2/23/11

Choices with Eternity in View

I love this old tombstone in Indiana. It reminds us, with a finger pointing to the sky, that "We shall meet again," if we are believers in Christ. I have to confess that I have a love for old tombstones like this one.

One of the dearest tombstones I've ever seen is at the grave of Life Action Ministries founder Del Fehsenfeld, Jr
. (which I showed in an earlier post), because its words reflect his legacy: "He knew God. He loved God. He walked with God. He believed God. He lived and died for the Glory of God. 2 Chronicles 16:9."

My friend, Dr. Ken Nichols, has a ministry built around the word "ALIVE" ~ Always Living in View of Eternity." He counsels people and equips them to deal with the problems of life, focusing on the Word of God, and offering wisdom from an eternal perspective.

Linda Dillow, an author I have long admired, has a new book out that I am reading. In What's It Like to be Married to Me?, a statement early in Dillow's book grabbed my heart. In her chapter on regaining a biblical perspective of marriage, she writes, "To live your life with the end in view is to align your daily and secret choices with this picture. It is to examine each part of your life ~ what you do today, tomorrow, next week, next year; how you choose to spend the time with your lover [husband] ~ in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you... God wants us to be eternal people." *

Dillow suggested, in helping wives decide how they can determine what is important in relation to their marriages, that they consider their own funeral. Right before your burial, "What would you like your husband to say about you after many years of marriage?" she said. "What character qualities would you like him to have seen in you?" The exercise, Dillow said, will help women realize their deepest values about who they want to become as wives.

The exercise also works in regard to examining a life worth living.

I love the words on Leonard Ravenhill's tombstone: "Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"

I have long maintained that the best way to cooperate with God in His goal to make us like Christ (1 John 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:49) is to examine our hearts in the light of God's Word and eternal values ~ to align our hearts with His in our attitudes and choices. We need a clear vision of the character of Christ and why He died. We need to understand how our Lord's character should translate into our everyday decisions.

Dillow's comment and Ravenhill's gravestone remind me that life is short. The great missionary, C.T. Studd, once wrote in "Only One Life":

"... Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last...."

What does this mean to you? To me, it means that because life is so short, I need to value time more and not waste it. I need to embrace the words of Ephesians 5:15-16: "Be very careful, then, how you live ~ not as unwise, but as wise ~ making the most of every opportunity...."

Whether the topic is relationships, marriage, career, parenting, habits, or any other portion of our lives, we need to weigh our choices in light of eternity. What makes a difference from that perspective? If all that lasts into eternity is the Word of God and human beings, what does that say about our choices and priorities? The older I get (and the nearer to the day of my funeral), the more I am aware of the importance to be careful and buy up opportunities to live for God.

Friend, are you living with eternity in view, with God's heart and eternity in mind in all your choices and priorities today?

* Linda Dillow, What's It Like to be Married to Me? (David C. Cook, 2011), p. 30

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