Leave Boldly // Day 29

If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.  — C. S. Lewis

According to the most recent studies, statistics show that the human mortality rate is at a constant 100 percent! You can’t avoid it; you can’t cheat your way around it. Eventually you will experience that moment when you will exit the life you’ve known on earth. You’re forced to enter the process of whatever happens next.

A recent poll shows that 81 percent of Americans believe in life after death. It used to be that nobody really wanted to talk about this subject, but more and more people are fascinated by those who have brushes with death or who think they have insight into what happens after we draw our final breaths. Embracing our mortality can liberate us to live as fully as possible. In Ecclesiastes, we’re told, “A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now.” (7:4, NLT). It’s wise to approach life with an end in mind. It’s foolish to ignore the inevitable. It helps us to live a more intentional life and to make every moment count.

God put you on this earth for a reason, and He has a plan for your life. But this life is not the end. Scripture is very clear about this reality. One day you will stop breathing, but you won’t stop living. You’ll live forever in eternity.

One moment after you die, you’ll experience the greatest celebration ever or the greatest separation ever. Heaven and hell are real places, and we have the choice of where we will spend eternity. God could have created us as robots, programmed to love Him, serve Him, and follow Him. But He didn’t do that. He took the greatest risk of all when He created us with this power called free will. God loves you so much that He died for you, but He lets you choose whether or not you will love Him back and desire to be with Him for all eternity.

We were designed to be in perfect relationship with God. We were created with a homesickness for the eternal reality of a place beyond our wildest dreams. As the old hymn explains, “This world is not my home.” Heaven is our heart’s home, where the homecoming party goes on and on and on. But it’s also a place of “no more” – no more tears, grief, loss, or death. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).

People have often thought of heaven as a mystical place where we’ll sit on clouds. We’re secretly afraid we’ll get tiered of this perfect place and be bored with the monotony of the halos and mist. But that wouldn’t be heaven, would it? No, the Bible says heaven is a perfect place full of adventure and excitement.

The Bible talks about heaven and uses human words to describe what is humanly indescribable. It says there will be streets of gold and gates of pearls. The place drips with value and significance, meaning and purpose. We’ll have jobs there that will bring us ultimate fulfillment. Christ is there, so we will experience more compassion and creativity than we could ever dream of. We’ll have new, perfect bodies. We’ll be reunited with our family, friends, and loved ones who are there. So much joy, peace, and splendor will converge for us that we can only imagine what it will be like.

If we want to experience heaven, then we must live each moment here on earth prepared for eternity. You’re not really ready to live until you’re ready to die. And you don’t have to be worried about it. You can determine your destination right now if you haven’t already. If you’re not sure that you have eternal life right now, if you’re not sure you’ll be in heaven one day, then you can settle it now. Take hold of the promise God’s Word offers in these passages of Scripture:

“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12). Basically, getting into heaven is all about who you know. If you know the Son, you get in. If you don’t know the Son, you don’t.

Heaven is a perfect place for perfect people, and the problem is, we’re not perfect. We’ve all sinned. That’s why Christ came to take our place – so we could join Him in heaven one day. Not that we could ever deserve it, not that we could ever earn it, but He has made the way for us. The Bible says that, because of what Christ has done, we are friends with God. Right now you can pray and ask Christ to come into your life and forgive your past guilt and sins and give you a future in heaven one day. You don’t have to be afraid of eternity. God loves you more than you can fathom. He truly does. You really can’t make the most of every moment until you know your eternity is settled. That knowledge then frees you to enjoy life and to make a difference in other’s lives.

Once you’re prepared for eternity, you want to invest in what will last forever as well. Your perspective shifts. You begin to realize that much of what we value and focus on is insignificant and meaningless in light of eternity.

We often live as if we are going to be on this earth forever. Think of it this way. Let’s say you went on a vacation and checked into your hotel room, where you planned to stay for a couple of weeks. But you didn’t like the appearance of the room, so you called in your own interior decorator. You put a lot of money into it and changed the wallpaper, the curtains, the artwork – the whole room. Then you wanted a bigger television, so you bought an oversized flat screen and had it mounted on the wall. When you went outside, you didn’t like the shrubs and the flowers, so you hired a landscaper. You kept making changes to suit yourself. Then you went home.

That’s exactly what many of us do today on this earth. We act as if we’re going to be here forever. We concentrate on things that seem really important to us at the moment but that ultimately don’t last. Our focus needs to be redirected to the things that will pass the test of time, and really there are only two: God’s Word and people. The Bible says the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8). So when you spend time in God’s Word – building your character, becoming more like Christ, learning the values from God’s Word, and applying them – that lasts forever. You take that with you into eternity. The other eternal investment you can make is in people. People live forever in eternity. So anytime you make a difference in the lives of others, it will last forever. That’s why relationships are the most important thing in your life.

What you do with Jesus Christ determines where you spend eternity. What you do with your time, talents, and treasures determines what rewards you get in eternity. What you do with your dash of time here on this earth prepares you for eternity. Until you understand the fact that life is preparation for eternity, life won’t make sense to you. When you get an eternal perspective you will be motivated to live the one-month-to-live lifestyle for years to come.

Personal Challenge

1. How do you envision heaven? Imagine meeting God for the first time. What would you want to say to Him? Hear Him say to you? Spend some time in prayer, sharing your thoughts with the One who loves you most.

2. What eternal investment have you made this week? How much time have you spent engaged with God’s Word? How much time connecting with people in ways that matter most? Set an eternal goal for yourself – something you want to do that will stand the test of time, someone you want to invest in – and find the time to pursue it in the coming week.

  • Leah MacPherson

    Love, love, love the hotel room makeover “parable” ;) It brings into focus how perfectly ridiculous it is to invest our time, talents and treasures into the minutia of such a temporary dwelling place! This is not my home!
    ~Immediately thought of the lyrics to MercyMe’s “This Life”

    This is not my home.
    This is not my space.
    Simple not my style.
    This is not my place.
    Can’t get comfortable.
    Can’t get settled in.

    I simply don’t belong. Can’t get used to this.
    But I’m here right now.
    I can hear You say ”Make the most of Me”
    This won’t go to waste.
    If I’m out of my mind yeah.
    It’s all for the Christ.
    If I’m making sense then get in line.
    Every moment is a chance to let your light break through.

    I don’t have to stall.
    I don’t have to wait.
    Don’t have to bide my time.
    Till I make my escape.
    ‘Cause heaven’s in my heart .
    I wont settle for less.
    I will lift Your name by the life I live.
    Every moment is a chance to let your light break through.
    This life,this life was meant to shine.
    This life,this life was meant to shine.