At some point we all take our last breath. On this earth, we are distracted with the cares of the world and are tempted to attain for ourselves the glory that our flesh desires.
This physical death includes every person who walks the earth – those who are diligent in exercise and diet as well as those who surf the couch with a remote. Those who pride themselves on the beautiful clique they’ve surrounded themselves with and those who are outsiders, friendless and homeless. It includes those who buy the most advanced technological toys and those who resist ushering in the invasion of the digital age. The list of contrasts within our society and world are endless but be sure of one thing…
Physical death captures us all.
There is more than one place in Scripture where God tell us that this world will perish and along with it every created thing.
For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.” — Psalm 49:17
Yet, one thing is recommended that we focus our efforts and energy — the only thing that lasts beyond this life.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:19-21
In 2 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul mentions how the burdens of this world actually press us to long for the life to come even more. In fact, Paul himself longed for heaven even more than he desired home (vs 8 and Philippians 1:23).
Paul was so concerned about his eternal home that this world held no advantage to him – other than his opportunity to win more souls for Christ. Paul had the perspective that his future home, the reality of eternal life with God, was his hope that he lived each day in light of that orientation.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” — Philippians 1:21-26
Paul’s life was marked by his desire to see others transformed with the gospel. He shared the hope of Christ with others – with the nations – even when it resulted in his rejection and persecution. He lived a life of service to others.
He invested all his effort and time in the gospel. His life was invested in Christ to the point that everything else was vain. His faithfulness in spreading the good news transformed entire populations.
As believers, “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us,” (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we must be mindful of where our efforts, time, resources, and affections go. We must desire Christ and his kingdom more than any comfort this world has to offer.
Where is your investment?