“Until you have found something worth dying for, you have not found something worth living for!”
“Out of all the eternal ages of our existence as God’s children, these tiny years here on earth have a destiny that can never be repeated. The Bible tells us that in the stench of a sick and rotting world we are perfume bottles for the fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). In the gathering darkness we shine as stars (Philippians 2:15). If only we could grasp the awesome implications of these few years!”
(David Needham, from his book Birthright)
Living with an eternal perspective should motivate and encourage us to live our lives responsibly and as good stewards of God’s many blessings.
Contrary to modern secular thought, the primary goal of life here on earth is not to “live it to the fullest” and to “experience maximum fun and adventure.” Not that there is anything wrong with fun and adventure in and of themselves; they are simply not the main objective of life.
In 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 the Apostle Paul tells us that we as Christians will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (the Greek word is bema) to give an account of the stewardship of our time, talent and treasure. At the judgment seat of Christ, we will receive rewards or face the loss of rewards based upon what we did with our life and the works we did while we lived here on earth. This judgment is not for salvation (heaven or hell), but rather for believers in Christ only.
This does not mean that we are saved by works. We are not! Ephesians 2:8-10 and Titus 3:3-5 make that abundantly clear! Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! But, Scripture also says, how we live our life after we come to Christ and what we do with our time, talent and treasure is eternally important!
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
Over in Romans 14 the Apostle Paul says it this way…
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
This reminds me of a story that appeared in the February 1998 issue of Readers Digest. The article spoke about a couple “that took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells…” Picture this couple standing before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.”
I’m convinced that “until you have found something worth dying for, you have not found something worth living for!”
Solomon, best known for his immense riches and wisdom, said in the book of Ecclesiastes (after trying to find meaning and happiness in every conceivable way) “Life apart from God is empty and meaningless…life only makes sense and has value when lived with God at the center.” (my paraphrase)
Throughout my life, one of my greatest fears has been that I would waste my life. Waste it on things that many would consider to be very good, but ultimately not eternally important. I remember hearing these well known words growing up as a young boy…
“Only one life,
‘Twill soon be past;
Only what’s done
for Christ will last.”
According to Scripture, only two things in life last forever – 1) The souls of people, and 2) God’s Word. I think Joni Eareckson Tada said it well when she wrote…
“When a Christian realizes his citizenship is in heaven, he begins acting as a responsible citizen of earth. He invests wisely in relationships because he knows they’re eternal. His conversations, goals, and motives become pure and honest because he realizes these will have a bearing on everlasting reward. He gives generously of time, money, and talent because he’s laying up treasures for eternity. He helps spread the good news of Christ because he longs to fill heaven’s ranks with his friends and neighbors.”
Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that “you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
John Piper in his excellent book Don’t Waste Your Life, after having just quoted the above verses writes…
“I have written this book to help you taste those words (1 Cor. 6:19-20) as sweet instead of bitter or boring.” And then he goes on to say…
“If you are a Christian, you are not your own. Christ has bought you at the price of his own death. You now belong doubly to God: He made you, and he bought you. That means your life is not your own. It is God’s. Therefore, the Bible says, ‘Glorify God in your body.’ God made you for this. He bought you for this. This is the meaning of your life.”
And then he writes these very profound words…
“It was not always plain to me that pursuing God’s glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their lives because they think these paths are two and not one.”
“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of Him in every part of our lives.
Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. Don’t get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. My challenge to you is to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion.”
Remember: you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it!