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Things Eternal

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthian 4:16-18

We are called, I believe, to love The Lord Jesus Christ, to love Him with a whole soul, whole heart, whole mind, and whole strength kind of love. And we would say we do! But I look at our society; I look at the church, and I don’t see that same kind of devotion, that same kind of commitment, that same kind of abandonment to the priorities that are the divine priorities. I see us defused by a myriad of options, giving equal weight or even greater weight to some of the passing things in favor of some of the eternal things. – John MacArthur, Pastor and Arthur

On Friday, I had the privilege to volunteer for a hospice program at a nearby nursing home.  When I was given the opportunity to choose where I would volunteer, I immediately knew it would be there (years before I was a hospice volunteer).  There is something humbling about being given the opportunity to spend time with someone, stranger or not, whose journey is nearing the end.  It’s humbling because you recognize your own humanity and just how finite this physical life actually is.

As I sat besides the beds of the few I visited with and read to, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through their minds.  Had they made peace with themselves, loved ones, and even God?  I also reflected on my own life goals and dreams.  And as I spoke to one young (in spirit) woman who no longer had the gift of speech, but could still communicate with me via her eyes and the clasp of her hand, I was reminded that although this life is what I know and often times focus on, there is an eternal life waiting for me.

There is one waiting for you as well.  However, it is hard to think of things eternal when you’re hungry or sick; when the rent is due and the mortgage is late; or even when you are fighting for your marriage or wondering when you will find love.  When faced with daily living, we often forget that this life is just a journey and not our destination.

But when we are confronted with our own mortality, we face the prospect of there being something more.  In those moments, we tend to pray more and pray harder; when faced with our own mortality we desire to make amends with our past and/or loved ones; and we tend to desire peace and encouragement.

Yet what if we decided here and now, to live each day as if it were our last? What would you change if your focus was on the unseen and eternal?  Would you spend more time with your family and less at your job? Would you stand firm for your faith instead of hiding behind what is politically correct?  How exactly would your life change if you lived with bated breath knowing it may be your last?

None of us have the luxury of knowing when we may pass from this world into the next, but we all have the luxury of knowing there is a NEXT.  If we keep that in mind, life becomes easier to bear.  When we are confronted with taxing times, we are able to put them in perspective to eternity.   We are also able to live boldly, with little regret, as we focus on the divine priorities and not those of the world.

Scripture tell us not to lose heart, to not become so focused on this life that we no longer live for the eternal.  God desires not only for our dependence on Him, He desires for a life lived focused and committed to an eternity spent with Him.  So what is stopping you from living for the things unseen…the eternal?

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