Monday, February 14, 2011

Goals: Being prepared for eternity

Because we're trapped in time, it's really easy to have our focus on the here and now. Rightly so because if we don't take care of ourselves, our families, our responsibilities we'll find ourselves in need or impoverished without cause.

But this life is merely an internship for the next life. There will be an end to this age and we'll be launched into a time where Jesus reigns on earth as a just King and making right all the wrongs.

We could spend hours, days, even years debating end time theology. But I don't have the heart or the time for it -- and frankly, some of the debating and hairsplitting isn't holy or benefitting. We can read the Bible and know! God's Word is not for the ivory towered intellectuals. It's for all of us.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us God has written eternity on our hearts. We're supposed to want to "live forever" and "be immortal." But we must pass from this life to the next either by 1. Death or 2. Jesus return while we're alive.

Either way, we have to be ready to stand before Him and give an account of our lives. There is a reward system. I don't completely understand it, but I know God will reward even those who've given a little one a cup of cold water. Matthew 10:42.

He loves to reward. Don't feel like you have to "earn" it or something, He's looking for and recording as many things as He can to reward us. It's not like my old boss who insisted I write reviews on my team with a criticizing focus. She was never concerned about listing their success, only their failures.

Not so with Jesus. In fact, He's looking to turn our failures into successes. So here's the deal. Let's not be afraid to live life, to take a chance, to go for God's will while we have the time.

Let's not be bogged down by the passing pleasures of this world. Turn off the TV. Put away foolish things. Cut out friends or things that hinder your run in race. Set your heart and mind on Jesus. Trust me, He'll put you to good use.

He's not going to sign you us for the team because He needs another person or two on the bench. Nope, Jesus needs a team of quarterbacks, tail backs, tackles, lineman, offensive guards, defensive tackles. Punters, kickers, special teams.

You know, some guys want to play football so bad they go out for the team with a "sign me up, Coach" attitude. Remember Rudy from the movie... Rudy? He wanted to play Notre Dame football so bad he was willing to be a scrub, beat-the-crap-out-of-me practice player. He was on the team only to make the real players better. He didn't even get to suit up on game day.

But he hung in there, he endured an extreme time of testing so that... what? He might win the prize! And win the prize he did.

Do you know any other Notre Dame football player's names from those Rudy years? I don't. But I know about the too small, too inadequate player who finally had his moment of glory on the field.

We must live this life with eternity in mind. With our own moment of "glory on the field" to come. We must be prepared for whatever play Coach calls. By the time Rudy was called up, he was one tough son of a gun.

Be ready. Live your life with purpose. You do not know when God's going to say,

"Rachel, you're up, get in the game."

"What? Lord, I'm 50 years old. You don't want to use me, do you? I've waited all this time. I've gotten fat and lazy. I haven't read the Word or prayed consistently in years and... and... I've been living out my destiny by watching American Idol and Oprah."

"I need you in the game. This is your moment."

"Coach, I don't know the plays. I'm 50, remember. Most players are called up in their 20s and 30s."

With a kind sadness, He gazes into her eyes. "But I've been waiting for this moment for you. I've had this slotted since the foundations of the earth... for you. Didn't you know? Don't you remember all the touches on your heart where I reminded you? You actually thought I forgot you?"

"No Lord, but it seems I forgot about the destiny you wrote on my heart."

Don't give up! Live with eternity on your heart. If for some reason you're not called into the game in this life, you most certainly will in the next. Be ready. Hold fast. Stay in "training."


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