Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NLT)
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
There is nothing worse than work on a slow day. When the telephones stop ringing, people stop coming in and time seems to stand still. It is like being chained to a desk waiting for each precious minute to tick by until finally quitting time comes with blessed release. Now you are able to pursue the things that you would like to do, or are you? Many people are bound to a schedule and routine with the order of their life carefully budgeted between plans and pleasure. The clock is not my friend in more ways than one. There does not seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I hope to do. On those days when things slow down on the job, my mind wanders to the list of things I need to do outside of the office. Being at work becomes bondage as we are bound to it because they are paying for my time. It is a form of slavery as we exchange our time for money. Money is the world’s economy and bears no interest with God. However, it is how we pursue comfort and security in life. On the days when I am late leaving work because it is busy, it is a rush to finish all the things on my list as well. The list of priorities in my life include every goal and plan that I have made in the hope that my life will be fulfilling. So I try to make the most of every minute racing the clock trying to make just a little more time which is totally impossible yet every day I still attempt to do it. I am chronically and habitually late. It is only through the most staunch discipline that I now am closer to promptness than ever before but don’t count on it. Just ask my husband who has experienced longer than usual wait times and many unexpected delays as a result of my inability to be on time and punctuality defect. Why do people work so hard to fill their schedule and overload their life? Could it be that they have no image of Heaven, Eternity or Forever? Such a revelation takes the short life of seventy or so years that we have been given stretching them to infinity and beyond. God has made everything beautiful for its own time. However, if we spend all our time chasing the clock and trying to overload each minute to live “this” life to the fullest, it is possible to miss the Goodness and Unfailing Love of God that has been pursing us our entire life. (Psalm 23:6) God planted Eternity in our heart and waters it with faith so it will grow and mature into confident hope. Hope sees past this life into Eternity. It turns the few years we have on this earth into infinite opportunity living and flourishing in the Presence of God where there is more than enough time to do all that He has planned for us which includes the future and hope we continue to strive for. It may just take a little time. We have it if we respond to Eternity with faith, hope and love. (I Corinthians 13:13)
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
God created you to live forever. It was never intended for us to live in bondage to sin. We made that choice choosing the lie of the enemy over the Truth of God. It created a wide separation between God and His People. Our life is designed for the express purpose of rediscovering our connection with God, turning from our sin (repentance), accepting His Gift of Salvation and living in God’s Presence both now and forevermore. This is God’s Bucket List for your life that includes every promise and blessing attached and wrapped in the future and hope that He has promised. (Jeremiah 29:11) He is waiting for His People to seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) It’s crazy to think in the chaos of life that it is all about one thing. God wants to set you free from the bondage of sin to pursue His Glory for your life. This will never happen until we stop the clock. One day is like a thousand years to God. His Patience is for your inability to remain faithful and obedient. His Love allows Him to give us this life in the express hope that we will discover the Eternity in our heart and forsake our flesh to find it. It is the flesh of man (sinful nature) that is self-seeking attempting to make the most out of this life even if it means ignoring the Lord. Why? It is dying. Your body and natural man will never enter forever just your spirit so of course, it wants to make the most of it. But is it really worth giving up on God’s Promises to have monetary pleasure only to be tormented forever? And you think eight hours of boredom work is bad…
Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
The New King James Version of Psalm 23 reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”. Holy revelation! Could it be that this valley is not just the monetary trials and troubles a day or hour may bring, but the summation of our natural life. We live in the shadow of death each day changed only by our choice to accept life. The Lord wants to lead us through this life to forever. He is guiding us as a quiet shepherd. He calls to us “come this way” even when we choose to do things our own way. He teaches us how to live. He has prepared everything we need to get through this life physically, emotionally and spiritually so what’s the fuss all about? Our cup will overflow with the blessings of God if we simply walk through life His Way. No need to work for it or struggle over it. Goodness and unfailing love are in hot pursuit of you all the days of our life (now) and forever. It is the “shadow of death” that causes our heart to fear. Why? Who isn’t slightly concerned with dying? That is certainly why I join so many middle-aged people at the gym. Working out is not fun. It is laborious but as a good steward of the mind, soul and body exercise is important. Many will testify that they did not change their lifestyle until faced with the reality of mortality. The number one reason smokers give up their love affair with cigarettes is cancer. Hello? We must learn to live forever now and stop trying to fill our time up with the things of this world that rob us of life. We have everything we need according to God’s Riches in and for His Glory! (Philippians 4:19) If we would only learn to trust the Lord with our time and wait on the Lord. He will renew our strength and carry us through this life. (Isaiah 40:31)
Psalm 33:11 (NLT) But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
The Lord’s Plans stand firm forever. He does not change nor does His Intentions concerning you. (Lamentations 5:19) But His Love is all about the freedom to choose which has posed a problem for people since the Garden of Eden. Once we discover that the primary purpose of His Great Plan is to love us unconditionally and bless us eternally, it would seem like a no-brainer but we are too busy trying to live our own life to take the time to really discover what His Plan is all about. Too busy to serve the Lord, seek the Lord or even spend some time with Him – many will miss the best days of their life giving them away to things of this world rather than making His Presence the most important pursuit of their life. I don’t want to be that person. I want the things God has planned for my life. I want His Love forever unconditionally. (Psalm 89:1-2) I want to possess the land forever walking in the prosperity that God has designated for me. (Psalm 37:29) I want His Guidance to lead me through this shadow of death called life to meet Him in Eternity forever. (Psalm 48:14) I want the Lord to wipe every tear from my eye. I want Him to escape death, sorrow, crying and pain. I want the newness of His Resurrection Power in my life today and forevermore. (Revelation 21:3-5) But do I want it enough to commit my time (my life) to it?
