Our perspective on what it means to follow Jesus shapes how we think and act
I’ve met people so fixated on heaven that they squander their time here on earth. Not only do they miss the opportunities before them, but they also offer a negative example to the world of what it means to be a Christian. They treat life as a burden and react to every disappointment as a stoic martyr. With long faces they measure their time on earth as an ordeal to endure, one that prevents them from obtaining heavenly bliss.
Yes, our future hope in heaven is significant, but if that’s the only reason to be a Christian, we’re missing what God wants from us and has to give us – now.
Life is a gift, an amazing gift to enjoy and to use and to share. We need to make each minute count for Jesus today, not sit in a corner and count each minute until it’s time to leave.
Years ago I largely missed the delight of my senior year in high school because I was so fixated on what was to come next. High school loomed as a time to tolerate, a hurdle to jump over, before I could move on with life. I even let relationships languish because I didn’t see them as part of my post high school reality. I lost that time and can’t reclaim it.
Yes, I can’t wait to get to heaven and enjoy eternal ecstasy, but I also can’t wait for the opportunities of each new day. In some small way I want to be the hands, the face, and the love of Jesus to those I meet. I want to encourage those who are discouraged, to help those in need, and to point those who are searching to a better way.
When Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11), it was a reminder to take each day as it comes, one day at a time, and not rush to the next one. We need to make the most of today, whether it is our last one or we have thousands more.
God has given me my time on earth for a reason. If I don’t make the best of it, I may not be ready to fully embrace my future with him in heaven.
As the saying goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.” We need to live it to the full for Jesus.
[This is from the October issue of Peter DeHaan‘s newsletter, “Spiritually Speaking.” Receive the complete newsletter each month.]