18 March, 2010

Living for something else.

I've just finished this book, recommended by Simone. I didn't find it an easy book to read, but would like to read it again soon (I have such a pile of books I want to read...).

Last night, though I read this:
"The true Christian life is about living for something else. It's about having a vision for eternity that makes sacrifice now worthwhile. It's about having confidence for eternity that makes risk now worthwhile...When we act not on the basis of any immediate personal benefit, people will wonder what we're doing. It'll seem strange to them. They'll start asking questions. Evangelism just got a whole lot easier!" p 206 The Ordinary Hero by Tim Chester.
 I have a couple of reactions to this. Firstly it helps me to understand why I struggle daily - all around us calls us to make decisions based on immediate personal benefit. To go against that calls for a struggle, not only against everything we see around us, but an internal struggle too.

Secondly, I'm scared. Because it is the Christians who seem to have a lot of questions (granted, I have more contact with Christians than non-Christians in Australia). Why does our life cause so many questions for Christians? Why does our life of living for something else seem so strange to them? Why is it so hard to communicate our "vision for eternity"? Is it that most Australian Christians have lost that vision?

Then he writes this:
"Our life is but a moment, a breath. It's the tick of a clock. A blink of an eye. A click of the fingers.
You get one life, one chance. And there's no replay, no rewind.
Don't live for the moment. Live for eternity.
Your suffering and your shame are for a moment. Your reward is forever.
The area in which you live now is for a moment. The location where you spend eternity is forever.
Your temptations and your sin are for a moment. Hell is forever.
Your pride and your achievements are for a moment. God's glory is forever.
Your career is for a moment. God's 'Well done, good and faithful servant' is forever.
Your home now is for a moment. Your home in your heavenly Father's house is forever.
Your pension is for a moment. Your heavenly inheritance is forever...

Think of the trials you are undergoing. Think of the price you pay to serve Jesus. Think of the price you refuse to pay to serve Jesus. Think of the risks you take. Or don't take. Imagine looking back on this after a million, billion years of eternal glory." p207-8
 Hmmm. Think, indeed.

The other day, a lady I am in a Bible study with, shared that she is afraid to teach her Grade Oner about hell. I disagree. When I was a child I was vividly aware of hell (must have been all those Presbyterian church sermons I heard). I was also clearly aware of the eternal nature of God and ourselves. I used to try to get my head around it all, especially that God never was not. I wonder if that that early understanding of these things underlies my present fervour for things eternal. Possibly it does.

I wonder if our culture has so consumed us with the present, that Christians have lost a vivid sense of eternity? It is something every one of us needs to fight against, that's for sure.


Footprints Australia said...

I think one of your final sentences says it all: "I wonder if our culture has so consumed us with the present, that Christians have lost a vivid sense of eternity?"

Thelma said...

I find all these articles interesting, and thought provoking and encouraging. Just today, we were sharing in our ladies Bible Study the preciousness of knowing and living in the reality of the ever abiding presence of the Lord Jesus. It is hard for us to grasp with our feeble minds that God has always been working and active even in eternity past, before the foundation of the world. Amazing. How great is our awesome, wonderful God; and to know His daily care and provision.