I Peter 1:23-25 (NLT)
For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
It is very difficult to change one’s perspective on life. It requires changing how we live, what we do and how we think. For many years, I crash dieted trying to keep my weight under control. Yet all the while my flesh was completely in control as evidenced in the peaks and valleys of weight gain. Like many people, I decided around the New Year to make some “life changes” for the long haul this time. The first thing I did was a juice fast for ten days. I had plenty to “drink” and all the vitamins and minerals that comprised good nutrition but my body was not amused and rebelled violently until finally it gave up. This also impacted my schedule adding extra steps to my overloaded daily routine. The next thing I did was modify my new diet to eat healthy foods and avoid those things that had overtaken me before. There are many nights I must spend more time in the kitchen to have suitable choices for all the members of our family. The good news is that I lost thirty pounds. However, it was not enough. I began walking to assist in the healthy overhaul. Again, this took precious time from the overloaded schedule that required more changes to our routine. Very difficult to do, but I did it. One rainy afternoon, I joined my husband at the gym afraid that one day off would turn into more. Now I go to the gym with him almost every day to continue the mind, soul and body overhaul carving out time that I never thought I had. Salvation should be “worked out” the very same way. Continually overtaking our mind, soul and body as we give more and more of our life (time) to the Lord to accomplish His Plan which holds a future and hope. Truth is that I can leave the gym and get run over by a bus ending my pursuit of longer life in the absence of His Grace and Mercy but if I strive to continually live in the Presence of God, then my time will continually glorify God from now until I step into Eternity seamlessly. Do I want to make that change is the question? No one could make me diet and exercise. I had to want the benefits enough to endure the hard work associate with this choice. If you want God’s Best for your life, stop giving your life to things that do not matter. Reclaim your time and invest it by faith in Eternity. His Ways are so much higher than our own, it would only seem right that we must stretch, reach, endure, persevere and strive for them. (Isaiah 55:8-9) You are not alone. Jesus is the same always. (Hebrews 13:8) He is making intercession for us (His People) forever. (Hebrews 7:24-25) There would not have been a Tree of Life or timbers that formed the Cross, if the lord did not intend for us to be forever creatures. It is His Plan for us all. We must learn to leave the bondage of this world and all its time constraints to pursue forever and all its freedom. (John 8:34-36) You were created to be a Child of the Living God which is a free and forever position in a family not a slave to the things of this world bound by sin. It is high time we live like Children of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
The Lord promises to be the Strength of our heart forever. (Psalm 73:26) But first we must surrender the essence of our life (our heart) to Jesus Christ. We must never give up our pursuit of His Great Love no matter what trials or trouble we face for they are momentary and temporary for those who love the Lord and live His Way. Each one promises to turn out for the good. The Lord offers success in every endeavor for those live by three simple rules – faith, hope and love. (I Corinthians 13:13) These should be the primary goals in our life then everything else will fall into place as the Peace of God takes over. This is not a sprint but a race of endurance. When I began using the elliptical machine at the gym, I realized just how out of shape and unconditioned my body was. About fifteen minutes into a thirty minute workout, I feel as though my lungs are crawling out of my mouth and my legs shake like Jello. I just to watch the timer and it seemed to crawl by. So I purposed in my heart not to watch the clock but focus on praising God with my IPod. It’s crazy that now it seems that time flies by and I forget that I am struggling which is clearly evident between songs. I believe that this applies to all of our life. Now when life is especially stressful, I am ready to run straight to the gym and crank up the worship to focus on His Presence. Maybe if we would stop running around so much and run straight into His Presence spending the precious and priceless moments of life on the things that last forever – we would experience the radical transformation that He has promised in His Word. His Word is forever. (Psalm 119:160) Perhaps I could slow down a bit and let God be God in my life rather be a time bandit myself. If I simply fixed my eyes on the unseen hope that is produced by faith well invested, then I could see that there are enough hours in the day when I depend on Him. (Philippians 4:7-9) I must use the time that comprises my life to be ready when Jesus comes. (I Thessalonians4:16-18) I must exchange my long list of goals and bucket list of life for faith, hope and love. It is an uneven exchange of heartache for joy! Perplexity for peace! I must choose to choose to use my time wisely and stop chasing the clock! Your heart is where your treasure is. Forever people live for Eternity! (I John 2:15-17)
Revelation 22:1-6 (NLT)
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”