The young man in his mid-20s worked behind the counter of the bread store on the plaza next to my office. He served up coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and bread toasted on the grill. His conversation centered on the weekend. He labored five or more days a week, but lived to party on Friday and Saturday nights. His weekdays were nothing more than a countdown to living it up in noise, drink, and carousing.
He worked a dead-end job with a dead-end life.
Most people are just like him. They may live in mansions and fly executive jets. They may travel around the world and vacation on cruise ships up and down the coast. They may shake the hands of power, and the halls of politics may open to them. Their names may be mouthed on the lips of fans. But, like the young man, they live for reasons too small for hearts the size of eternity. Power, wealth, fame, or pleasure all come up short.
What we all search for is love that lasts beyond death.
We really are looking for it in all the wrong places.
With the presence of the Eternal One as our all-consuming goal, we find meaning in every moment, purpose in every task, progress in every day. Because the Invisible determines our every move, we establish well-defined habits that propel us through time toward the Timeless.
- So we not only meet with saints every Sunday, but we develop a sincere love for them and devote ourselves to their welfare with encouragement and actions consistent with the Father’s concern.
- We not only pick up the Bible to read, but we scour its pages and impress its truths upon our minds, knowing that it is God’s word of power to save.
- We not only send a prayer upward, but we make fervent supplication, without ceasing, seeking the power of God’s Holy Spirit and the blessing of his hand.
- We not only speak a good word for Jesus to those in darkness, but his mercy salts our tongues with the marvelous hope of salvation.
- We not only want our friends and family members to confess Christ as Lord, but we pray the Lord of harvest to send out reapers into the fields and seek opportunities to help them do that.
- We not only understand the difference between those in and outside of Christ, but we separate ourselves from evil influences and associations, to keep from being drawn back into a world that lives for self and exalts all that is against the holiness of God.
We do all this, and more, because we refuse to live for the pleasures of a weekend. We decline the successes of this world as our motive for being. We have been granted a better Way. And we will follow it to the very gates of Heaven.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done'” Matthew 16.24-27 ESV.