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First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives,

What is your life?

It is a question first recorded by James almost 2000 years ago to help human beings keep perspective on the years that we're given by God to live on this earth.

James 4:14 gives a brief description of the brevity of life on earth. James would compare it to a vapor, a mist that appears early in the morning and soon passes with the heating of the day. If you live an hour in your mother's womb or 100 years on this earth, truth is our life is brief compared to eternity. And more often that we like to admit, we lose perspective of that important fact.

I read something this morning that helps put life on earth in proper perspective.

The statement--"we were not meant for this world alone." God, in His wisdom has made us with eternity in mind (Ec. 3:11) and when sin ruined what God made and called very good, God had a plan in place. For those who love Him and desire to live for Him, grace would provide a way to live with Him forever in a place that is unlike the world we live in because we were not meant for this world alone.

As believers, we must filter everything we face, fear, fight or attempt to flee from through that truth.

The truth of His recorded word has a way of resetting our priorities, something that may well need adjustment not only every day but often in a given day. We are easily detoured from the straight and narrow with the distractions of the present pressure to conform to this world system.

And days soon turn to years and the years eventually give way to death.

Being reminded of that, how do we best approach everyday life? The answer--by following the example of the Apostle Paul who asked two very important questions during his life. They are recorded in Acts 9:3-6. "who are you, Lord?" and "what do you want me to do?"

Without first knowing the Lord personally, there is no chance that person will be concerned about what God wants for them in life.

Paul, like most today was living for himself and working for the world system that was opposed to Christ. Until that day while on a mission of his own undertaking, his life was turned around. From opposing God to serving God. And in that miraculous moment, the life of Saul of Tarsus became the life of the Apostle Paul. God changed his heart and his heading. Saul left Jerusalem a good man and while on the way of life, met Jesus and began the journey of being a godly man. From a life of futility to a life of enduring fulfillment. By the way, his life in Christ was not an easier life by any means, but it was always designed as the best way to live here as a human being saved by grace through faith. There is likely no other example that we have in scripture of God's radical transformation of grace than His work in the man named Saul.

Saul (Paul) loved the Lord he met that day on the road to Damascus with all his heart and desired that for every person, as well. There's the evidence of a person who has the proper perspective on life. Paul came to understand that he was not meant for this world alone but rather for the world that is 'out of this world'. A place that Paul described as being beyond our imagination and reserved for those who love Jesus. (1 Cor. 2:9)

That place is not here. That place is referred to in scripture as heaven. It is the place God designed and the place that God desires for human beings to spend the rest and best of life.

For those who believe, we have that assurance! For those who don't, their best days are behind them.

Former IMB President Tom Elliff once described eternity in this way, "there's always as much in front of you as there is behind you."

That's great for those who love God and horrifying for those who don't!

Considering these reminders, what is your life?

Are you living today with God in mind?

Or are you living today on your own?

"We were not meant for this world alone." Our lives are meant to honor God. And the first and best way to experience that is by giving our life, (all our life) to Him in trusting faith.

With that life changing decision, He'll help you sort out the rest in His time as He shapes you into the person He desires you to be. You'll discover that fulfilling the life purpose He designed especially for you is what life is really all about. I pray that's your life, every day!

God's best to all this week!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:36-37