2007-02-08 - What's Important
Phil 1:3-6 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy 5 because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. (NLT)
Paul clearly had dear friends in Philippi. What a wonderful impression to leave with someone - to be thankful to the Creator of the Universe each time you are brought to mind. It would be a humbling thing if I could say that were my legacy.
We have choices in this life. We leave the life of each person we meet either better, unchanged or worse because we were there. To move through this life and leave the world and the people around us completely unaltered would be very sad. But to touch the life of someone and alter their life for the better is a worthy goal. To touch the life of someone and leave it changed for eternity is the calling that Jesus left us. We are to be witnesses to the world around us of our Savior and His love. That does not necessarily mean walking through neighborhoods handing out literature or knocking on doors, unless that is your calling. It means living a life that makes people want to know why you are different than the world around you.
People are what is important. The creation around us, the cities, the landscapes, the buildings, the riches of the world - even Mt Everest, will ultimately be consumed to make room for a new Heaven and a new Earth at the end of time. Every single thing we know will be destroyed. But the people will live on into eternity - for good or for ill. Everyone will stand before God. A line from an old song says, "Only one life, so soon it will pass. Only what's done for Christ will last." Everything else will be chaff burned in the fire.
God has given everyone talents. Even if you are not a doctor or lawyer or sports figure, you have gifts in areas that make you special. I know people who know when you're down and they will climb down in the emotional hole with you if they have to do it to get your attention. When they get there, they have a smile and a hug and willing ears. I know people who are wizards with cars and electrical wiring and are willing to talk you though anything or even pick up a screwdriver and help. A talent for making pies can open doors. It may be a scary thought, but you are the best example of a Christian to someone in your life.
Can we pound people with verses and inspirational stories? Yes, we can. But that often draws mixed results at best. Unless God leads you with that method, be still and listen for His leading. Your life will have to match your talk or the words will ring hollow. When someone approaches you, especially during a difficult time in their life, looking for answers, know that God has used the life you have lived to open the door for those questions. Be ready, because the people are what's important for eternity and you are about to make a difference.
Grace & Peace,