Future: Each of us has a future, two futures, in fact—one here and one in the hereafter.
The questions remain, “What will those two futures hold?” God only knows, of course, but in the amazing grace of God, we have considerable control over each of them. The choices we make today produce results now and forever.
There isn’t any reason to go through life like a billiard ball bouncing from cue to rail in helpless reaction to what hits us at the moment. What an amazing opportunity we have to be proactive instead of reactive—to be purposeful and obedient to the principles of Creation:
- sowing and reaping,
- cause and effect,
- praying and believing,
- reading and obeying and
- all the other elements of an ironclad Covenant with Almighty God!
Jesus told me so.
And it is this opportunity that so many squander, letting sure riches slip through their idle fingers like so much sand at the beach. It’s true the riches may not pile up for us on this side of our memorial service, but on the other side?—riches untold! How do I know? Jesus told me so. He warned us not to lay up for ourselves treasures here on earth. The place is just too unstable. There are moths, and thieves, and rust, and all sorts of bad people in this world, and way too many destructive processes. No earthly accounts are safe. He said we could lay up treasures in the security vaults of heaven, a place completely void of villains and varmints, rust and rot.
Such a deal!
What are these treasures that are accruing interest and increasing in worth in the celestial safes? The things that really count:
- family, friends,
- fellowship, and
- freedom from death—
- all the things life tries to steal from us.
Until then, we walk in this dangerous, decaying world, hoping to hold on to what we have.
We don’t know about tomorrow but we know Who holds tomorrow. He has promised that even when terrible things happen to us or worse, when terrible things are done to us, all things will work together for our good—eventually. We do not live at the mercy of forces and people and time. Our Covenant-keeping God has the final word. We may lose everything and everyone here, but our real treasure is safe in the heart of God, out of reach of wars and famine and natural disasters and human treachery and even what some call “bad luck.”
So let’s be smart.
When faced with the daily choice to spend precious time and energy on frivolous things that quickly fade like grass in a dry field, let’s make a better choice.
- In reading the Word there are riches or truth to discover and live by.
- By spending time with the Father in the Secret Place of prayer we can uncover a plan for our life that He wants to bless.
The Lord keeps watching over us and our stuff as our earthly future unfolds and multiplies our reward in heaven to come. Seems like a no-brainer to me. The choices we make today produce results now and forever.
Such a deal, indeed!
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret — it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. … If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsake nor their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip. … Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off. The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart
Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Lord Jesus, this moment is filled with distractions. Like shiny objects to a child, frivolous things capture my attention causing me to waste the precious moments you give me every day. At the same time, the past sings a siren song that sometimes catches my ear, causing me to waste time in fruitless ruminations on things I cannot change. Lord, give me this moment today! What a gift!—a day to serve You–opportunities to make a true difference in this world. These precious moments are not to be wasted for they contain the power of the future: treasures, secure in heaven. Thank You, Lord!
Words and Music: Stuart Hamblin
1. My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
2. The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved