Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, September 4, 2018

Will Our Living Be In Vain?

On August 31stand September 1st, 2018, we celebrated the lives of the great icons, Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain. These were amazing people and many were changed by their utterances and actions.  During Aretha Franklin’s funeral ceremony, the Clark Sisters sang, “Is My Living In Vain?” Some of the lyrics are,  “Is my living in vain? (...)Am I wasting my time? Can the clock be rewind? Have I let my light shine? Have I made ninety-nine?”  In answer to these troubling questions, they declared triumphantly, “No, of course not. It's not all in vain. No, no Lord, no 'cause up the road is eternal gain.”

The apostle Paul in the Bible declared that for him to live was to live for Christ, but when he died, he would gain eternal life (Philippians 1:21).  As we sojourn upon this rugged road called life, we have to evaluate the importance of what we are doing.  After all is said and done, we have to ask are the things that we think are so important really that important?  Are we wasting our time investing in people that diminish us? Are we spending our precious moments working on activities that are just make-work projects? Are we gathering honors, promotions, degrees, and bank accounts just so that struggles will quickly ensue over who gets what before our body is cold?

What will they say at our own Homegoing?  Will there be meaningless platitudes and predictable homilies designed to praise the departed and comfort the crowd? Or will they look at our lives as an example of letting God’s words live in us (Colossians 3:16) and remind those we leave behind to stay in Christ and to live for Him always. I hope that our eulogy communicates that we loved God, loved people, served God and served people.

As ambassadors for Christ, we would like the world to know that we demonstrated the love of Christ to a sad and lonely world.  Jesus does not want any to die without Him, but instead He wants everyone to have eternal life with Him (2 Peter 3:9).  Therefore, let us live lives that are focused on eternal things.  Let us live our lives knowing that a great cloud of witnesses watches over us (Hebrews 12:1). Let our living not be in vain, but let us live for Christ.

Philippians 1:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  

Colossians 3:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

2 Peter 3:9
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Hebrews 12:1
New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

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