For the last few weeks prior to beginning my sermon, I've mentioned something that has been on my heart of late. Maybe it was the difficulties of 2011 (there were many). Or maybe it is just a matter of getting older, seeing and experiencing more of the fallen nature of the world, or moving closer to a better understanding of the gospel. I don't know. But I've really been feeling this message in my heart:
Life is short. Walk with Christ. Spend time with family and friends. Disciple others. Not much else really, truly, matters.
As I look at the Scriptures daily, the futility of so much we spend our lives thinking about and doing has really jumped out at me. I mentioned to CRCC Sunday that we only have a VERY small window of life to expand His Kingdom. We'd best spend the little time we have involved in, fighting for, and pushing those things that matter for time and for eternity. As I've been thinking about this more and more, the things that REALLY matter seem to be:
1. Giving our all each day to Christ! Truly, without Christ and His glorious gospel, the pain and misery of this life is overwhelming. Sure there are many joys and good times, but they don't last long. As we often say, "There is always something!" Sadly, many Christians are as suseptible to the emotional ups and downs of this life as those without Christ. Something is wrong with that. It is our walk with our Lord, and the hope that lies in eternal life that causes true joy. We'll never have the joy of the Lord until the Lord becomes our joy. I truly believe that. This life is too flaky to put our hope in anything that is in the world.
2. Spending time with family and friends. At CRCC, we call this hospitality and fellowship. Dear reader, you and I simply don't know how much time we have left. I'm trying to look at my children and my wife through that lens right there each day. The time we have together is precious. Each and every moment. The time I have with friends and church family is precious too. Walking together, encouraging each other, being there in good and bad times...these things matter. I've said for years that church is much more than a place to go get a need met or get a blessing. It truly was designed to be spiritual family. It matters.
3. Disciple others. Beginning with my wife and children and going out to friends, church folks and the unchurched and lost I don't even know...I must preach the gospel and teach others about Jesus. And I must preach it rightly. Life is short. We do not know when the Lord will return or when we will go to Him. Spending hours and hours watching junk on TV doesn't matter at all, but the time we spend reaching, teaching, and releasing others in the Lord matters. Eternity is a long time. It matters when we open the Word with our children. It matters when we talk to a stranger about Christ. It matters when we are involved in missions or feeding hungry people. It matters when we preach the whole gospel that men might be broken, then transformed by grace.
And truly, I can't think of other things that matter nearly as much. Sure there are other really good things, but these are the top 3 in my opinion. Will you consider reorganizing your life around what really matters today?