In my top dresser drawer, where no one ever looks, you’ll sometimes find a bag of Dove Dark Chocolates. I’ve learned it’s best not to keep them in the kitchen; the temptation is too close. 😉 And while I like to savor a little taste of dark chocolate from time to time, I also know how sick I’d feel if I ate the whole bag in a day!
Sometimes, though, I treat life that way. I want to enjoy what makes me feel good today, without considering the long-term consequences. The future – especially eternity in heaven – often seems far away, so I focus on the pleasure in this moment. However, a truly wise woman realizes what is ahead of her, and how what she does today impacts her future with Christ.
Whether it’s how I talk to my husband, parent my children, treat my neighbor, or share the gospel, the most important things I can do today are those that affect eternity. I can’t get so wrapped in my to-do list or my house projects or my television watching that I forget to invest in what lasts forever.
So what lasts forever?
Souls. Every person you meet has a soul that will never die. Investing in people’s lives by giving them our time, sharing with them financially, or encouraging them in some way has an impact that is eternal. We know how much Jesus loved people, and if we want to be wise, we’ll follow His example.
I’m inspired by verses that remind me to keep my focus on eternal things.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” ~Colossians 3:20
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~Matthew 6:19-21
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Philippians 3:20
Keeping my eyes fixed on my eternal home helps me not to get so preoccupied with what’s going on down here. I still want to be a good citizen and live out God’s calling for my life, but to quote the old Jim Reeves’ song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through…”
So how do we do live for eternity in a practical sense? Here are five ideas to get us started.
1. Read ten verses in your Bible today.
2. Choose someone to encourage today with a note, a phone call or text, or just a spoken word.
3. Christmas is coming; think of a person to whom you could give a small gift – financial or otherwise (and perhaps even anonymously) – and begin planning for it now.
4. Spend five minutes praying for a pastor, missionary, your church, or another Christian outreach ministry.
5. Communicate a truth from God’s Word to your children. Read them your life’s verse or talk to them about what we’re discussing in this post – living for eternity.
Just as I’d regret scarfing down a whole bag of chocolates, I’ll be sorry to a much greater degree if I get to the end of my life and realize that I lived for earthly, rather than eternal, values.
Here’s a final thought from C.S. Lewis.
“It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
[You can read the first post in this series here.]