Friday, September 7, 2007

A Simple Reminder

Isaiah 40:8

"The grass withers, the flower fades,but the word of our God will stand forever."

A while back my wife and I were driving through the countryside of Kansas, something there is plenty of around here. As we were driving down the country road we both saw the same thing and had the same thought.

There on the side of the road was an abandoned house. Run down to say the least. There was a whole in the roof, most of the paint had pealed off and the house was surely structurally unsound.

The thought that seemed to smack Susan and I both was that this house may have at one time been someones dream house. You could imagine what the house looked like when it was built. You could imagine perhaps a young couple with dreams and aspirations about their life together perhaps having children one day.

I know my wife and I have often thought how nice it would be to own a nice home, a new car perhaps. But what seeing this house did for us was put life into perspective. What lasts forever? Nothing in this world lasts forever. God, His word, Salvation by His grace, these things last forever. Houses do not, cars do not.

I'm reminded of James 4:13-17

"13Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."

We make our plans, we have our dreams and we set out to achieve them. This in itself is not bad, but we can be arrogant in our attitude about it. So many times I know that I make plans and don't consult God. I do things all the time that I think are for God, but I don't ask Him if it's ok.

I suppose my main point is simply this: Be careful how you build. I'm speaking to myself as much as I am you. Dreams and aspirations are great, and often God given. But let us always have the attitude of "if the Lord wills" and everything for His glory.

There are very few things that we do in this life that hold eternal impact. The things that we tend to focus on as important (the material things) they all fade, vanish, and crumble.

Let us remember as Christians that our kingdom is not of this world. We are not home here. This earth and all of creation will one day be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:7). So let us be ambitious and have dreams and aspirations, but let us always say "if the Lord wills."

Most importantly, let our dreams and aspirations be focused on those things that are eternal. Growing close to God through His word and prayer, sharing Christ with the lost. Let us focus not on the perishable but the imperishable. What a good and simple reminder an old abandoned house is. There are things that matter during this life and there are things that don't.

Let's focus on what matter's.

1 Peter 1:3-5

3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

-Jacob

1 comment:

Nath @ Reformed Geek said...

This is a simple, but powerful reminder. It especially rings true for me and my wife as we have been discussing our plans to one day buy a house...the Great Australian Dream of owning your own home is a big thing in our culture - and it can easily become an idol and a distraction from serving God.