I am so thankful to live in the United States! I never stop learning so at age 54, I continue to study history. I realize that in my lifetime I have lived in a great time in our nation, a time of prosperity and safety.
Even though I was a fairly young adult when we experienced the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which killed so many innocent people and was a NEW KIND OF WAR, I watched our nation take action and ensure better safety in the USA. I also see how technology–the internet and cell phones–makes life safer and easier. For the most part, people travel with ease and comfort. And, even though we do have the poor and the homeless in America, I am told by those who have traveled extensively, and I would agree, that our “poor” in America look “rich” in other countries.
You can disagree with me but living in America is a grand thing. So much so that I believe when you read and study scripture, you will find that the temptation to “Love the World” is greater for Americans than for most other people. What does it even mean when scripture says in James 1:27, “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”?
Or Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good acceptable and perfect”?
Or 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the desires of the eyes and the pride in possessions is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away also with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever”?
Scripture also teaches that “life is a vapor.” When I read the above scriptures, it stops me dead in my tracks. I have to ask myself: Where am I? What is my focus? What am I doing with my time? What am I doing with my possessions? What is Your will today, Lord?
Of course the Lord wants us to enjoy our life…but we were created by Him for His purposes; to do good works that He had in store for us before we were in the “womb!” He foreknew that the “things of the world”–TV, movies, keeping up with the Jones, sex, travel, hobbies, wealth, food, sleep, sports, and the list goes on and on could/would entice us away from His perfect will.
When I reflect on the time of the World Trade Center attacks, as our world/the USA was threatened, I saw a glimpse of most taking their eyes “off their world” and putting them on God. Sadly, it only lasted for a short time, very short….then it seemed everyone returned to their individual “love of their personal worlds.” I put myself there too…up until the last several years.
The more I study scripture….the closer I am to Jesus.…the more I have a TRUE UNDERSTANDING of what we do here in our “vapor” matters in eternity. It now has me consumed with doing the will of God!
There is a heaven and a hell….and one day there will be a day of judgement. We will all spend eternity in one of two places. Rejection of Jesus as the son of God does send a person to hell…no matter what earthly good they do. Even if you spend your entire life feeding the poor, but you never receive Jesus as YOUR LORD and Savior…all those good deeds “burn up!”…and you spend eternity in hell.
To spend eternity in heaven you have to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is a free gift that requires faith! Even after salvation there needs to be a surrender of our will to HIS WILL which leads to significance. That significance which God purposed in advance when we were created is where my/your/our rewards will come from.
The book of Revelation in the Bible teaches about the end of time, referring to the return of Christ when the “dead “ will rise for judgement along with the living. It states in Revelation 22:12, “Look, I am coming soon! My REWARD is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the END” [emphasis added].
I encourage you with this…you were created by God for God. He has specific things for each to do while on this earth.
Ask Him today. God will show you. He is not a God who makes you guess but in order to hear and know, it requires a desire and a being still and a reading of HIS Word. One of the main ways God speaks to all of us is through scripture. A simple prayer would be…”God, show me your will today. Show me where I am being a friend to the world and an enemy to YOU” as James talks about in chapter 4 verse 4. God is faithful. He is loving and He can read our hearts.
A sincere heart gets sincere answers from a loving God. But understand, often it requires faith on our parts…meaning you don’t SEE the end before you begin. My personal testimony is this…taking that first step…and then continuing to step without seeing the end…has been the VERY BEST and MOST REWARDING THING I HAVE EVER DONE.
SEEK TO MAKE YOUR VAPOR COUNT…FOR ETERNITY.