Who would like to scribe on his tombstone: “I died at 45 and was buried at 70 “? Death may be a loss or could be a gain, depends from which perspective you look at. Though, one thing is certain:
” The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live” (Norman Cousins)
In today’s society, we are how much we have. In the gentry of God, you are how much you give. Even though apparently these two statements do not have much in common, however in-depth they are linked by fulfilment. We knock on many doors in the name of a deep inner need. Some gather golden coins hoping for a life in pink, others search for his marshal’s sceptre in a haversack or in his wallet, Consuming energy and health to shine in the night with hope that the sun will envelope to the end of their street. We live in a world where “to be” and “to have” are two verbs favourite dictating our direction, reason, values of life, topped up with accumulation and consumption, striving for aim wanting worth and safety. In this way we hope our lives will have an intensive satisfaction.
We want our being to flow between contentment and happiness, only to end between toil and resignation. It seems there is natural inclination in the face of temptation to be somebody or to live a moment. This motto “Carpe diem” betrays an existential longing in which daily life is the temple and ours religion. Many of us crucify ourselves on clay altars of loves long departed, drinking from dried puddles. Base ingredients of life – love, money and fame becoming idols and self-worth. In one sentence: we dig deep fountains that produces no water.
Some may say … That’s life!
But living can become complicated, when you look at the life from a Christian perspective. Because it describes sparkle in terms of abundance, true life, eternal life. Moreover, it asks an imperative mode to choose to live. This requirement is a vital issue, problems of life and death.
Yet, for a world like ours, which has one passion lust of life, Christianity propose not only a better way as an option but it shows the source of life, The One which can give life, in sense and value .
“I am the way, the truth, and the life”. (John 14:6) said Jesus Christ
For those whose soul is dead inside, since when they were young, or for others which were dead in there sins, and only their name is life, in fact, for everybody, He said: .
” I have come that my sheep may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10: 10)
“He, who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” This, because He is “the resurrection and the life.”(John 11:25-26)
This is not only hope or good news, but firstly, shows options and offers, because it’s an offer it must be a choice too. Life puts us in front of many situations, from old times God’s men understood values and implications of choice.
That I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord, that you may obey His voice and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days;” ( Deuteronomy 30:19)
Jesus Christ came to offer personally to everybody options. From choice depends our daily life more than tomorrow.
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
About options with fundamental values, we can say that it’s built on truth, conditions and on warnings.
Truth is that: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (John 5:11-12)
“He gave us as gift but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord” (Romans 6:23)
Why did he give us this gift?
The answer is: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3: 36)
And God’s warning: For whoever desire to save his life will lose it, “who loves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke9: 24)
God said these things because He knew that the world promises much. We hope to have everything that our eyes see and our ears hear, we extend out to everything that our heart likes, most of the time over our power, hardly satisfied with what we have or achieve. The Father also knows that he created “high” standards of righteousness, truth, morality, good and grace. Everyone wants to be superstar, VIP, “to shine forth as the sun“, we want to be, we want to have, and we want to live. All the promises of this world, and options show good commercial aspects. Bible say, they are “good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desirable” but, in fact, this envelope unseen parts which you will see later or too late. This we usually call – temptation!
The world of God is opposite of a world in which we dwell. It doesn’t exist in comparison terms. One of central ideas of the Bible is contained in this requirement:” Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves this world, the love of the Father is not in him. “(1 John 2; 15)
God say: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
“For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12: 15)
Jesus explains “he who does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23)
Moreover “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”(John 6: 34)
“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:27)
The Bible says one thing that He gives His beloved bread:
“For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 26)
It is more important to God: “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what good and acceptable and perfect will of God is.” (Romans 12:2)
And in close proximity with this is: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (John 6:33)
In Gods world all can enter, everyone who believes what is good, moral and absolute truth. Gods system of values are absolute, laws statute, or with other words, commandments. These are borders. Our life runs within these borders.
He said: “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17)
He expresses his laws in an open way and says: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” “Take My yokeupon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls“(Matthew 11: 29-30)
Saying these things Jesus addressed to everyone offers of this world are not so easy like it’s portrayed. It created many options and shows it as need over the base needs of man. Needs multiply from one generation to another and it’s not enough to satisfy. Most are artificial needs, we sink into these needs till we cannot pay neither in two lives. It ask us financially and physically. And not only, to limit supportability, sometimes over its limit. Most often, it gives to us with a hand and takes with another.
