Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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How much time?

Andy was totally taken off guard when his co-worker asked him, “You go to church, do you really believe all that God, heaven and hell stuff?”  Suddenly Andy felt his stomach clench up as he thought, “this is my chance to witness to him, but what if I come out looking like a fool?”  Andy mumbled something non-committal and changed the subject.  He justified his action by thinking, “I'll talk to him someday, but right now I just not ready.”

What if someday never comes?

As Sophie had listened to the morning's sermon on relationships, she couldn't help but think about her brother.  Although the argument had been years ago, they hadn't spoken since, even though they lived in the same small town.  She knew she should make things right with him.  She thought about going over to his house and talking.  She thought, “well, maybe not today, but one day I just show up at his front door and he'll be so surprised.”

What if that day never comes?

As Todd drove down the highway, his mind turned to God.  He knew that his relationship with the Lord wasn't what it should be, but there just didn't seem to be enough time to do what he knew was right.  Once again, the thought crossed his mind that he could start today.  As he drove, he thought of all the things that he had going on and concluded that he would work on his relationship with the Lord, just not today.

What if he never gets around to it?

All of life is a balancing act.  We are each issued 24 hour in each day.  Each of us has to decide what to do with the time we are given.  How we use our time is a function of our environment and our priorities.  It is also a function of how much time we perceive that we have.

Consider how your life would be changed if you were told by the doctors that you only have 6 month to live?  How drastically would that affect your priorities?  How would that news affect your fear of looking foolish, you desire to repair relationships or you interest in getting right with God?  Knowing that you are going to die has to affect your view of what is important.

The important news is that you are terminal right now.  It may not be obvious what is going to kill you or when it is going to happen, but your death is coming (unless Jesus returns first).  We don't like to think about the fact that we are going to die, but I could be dead by the time you read this or you could be dead in the next 24 hours.  We just don't know.

It happens all the time that people suddenly die without any warning.  It can be a car accident a heart attack or something totally freaky, but the results are the same.  As the person feels life draining out of them, what might they have regretted never getting around to?

The book of James says, 'You don't even know what tomorrow will bring – what your life will be!  For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes” (James 4:14).  Certainly from a kingdom standpoint, our life goes by in a flash.

So if we have just a little while and we don't know when it is going to end, what do we want to accomplish?  What should we be afraid of?  How do we want to impact our world.  What, exactly is really important?

God tells us what is important all through His love-letter to us, the Bible.  One of my favorite summary verses is, “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).   We can spend our time playing the world's games or we can make a significant difference for all eternity.  When we allow ourselves to be used by God, then we can contribute to making an eternal difference.

So many of the people around us, even some of those we sit with on Sunday mornings, will never make an eternal difference.  As humans, we are unable to make an eternal difference in our own power.  Only God can make an eternal difference.  However, God is willing to allow us to participate in this process.  This, in itself, is a miracle.  But, the only way that we can participate with God's eternal miracles is to avail ourselves as a humble servant.  All those worthless games on the world call to us, wanting to draw us in.  To serve God in eternity-matters requires us to turn away from the world and keep our eyes on Him and the call that He has for us.

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Lexington, Ky