This life we live is so short. We do not know what our lives will be like tomorrow. We are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14). Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow (Psalm 144:4). For all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass; the grass withers, and the flowers fade (1 Peter 1:24).
But that which is after this life is eternal. It is not a vapor, a breath or a shadow. The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus (Romans 6:23). The one who hears the message [of Jesus] and believes the one who sent him has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life (John 5: 24-25). Anyone who believes in Jesus will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Jesus and believes in Jesus will never ever die. (John 11:25). No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
If this life really is just a breath, a vapor and a shadow, and the life to come with Christ is eternal, forever and infinite, why is this perspective not at the forefront of my mind? How can I live in light of this truth? How do I live in light of eternity?
Matthew urges us not to store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
I suppose the immortal words of the apostle Paul offer great wisdom and guidance for my above proposed questions. He says, “let us, each one, use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:8-11)”. Amen indeed.
I want to make this life count. I do not want to waste it. I want to be spent at the end of the day, exhausted from the good things like joyfully and sacrificially pouring out my life for the good news of Jesus. I want to be exhausted from partaking in the privilege of a life lived well in the shadow of Jesus. I want to hear the words spoken over me, “Well done my good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21).”
I love this illustration by Francis Chan, the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California. Check it out. He explains it so beautifully: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X57-bAS91iw