Taking It with You
October 31, 2023
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV).
She’s had two cancers and is free from both now. She moved to be near her daughter, but her daughter has rejected her. “I have to love her from a distance. She got a new job and bought a Range Rover. Now she acts like I never loved her. She don’t know that you can’t take nuthin’ but your good works with you when you die.”
The real question is not what we can hold on to when we die, but how does the awareness of eventual death transform our lives while we live?
“What can I take with me when I die?” has less to do with what I will enjoy in heaven (like the knight who is buried with his favorite horse) than it does with “How should that side of Glory effect the way I live on this side of Glory?”
It’s all about relationships. That’s why we were created; that’s what follows us to heaven—relationships with those we love, relationships with those who need God’s love and relationships with our God who is love. Heaven actually begins on earth if we focus our time and energy toward the truth that thoughts of eternity seek to teach us. And yet, many of us fail to learn the lesson.
When thinking of eternity, the questions should come:
Am I focusing my time, money and energy on loving people, seeking their salvation and loving God? Or am I settling for shallow, temporal things instead?
Is there an area of my life where I can withdraw time and energy from my TSA (Transient, Shallow Account), and place it within my NEDA (Never-Ending, Deep Account)?
Such transfer of personal value may require life change: more time and energy with each patient, more with family, more with Christ followers, more with those who suffer, more with those who do not know our Lord, more in personal devotion—and less time, less energy devoted to personal pleasures and self-fulfillment. Such a transfer will move that which we value from a savings account to a checking account.
Oswald Chambers said, “The characteristic of the Son of God is not self-realization, but self-expenditure.”
It is not an easy transfer, but it is our chance to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)—work out that which He has placed within us through His power, not ours. It is our chance to take up his cross and follow (Mark 8:34), our chance to let the truth of heaven infect our lives today.
Let the truth of your cross and the truth of eternity change the way I relate to people tomorrow.