(Recommended Reading: Matthew 25:31-46)
“…we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, and our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5 The Message)
We all know that a fact of life is that at some point our time on this earth will end. For Christians, then our real life will begin – that eternal life with a perfect body – no pain, full of joy and peace.
The idea of a perfect life, living in the presence of our Savior should influence us as we live here on earth. No matter how good our lives are in the here and now, it cannot hold a candle to what is before us.
Another fact of life here on earth is that no amount of money can result in a life with no problems. Too much money and the desire for too many earthly possessions can result in more stress, fatigue, heartbreak, physical and emotional pain, etc. Many people that seem to have it all are deep down unhappy when they put those “things” above what is truly important – their spiritual well-being.
But, keeping an eye on eternity should be a helpful way to live our lives with more hope than despair, more joy than sadness, more strength than weakness, more generosity than tightfistedness. It should make it easier for us to navigate our lives and make better decisions – decisions that will just be automatic in nature because of the Holy Spirit indwelling us and guiding us to do what is right.
Jesus said: “’Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “’Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “’And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:34-40 NLT)
Something I realized when I read the above passage as I was writing this article, was that the people Jesus was speaking to did not even realize that they had been doing what was right for and to others. They had to ask Jesus “When did we…?” It came natural to them because the Spirit of God was within them and their desire was to do what was right. How wonderful it would be if we could all live our lives that way – goodness coming so naturally that we do not even realize what we are doing. I believe our world would be a much better place.
If we can only keep our eyes on eternity, allowing God to guide our lives, then the ultimate prize will lay before us when our time here is up.
“So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.” (1 John 2:24-25 NLT)
“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 NLT)
Written by Karran Martin – August 31, 2019