Jesus say, “Come to me. All you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew11:28) Because the offers of this world is grasping for the wind.
This is also the conclusion of Ecclesiastes Solomon, one of the wisest men, who wanted to understand the world. He said “I set my Heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven” “What profit has a man from all his labor?” His answer is simple: Vanity.
God speaks openly about laws. But our world shows not having moral standards, you then find that you stepped over hidden legislation just when you were condemned and become the slave exactly from this world.
Sometime we must pay years in coins of peace, joy,happiness, and freedom. In a word life of your soul!
Before all, God say: “He who loves me, keep my commandments. But you must know this person before you love him. Therefore, the requirement they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent this is eternal life, (John 17: 3) become the direction and the reason of our life.
Maybe we prefer to receive from Him how much he gives to us, then eventually appreciated to be loved. Everyone wants to be loved for who he is. Love is a distinctive sign of fulfilment. Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Become the first commandment. This is followed closely by you shall love your neighbour as yourself There is no other commandments greater than these. And is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:30-31; 33)
The target of His gaze is love and they are contained in these laws.
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 3: 8)
( 1 John 4: 9)” In this love of God is manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
”( 1 John 4: 9) “ In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be thepropitiation for our sins.”
“If God so loved us, we also ought to love another” (1John 4:10-11)
We sometimes dine with our neighbour better than with God. Yet, if you adore somebody, cherish what he loves too. If you care for God, you must desirewhat he yearns, he loves man, and proved it. In plus, If someone says, I worship God and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has seen?”(1 John 4:20)
In Gods world you are judged how much you love, and how much you’re consumed by others. The only profitable investment, much more valuable is a similar attitude of Paul, who was part of high society of his time and who grow up near one of the great philosophers who said:
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death if by any means, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:11)
He gave sense and value to his life,” but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead I press toward the goal the prise of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:13-14)
He invested his body for the highest aim, putting himself in the service of people, of their reconciliation with God. For service of salvation of souls from death. His way full with passion remained a model for those who want to invest their life, their self-worth in a better future, not to lose time given to them, for those who don’t want to lose their self in this world and offers.
“Therefore let us, as many are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think God will reveal even this to you. “ (Philippians 3:15)
Through him, and through men like him, God will move far away from this world, He remembers over time:
“Do you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicator, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revellers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Men like him had values based on truth, obedience and the fear of God absolute which God wants into the foundation of this world but especially of the next one:
“By humbleness and the fear of the Lord are riches and honour and life (Proverbs 22:4)
The mode of life of God’s men and women shows ways to flourish in life usefully, with purpose, significance, value, in the same time, who can invest in another. They learned divine secrets of living for ever, to die little by little every day to be born againin the image and likeness of the One.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and died, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John12:24)
The Bible calls this born again and it is the foundation of Christian life. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”
(John 3:3)”That whosoever is born of” Spirit and the Truth “” is “born of God” and “whosoever is born of God overcome the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world of little faith. Who is he who overcome the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(John 5: 4-5) He who believes that can overcome the world through Jesus, the One which overcame the world, through His life and sacrifice for this world, through the power of His Word, and of Holy Spirit.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the lord has promised to those who love Him.”(James 1: 12)
“To him who overcomes I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17)
God is righteous all those who do not love this world and did not choose pleasures and ways, all those who love him more than they love themselves, He waits for them.
” Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians2:9)
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43)
For them bodily death is not disadvantage or loss.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is a gain” (Philippians 1: 21)
He knew that: “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Philippians 3- 21)
If you have in your hand the white stone with a new name on it, it does not matter what is written on your grave stone. It is your identity card, a new beginning promoting who you were. It sings you understood in this lifetime that in His world, you know how to live for Him and others. You are aware how much you died in this world! Discarding lust, temptation, and pride.
“Because is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John2:16-17)
But maybe you will choose what is written on your grave stone:
“He began to die at 45 and at 70 years old entered life without death.”
This could be a written testimony that you chose to die in the flesh, day by day and not in your soul.
After all “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost” (Luke 9: 25)
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use forwhat is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in theirknowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.