Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living in the Light of Eternity

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:10-12)

Excerpt from “Prayer of Surrender for the Life of God” – 2011-05-22
Though we are saved by the sovereign grace of God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from eternal death - we still will face physical death in this life. Death is a reality of life. The mortality rate for fallen, sinful human beings is still 100%. And this is where we who claim Jesus should shine. But way too often we do not. If we truly believe heaven is the most glorious place in the universe, then we should not see death as such a great tragedy. J. I. Packer says that in every century before us, Christians saw life on earth as a preparation for the eternity to come; followers of Christ used to believe the axiom that it’s “only when you know how to die, can you then know how to live.”

I not so sure we believe that that anymore. We have lost our grip on death; the materialistic culture we live in has taught us that this life is the only life worth enjoying - and we are so busy with our life here on earth we have lost our natural God-created sense we were really made for eternity. Don’t take me wrong here; I am not advocating we should be pursuing death. Death is our enemy. It is not romantic, glamorous or heroic. We were not created to die. But death has been defeated by Jesus. Physical death is the outward sign of the eternal separation from God that is His judgment – God’s “wrath” - on our sin. But for those who have fully surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, death’s sting is withdrawn. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 tells us: "When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." While we do not know when Jesus will come for us – by death or by rapture – we are to live our lives in preparation for eternity. In the words of the Puritan Prayer: “May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.”