This week I am working to clear out a house that’s contents have been donated to Restoring Hearts Ministries. The owner passed away after a long struggle with a resilient illness and the family out of the kindness of their heart and a deep love for their lost loved one, wants the contents to go to people in need. They have taken the keepsakes from the home, had a yard sale and now the remaining contents are being donated to ministries to bless others in need.
There are rooms of furniture in the house, some beds and appliances, end tables and assorted knick-knacks.
As I have been working in the house alone a few things have struck me that I want to share with you;
First, you cannot escape the reality of the emotion in this house.
It’s true, I knew the person that die. I ministered to him at his bedside at the hospital, but you cannot avoid the emotion in this house. There is a feeling of heaviness and of sadness. You cannot avoid the facts here; you can feel the sadness. It’s not my sadness; it’s someone else’s sadness.
This brings me quickly to the fact that we live in a world that is not merely what we see physically, but what we know to be true, there is a spiritual realm that is governed and has rules and is as real as what we touch and see every day.
I’m thankful for that reminder, because as these emotions linger here and I am driven to think of the man who once resided here. I believe he accepted the Lord into his life before he passed on and I am thankful for that. This is a decision each of us have to make, we each decide what path to take into the eternal realm.
We know Christians that we will all die. Ten out of ten of us will die but, we who have acknowledged the eternal, the truth and power of God the Father, the saving Grace of Jesus Christ, the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit; we know we will stand with Jesus in Heaven, eternally. Sadly, not everyone we know will take this same path. Some out of pure defiance will chose to take a path that leads to destruction, to eternally live out of the sight of God and thus feel the pain associated with that stance.
Most religions believe in Hell or something like it and believe in the punishment associated with it, as do we. The Lake of Fire, the Abyss, the Pit, Sheol all reference Hell and the burning and undying thirst which I believe is the constant craving of our soul seeking the divine light of our Father and Creator.
Sadly there is another group that we reach out to, the ones that do not know God. They have never been introduced. They have never heard the truth. They stand as risk and it is our job to stand in the gap for them and give them the loving truth — to make the introduction to the loving Triune God, our Father, Our Savior and the loving Helper the Holy Spirit.
We have the gift of salvation, but this brings me to the other problem in this house.
As I walk around and inventory the items within it, that are going out for donation, I am stunned by how much personal property is here that obviously meant something to this man. He was an avid fan of a rock band. There are boxes of cassettes and vinyl records, autographed pictures, posters and long with these things collected other things that he took great care to organize and display and now after been routed through, they are on the floor, dusty and crumbled, cracked now rubbish, trash on the floor.
I’m thrown thinking of the time he must have spent and the time it must have taken to amass this quantity of “investments”, things that undoubtedly had great value to him while he was here but have ZERO value in the eternal.
That’s the word we use right? INVESTEMENTS – It’s the word used to justify a needless purchase; to place value on something that interests us, but these things have no value wherever he is now.
It took me just a few minutes to sweep it all up and how many years to gather it?
These investments we make in life take us away from the two most important commandments;
29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.e 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’f 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’g There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark Chapter 12, Verses 29 thru 31 (NIV)
I wonder if we could appropriately understood the difference between life on earth and life in the eternal, would make the same investments? I bet not. I hope not.
See, life here would be invisible as number if we measured it against the eternal number. That’s how big eternity is. Yet the things we invest in here are the things that set our path in the eternal. We have a very short period of time, truly, to make the most important decision of our lives. Will we live eternally with God or eternally in thirst and pain?
Amazingly it is a SINGLE choice that sets this course and yet we distract ourselves with things, these investments that confuse from the truest path.
Can we afford to make these types of investments?
I hope when the time comes, when someone is rooting through the stuff I’ve collected, after I have passed on, all they find in the majority are things that set me on a firm course for the eternal with my Father and when these things get passed on to others, they can assist them as well.
But before that happens, let me urge you to think about your investments.
Your Eternal 401k
Let me suggest a new investment strategy — >> Mark 12:29-31.
What might be the best way to live out these commandments? I say let’s make investments that lead others to our Lord, that secure our and their eternal 401k. Let’s do love one another, by ensuring they know the Truth, our Father, our Savior and The Spirit. Let’s invite people to Church constantly. Let’s love without expectation of payment. Let’s help the poor stand up and find dignity. Let’s love the lame without fear in our hearts. Let’s not worry about what others think, but only what God thinks and let’s worship and pray always and without end.
I think this is a good entry strategy, do you?