‘For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’ — Mark 8:36
“Show me the numbers.” This motto typifies our society’s attitude and focus. We’re driven by the financial “bottom line.” How much money can we make? How will our choices impact our bank accounts? But the true bottom line is the end of our lives, and when we get there, the amount of money we have won’t matter at all. Instead, the ledger either will or will not have our names in the “life given to Christ’s column.
Will your name be there?
A little girl once asked her father, “Daddy, is your soul insured?” Puzzled, he responded, “No, darling, why do you ask?” She answered, “Well, you were just saying that your car is insured and our house is insured, and last week I heard Uncle George say that he was afraid you would lose your soul. Daddy, is your soul insured?”
Some people don’t think about their souls until they come to the end of their lives. Edward Gibbon, the author of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and a great skeptic, often attacked Christianity. But at the end of his life, he said, “All is now lost, irrecoverably lost. All is dark and doubtful.”
How can you lose your soul? You can lose it through rejecting Christ outright, or you can lose it by simply neglecting Him. Scripture asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). I believe more people lose their souls this way than by outright denial—by simple neglect, by merely putting it off. To “insure” our souls, we must receive Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of our lives.
If we do, we’ll experience a great reward in the bottom line of life. When Phillip Jenks, a humble Christian, was asked, “How hard is it to die?” he answered, “I have experienced more happiness today when dying than in all my life.”
Don’t neglect your soul. If you haven’t already, give it to Christ. Whether you’re saved or not is the ultimate bottom line.
He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose. — JIM ELLIOTT
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… — Revelation 21:1
Many years ago I heard a man derisively described as someone who was “so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good.” We may hear that from time to time, but for every one person who fits that description, ten thousand people are so worldly minded that they are no heavenly good at all!
Where do your thoughts dwell: on the concerns of this world or in anticipation of eternity spent in heaven?
Once I was in an unfamiliar building. When I was ready to leave, I opened a door, thinking it was an exit, but instead I had stepped into a tiny broom closet! Of course, I stepped out instantly and closed the door. I was probably in there only one or two seconds at the most. Now, wouldn’t you think it extraordinarily odd if I spent the rest of my life thinking about that little closet when I had spent such a short time in it? In the same way, why do we spend all of our time thinking about this “little closet” of earth that is but a fleeting moment in the framework of eternity? Many people spend more time preparing for a two-week vacation than they do preparing for eternity!
The more we dwell on our final destination, the more we’ll be prepared to live eternally in heaven, thanks to Jesus Christ, who has experienced and conquered hell on our behalf. And in anticipating our eternal destination, we’ll experience a foretaste of heaven in this life as we seek to know the Lord more every day.
I pray that you and I will live each day with eternity in mind. As you go through your day today, remember that there are eternal consequences to your choices. Dwell on heaven today, and allow those thoughts to guide your actions. Thanks to Jesus Christ’s free offer of salvation, we can become both heavenly minded and earthly good at the same time!
The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity. — SIR THOMAS BROWNE
‘The Sabbath was made for man…’ — Mark 2:27
At the end of a given week, do you often find yourself tired and weary from the toils of work? Are you ready to relax and give praise to the Lord? That is exactly what the Sabbath is for! We should reserve it as a day of rest and rejoicing. In fact, do you know why many churches (including the one I pastor) choose not to have kneeling benches? Because in the early church, Christians were forbidden to kneel on Sunday. They instead observed Sunday as a day of rejoicing in God for His mighty deeds.
The Sabbath is a blessed day, and so it should be, for even the Lord rested on the Sabbath after creating the universe. On this day of the week, we remember that God made us as special creatures, designed to lift our heads toward God, honoring Him for who He is and for what He has done. The Sabbath is a pledge of that eternal rest which is ours. Not only should we rest on the Sabbath, we should take advantage of it as family time. For those of us with children, we can take that day to spend time with our kids, to model rejoicing for them, and to teach them spiritual truths.
But we so often compromise the Sabbath. Amos castigated the ungodly people in Israel who eagerly awaited the end of the Sabbath so that they might sell their crops. In the same spirit as these sinful Israelites, many people today don’t even wait for the Sabbath to end before they engage in work. Some people may have to work on this day, but many without Sunday work obligations choose to work anyway. In doing so, these people demonstrate how far their hearts are from God! They dishonor God by not keeping His day holy.
This week, plan to set the Sabbath aside as a day to rest and rejoice in the Lord. Give your responsibilities to God, and allow Him to hold them while you enjoy Him and the day He has made.
The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.— GEORGE MUELLER
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain…’ — Revelation 21:4
When did you last think about how incredible heaven will be? Often we take heaven for granted. In fact, our culture—even our cartoons—trivialize it, and we buy into the watered-down images. But heaven will be a truly glorious place. What a great promise we have in knowing we’ll spend eternity there!
Can you imagine a place where every house is a mansion or a palace? every step a triumph? every covering of the head a coronation? every year a jubilee? every month an enchantment? every week a transport of delight? every hour a paradise? every moment an ecstasy? That is what heaven will be like! Who can imagine it, and who can understand what God has prepared?
In heaven, there shall be no entropy, where everything breaks down. For indeed, the curse will have been lifted, and sin will be gone forever. We’ll have perfect bodies that shall never age nor grow sick, never weary nor grow weak, and never need sleep. We will know no grief or loss. We’ll experience the full love of others. We’ll all gather in fellowship; no one will feel rejected or snubbed.
Above all, we’ll see our Savior face to face! We will know Him, love Him, and enjoy full fellowship with Him. Our relationship with Him will go beyond anything we could ever imagine here on earth.
As you walk through your day, especially when circumstances get you down, turn your thoughts toward heaven. Let the hope of heaven buoy you up this day!
The reward for serving the Lord might not be much in this life, but the retirement benefits are out of this world! — ANONYMOUS
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