George Bernard Shaw famously said, “the statistics on death are quite impressive, 1 out of 1 people die.”
And mostly we think of death as a bad thing.
Mostly. Because fire ant death is good.
As a kid, a friend and I discovered you could light a Wonder Bread bag on fire, and it will drop flaming balls of plastic – kind of like napalm. So what did we do? We napalmed the ants!
Even to this day, I do not grieve one single ant death.
As the Ortho Fire Ant Killer commercial says, “There’s nothing good about fire ants…All they do is build a big mound in your yard and bite the heck out of anyone who gets near it…you cannot rehabilitate a fire ant. You have to kill him, his little red friends, and that big fat queen down there making more fire ants.”
The commercial ends with that universal principle of life (which is joyous in regards to fire ants), “Everybody dies!”
We all die! Death is total and universal in each and every generation.
And we don’t know when. Your time could be right now…or maybe…now…or maybe…now. Still reading? Guess it’s not your time. Yet.
One time during a sermon on the unpredictability of death I paused and said, “Let’s see if anyone’s time is right now.” Nobody died. No one’s time then either. Although later one guy did say my comment was in bad taste. Maybe.
But we all do die. Which means our time is limited. So how best to use the time?
Simple. Live for eternity. This life is limited-but eternity is UNlimited. Zig Ziglar said, “You’re going to be dead a lot longer than you’ll be alive, so you better have some really long-term goals.” And I’d add, you’d better invest for the long-term too.
Live forever. Live today for forever.
“Great! Excellent David! How? How do I do this living today for forever?”
Consider the options:
I could live for my house. It’s not gonna last forever.
I could live for my country. As great as it is (and the US is the greatest country in the world), it probably won’t be around in a thousand years (I’m very patriotic and believe we should serve our country and I thank God for our country. Just realize it’s not “the” end game).
I could live for my company. Oh – you mean like EF Hutton, RCA, AOL, Enron? All huge enterprises that have vanished forever (I’m not suggesting you don’t work hard at your job and give your very best – the Bible says to that – Col 3:23).
None of those are “forever” kinds of things that have a payoff in eternity.
So what lasts forever?
Jesus does. Jesus lasts forever. So live for Jesus.
“How do I do that, David? Talk is cheap! A lot of people say they, ‘live for Jesus’ but it kind of looks like they spend all their time on themselves and ask Jesus to bless all of that.”
Join Him in what He’s doing.
You do know He’s doing something right? He’s building His church. Adding people to His Church one person at a time, through thousands of local churches (He calls them His body) all over the world. He said in Matthew 6:18, “I will build My church.” And He’s been working on it for 2000 years. As Rick Warren said, “Nothing on earth will last forever – no business, government, or nation. But the Church will.” And that’s why he (Rick Warren) has given his life to building the local church.
So you want to live today, for forever? Join Jesus in what He’s doing. Take all that stuff He’s given you – your time, your talent, your treasure, your experiences, your heart and mind and soul – and jump in and get to work. Put all of that to work for Jesus.
Build His church.
Build His church by serving faithfully in your church (this is so important He talks about it a lot in His Book – like how you are part of His body – 1 Cor. 12).
Build His church by working for Jesus on your job – with honor and integrity and a faithful witness in action and word.
Build His church by serving Jesus through serving your community.
Build His church by loving Jesus through loving your neighbor.
Build His church by…
in and for….Jesus.
Live today for forever.
Live it for Jesus.
Amen and amen.
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