Are the things we living for worth Christ dying for?
Jesus tells us how to avoid living hollow lives. He shows us in both his teaching and example how to experience life to the full. He says, “Don’t store up treasure on Earth where it can be destroyed, instead lay up for yourself treasures in heaven.”
The way to gain our lives is by offering them up in sacrificial service to Christ. Only those things we lay in worship at Jesus’ feet will be with us in eternity. On the flipside, we will lose those dear places, precious things and tight relationships which we won’t let go of when called to. When we do lose our lives, we will reap many times over. The Master has promised us:
“Everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.” (Mark 10)
For those of you who have sacrificed to honour God in righteousness or to see his gospel advanced in one of the many spiritually dark parts of our globe, then our reward is great. Do not fall into despair, contemplating what you have left behind. You have lost nothing. All things are ours and all things in all places will together, forever be ours.
Temporal relationships are dear but they are worth investing in Eternity. Though oceans and mountains may now be between my friends and I, we are still close. We may not share the same city, country or continent but we do share the same body. We share the Body of Christ; the closest intimacy there is. That means the relationships which we sow in time we will reap in quality many times over both in the life to come and often now as well.
Not even five minutes into eternity we will see our sacrifices and trials turned into a glory that makes it all worth it. This weight of glory will be so vast that we will wish we had sacrificed and given so much more. We will see much of what we cherished and stubbornly held onto was nothing more than chains holding us back. Feelings of regret will not be a part of our Heavenly state if we are in Christ. But I believe there will be a moment, at least initially, when we shake our heads at just how slow we were to make heavenly investments during our pilgrimage in this life.
Christ is our example by being our saviour. He left far more than you or I and endured infinitely more. What is his reward? Us; the nations; a redeemed people to praise him. Our salvation rests, not on our perseverance, but his. Now that we're secure let us happily follow his happy example.
We have so little to lose and so much to gain. I pray that you and I will stand surrounded by heavenly treasures on the final day. This life is a just a dressing room for eternity. May we all measure our lives “not by wine drunk but by wine poured forth” in faith to the One who is worthy.
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