Read: 2 Corinthians 5:15

I hope you don’t mind if I switch gears for this week. I suggested in an earlier post that you start reading through the Book of Hebrews. I want to take some time in future posts to reflect (again) on the supremacy of Jesus in all things. But for now, I want to talk about a painful “rediscovery” I recently made. I hope and pray it will minister to your soul as has to mine. 

My rediscovery started with an article I read in Christianity Today late last week (Christianity Today, May 2013, 41-43). It was a splendid article about the tension between the immanence and the transcendence of God. We could talk about those two terms, but that’s for another time. What caught my attention was the self-disclosure of the author. He is a young theologian and author, having recently published his first textbook. In addition, he is a husband and father of two young children. After going to his doctor to get some relief from what he thought was a pulled muscle, he was told that he had a rare, deadly cancer for which there is no cure. An excellent theological treatise followed the man’s disclosure about his disease. But after laying the article aside, I had more questions than answers in my own mind. I came away saddened by a promising young theologian's imminent death.

Add to that experience two more events that are more personal in nature. Carol and I have dear friends who are faced with making some major changes in their lives. It will require a move they weren’t really planning to make. And it will put limitations on their ministries that sadden them both. As we prayed with them, I uttered a weak “amen,” and said to myself, “This doesn’t seem fair. God where are you in all of this?” And then it seemed that my thoughts came full-circle to rest on our own situation. We have been planning to relocate for over a year—a plan to be closer to our children and grandchildren. We thought that God was in our plans and we moved into the future with great confidence. But here we are, one year later, and it seems like someone has pushed the “pause-button,” and we are sitting in limbo.

Here’s my problem. It might be yours as well. I’m bummed out by all of this. As I reflected on the young author, the friends with changes thrust upon them, and with our own static existence, I kept telling God that it just wasn’t fair! And do you know why I felt that way? It’s because all three scenarios deal with people who have goals for life—GOOD GOALS I might add! And the same could be said for your life as well. You have plans—plans to move to a bigger house; plans for your children to join the family business; plans for an upcoming wedding; and plans to minister and make life better for yourself and others.

And that’s where my “rediscovery” occurred. So much of my life (and yours as well) is wrapped up with what I’m going to do next. I’ve even baptized my plans with prayer—my prayers and the prayers of others. And while I was musing on the people I cited above, I realized that our carefully crafted plans often become our idols. We worship them and assume that they will deliver us into the realm of “happily ever after”! But they won’t. And that might be the very reason that Jesus invites us to reconsider our plans, our hopes, our dreams…and our agendas. 

Please don’t misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with making plans and having dreams. But the old spiritual seems to put things in proper perspective with these words, “This world is not my home…I’m just a’passin’ through!” It’s true. Our ultimate destiny—our ultimate goal—is heaven and living in the presence of King Jesus. And what we do in this life must be focused on what the Savior wants, not what we are planning to accomplish. The Apostle Paul (in the midst of his own disheveled plans) wrote: And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised (2COR 5:15 HCSB).

So what are you living to accomplish? What dreams or goals do you salivate over most often? The Messiah has something better for you. INSTEAD OF LIVING TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS, MAKE IT YOUR GOAL TO LIVE TODAY FOR THE GLORY OF JESUS. 

As I stated above, I’m not suggesting that any of us should live irresponsibly. Neither am I suggesting that you should toss your dreams and goals to the wind. But life isn’t about tomorrow, or next month, or even next year. It’s about today—this moment of time. Seize it and live for Jesus. Love your spouse as Jesus would love that person. Take the time God gives you, and love your son or daughter as Jesus loves that person. Capture what seems like a meaningless moment, and smile at the person in the checkout line in front of you—the person who is shabbily dressed and grumpy about life. Yes, live this moment for Jesus, because eternity with Him is God’s REAL goal for you. In fact, eternity may be closer than you ever really imagined. So what are you living for?

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