A word of HOPE:. Distinguish between that which is temporary vs. that which is eternal. The younger a person learns this lesson, the more depth and satisfaction will be found.
Distinguish between temporary and enduring, momentary and eternal.
Here’s a list of a few things the Bible says are temporary:
Power…"I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!" (Ps. 37:35-36, NLT).
Life…"Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty.But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away" (Ps. 90:10, NLT).
Material things and Pleasure… "And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’" (Luke 12:19-20, NLT).
Knowledge… "Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!" (1 Cor. 13:8, NLT).
Glory… 1 Pet. 1:24 “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades" (1 Peter 1:24, NLT, NIV uses word "glory").
Power, Life, Things, Pleasure, Knowledge, Glory, these are the things of which we so often strive, the things that we think will resolve our problems and bring satisfaction. Obviously we need food, we need homes, and we need resources, but yet all these things are temporary, like the shingle hanging over the edge of the roof.
A Word of Hope: "So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (1 Cor. 13:8).
The earlier in life we can learn this truth, the more satisfaction we can find. I love the word gaze. Our focus, our ultimate goal. All these other things make a difference today, but to know that the spiritual truth is the ultimate goal. I meet with a lot of families in preparation for funerals. Nobidy has yet told me about how much money the person made as of ultimate importance. What is most important is the things of the spirit, that which we cannot see. Love of family is far more important than status. Faith is more important than fame. I am thrilled with the Clothesline at SACC, but what I am more thrilled with is the opportunities it brings to talk with people about what is more important.
This past week I went to visit a woman that is dying. Over and over again we talked about the love of her family, the things of God, faith, and eternal life. There is no reason in the world those same things cannot be talked about at any age. When the Bible says “gaze” I don’t think it means a good feeling, I think it means make it your focus, talk, think, experience, seek.
Learn to distinguish between the temporary and the eternal. No matter how much it seems like the temporary will go on forever, it won’t. The eternal is what will give you the most satisfaction and purpose.
Seeds of Hope, Sunday Evening Oct. 5, 2009, Sumas CR