“This has happened for God’s eternal purpose, which He accomplished in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Eph 3:11 (Simple English Bible)
It is sometimes very easy to forget our horizons. We try to plan every day so that the bumps and peaks are smoothed out and we can finish whatever tasks are at hand. Sometimes, it works and many times, we are distracted, waylaid, interrupted and sidelined for a variety of different reasons and developing situations. It doesn’t mean that we’ve failed: only that it is part of life.
But life also has a bigger purpose, a broader scope and a better meaning. The apostle Paul, writing from jail in Rome to the Christians in the Asian city of Ephesus, pointed out that we participate in God’s eternal purpose. We are part of a much bigger world, extending from this life into the next. Our goals and aims should be planned for the longest term possible.
Christ promised that our future lies in Heaven, a place He has been preparing for us ever since He left. The only way we have access to this home is through Jesus, who fulfilled God’s eternal purpose on our behalf.
We have a truly amazing future! Let’s make sure we can all share it together!
“Life is difficult to avoid!” Anon friend
Josh was tired of being hassled, constrained and constantly on edge with people giving him a hard time. So, one day he decided to stay at home, call in sick and just sleep, watch TV, eat junk food and take it easy. He turned off his cell and the house phone after his wife left for work and slid between the sheets for a long overdue snooze. The roofers next door kept him awake with hammering and talking loudly. The dog whined at the back door, somehow knowing he was in there.
The cable was out and all he could get on the normal channels was soap operas, cartoons and old re-runs. During the morning, three different people knocked on the front door, selling something or looking for donations. He flushed when he realized that he still had on his pajamas, hadn’t shaved, brushed his teeth or combed his hair. By the afternoon, Josh was thoroughly miserable. When his wife came home from work, she railed at him for taking the day off and doing nothing!
We can’t avoid life. It happens everyday, whether we want it to or not. Besides, Christians have been given their marching orders by their Lord — we are to serve, worship, praise, sing, be joyful, loving and kind. Not just on Sunday but every day that He has blessed us with His life!
“Masters, treat your slaves well and fairly. Remember, you have a Master in Heaven, too.”
Col 4:1 (Simple English Bible)
Because we’re all different, we hold different people to different standards. Just because I like to work or organize things a certain way, doesn’t mean that everyone must do the same. I took a visitor with me to another church and he was put off by the way the congregation was led it prayer. The pastor asked all the people to pray at the same time out loud. My friend didn’t like the babble that erupted and thought it was irreverent.
We discussed it in the car on the way back. He said that someone (probably, me!) should tell them that this was disrespectful and wrong. The Christians were being misled and were obviously too ignorant to know the right way to pray. I listened to the heated diatribe. I tried to explain that every church group has their own way of worship, order of service, songs and hymns, preaching and even prayer. While I was sure that my friend didn’t enjoy it, I was also sure that the Christians we just visited wouldn’t be happy with my friend’s style either!
Like Paul’s admonishment to slave owners to be fair, we, too, should also be fair with our brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, we are His servants, His apostles and His witnesses! We work within our own culture and tradition but also must be fair and mindful of others who might have differences.
Besides, we all belong to our Lord!