Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Preparation for Eternity

19For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. -Philippians 1:19-21 (KJV) 

Over the last few weeks I have learned of three men in the community, all in their 50’s, who are facing terminal cancer.  This causes me to consider what I would do if I found myself facing such circumstances.  Once the initial shock wore off I imagine I would do what these men are doing; seek treatment, begin getting my affairs in order, and prepare to meet the Lord.  As I ponder this further, however, I realize how even when not facing a terminal illness we are to be about the work of preparing for eternity. 

I recall hearing someone say that this life, all if it, is preparation for eternity.  None of us knows when we may be called out of this world; therefore, we do well to be prepared for when the time comes.  The first order is to get our hearts right with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  Following this we are to make the most of life by living the kind of lives which bring honor and glory to the Lord.  Does this involve a stone-faced and stern outlook all of the time?  The answer is of course not.  Living the abundant life in Christ means taking time to joyfully smile, laugh, and enjoy life as much as we can.  As we walk with the Lord He will teach us and show us how we can honor Him in all areas of life.   

A relationship with Jesus not only prepares us for eternity but it also gives us peace, strength, stability, and true joy as we walk forward in faith.  The happiest and most joyful people I have ever known are those who have the peace of Christ in their hearts.  This peace sustains us and keeps us looking to the Lord even during the darkest and most difficult times we face. 

When I talk with people who have faced hard situations they usually say essentially the same thing; faith in the Lord and prayer was what brought them through.  Indeed, faith in Christ keeps us standing upon Him, for He is the firm foundation which will not be moved when the storms of life come our way. 

Even now we are preparing for eternity.  Let us resolve to make the most of every opportunity we have for serving the Lord and for reaching out to others in Jesus’  name.  In this way we help others as they too search for the truth and prepare for eternity.  We lead them to Jesus, for He is the true way.

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