Live Forever

First, I would like to offer a hearty “thank you!” for all the prayers while I was dealing with the hospital last week.  After all the concern over whether I had a viral infection or an MS attack, the answer turns out to be, neither.  Several days prior to going to the ER, I was prescribed an antibiotic.  In the end, I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic.  All of my symptoms were easily explained by that 1 little pill, taken twice a day.

Live Forever:

Christian musician Matthew West has a song called “Live Forever”. This song repeats a span of time over and over: “86,400 seconds”. This is the amount of time we have every 24 hours. Then, in the chorus, he says:

I don’t wanna live for now
I don’t wanna live for now
I wanna live forever
I wanna live forever
I just wanna make it count
I don’t wanna live for now
I wanna live forever
I wanna live forever starting now

The point is that we all have 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds in every day. How we spend that time is up to us. Are you simply living for the moment, or are you looking forward to a future in Heaven? If we intend to spend eternity with Jesus, then we need to make preparations now.

Hebrews chapter 11 is generally considered the “Faith Hall of Fame” or the who’s-who of Biblical faith. In this chapter, we read:

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Heb. 11:13-16 NASB).

And then:

“and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskin, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11:36-40 NASB).

This is not to say that you must experience extreme persecution in order to enter Heaven. No, what these verses tell me is that all of these people of faith considered their motivation in everything that they did. Some of them could have had very comfortable lives, but chose instead to follow the leading of the Lord and to live the life that He had ordained for them to live. I’m not trying to say that it is a sin to be comfortable. It is our motivation that counts.

In our efforts to live this life, our motivation needs to be firmly aimed at spending an eternity with Christ. In doing so, we end up putting the needs of the body of Christ ahead of our own, personal needs. Our God is faithful. He will meet our needs. The problem is when we start to confuse our needs and wants. There are a lot of things I want. If I only had this or that, I would be happy. I would probably be happy with a newer car, a bigger TV, higher powered computer equipment, etc. But would these things bring me eternal joy? Again, it is not a sin to own such things. However, what is the trade off? What am I giving up in order to purchase my wants? When the Spirit asks me to give of my time or money, do I say, “I can’t.”

Sometimes the Lord is asking us to spend money on His Kingdom work. Other times, He asks of our time and energy. Are we willing to drop everything and follow Him? Is our attitude one of immediate obedience, or do we say, “I will, after I do…”?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matt. 6:19-20 NASB).

The question of motivation is really a question of where we are storing up our treasures. How much “stuff” do we need here on earth? Does your motivation for “stuff” trump your motivation to serve God? What do you put first, earthly treasures, or Heavenly ones?

I have a bold idea. We read about the tithe in the Bible. A tithe is simply giving 10% back to God. Most of the time, this is in reference to money. What if we, as Christians, also paid a tithe from our day to the Lord? What would that look like? Let’s see, 10% of 24 hours in a day equals 2.4 hours. 4 tenths of an hour is equal to 24 minutes. Let’s just round that off to a neat 30 minutes. Can you dedicate 2-and-a-half hours a day to Jesus? Here is my suggested plan:

  • 1 Hour personal prayer and Bible study (first thing in the morning)
  • 30-45 minutes family devotionals
  • 45-60 minutes reading books about Christian life

That gives you 2.5 hours a day dedicated to God! What would you have to give up in order to achieve this? What you will receive in return is worth much more than anything you can possibly give up.

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