In a world where our days pass by in a flash and our lives fade away as if mere mists, the question of purpose continually dogs our footsteps, hounding us with nagging doubts and insecurities. The Bible’s answer to the question of “What is my purpose?” is simple and succinct: our purpose is to eternally “know the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent” (John 17:3).
What is the most powerful determinant of the sort of legacy we will leave behind? The sacrifices we make – from the daily choices we make in the use of our time to the great “fork-in-the-road” decisions that alter (or cement) our futures. The person who chooses to only focus on the now tends to sacrifice the future; whereas the one who chooses to put off comforts, pleasures, gain, and even pleasing others for the sake of eternity has the potential for the greatest legacy to leave behind – even if he loses his life to leave it.
Jim Eliot, the missionary who lost his life (along with several of his missionary friends) in South America in an attempt to reach a tribe that had never heard the Gospel, is credited for journaling this, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” He may have lost his “temporary” life, but in giving it up he gained the eternal lives of countless others.
Materials investments lead to mere material returns (and all the material universe is temporary as it is destined for ultimate destruction). On the other hand, spiritual investments, made possible for us through the investment of Jesus’ own blood on the cross, pave the way for everlasting dividends!
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, have the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come…. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil…” (Ephesians 1: 1620, 5:15-16, ESV).