some are believers while most are not but all die eventually.

    I too, daily, think on what will be. It does two things for me:

    1. a sense of urgency to make sure I keep short accounts with God. This is no time to fall into sin. To touch as many people as possible with the Gospel of Christ before it’s too late for them.

    2. it provides hope, joy and strength as the journey seems to be getting tougher and more narrow.

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