Outlive Your Life

It’s a law of life. Material things wear out, give out, burn out:

  • The computer that suddenly refuses to boot up…
  • The favorite sweater pulled out of storage in the fall which the moths found during the summer…
  • The light bulb that flashes to dark…

So what will last? What things are truly worth our limited time and concentrated focus, because they’re not going to be thrown onto the next pile of trash or tossed into the thrift store donation box?

The Bible tells us about some weighty things that will last.

  • God: “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
  • His Word: “The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, God’s Word goes on and on forever” (1 Peter 1:24-25 The Message).
  • People, created in God’s image—When Jesus uses sheep and goats to illustrate the final judgment, He concludes with these sobering words about the people of this earth:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’…And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:42-45)

Since God, His Word, and people are eternal, what will last is what’s used wisely for God, His Word, and His people.

David prayed,

Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life…Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but ­only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:4-7)

Because this life is so brief, we might conclude it’s inconsequential. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Bible tells us that this life lays the foundation upon which eternal life is built. Here’s a great 2-minute video reminding us that eternity will hold for us what we have invested there during our life on earth.

I love this video because not only does it capture life well, but it also reflects the central message of our ministry, Eternal Perspective Ministries. The common element in all EPM does is an emphasis on seeing life through the eyes of eternity, and thereby learning to live now to the glory of God. As there will be no second chance for the unbeliever to go back and live his life over again, this time accepting Christ, so there will be no second chance for the believer to go back and live his life over again, this time serving Christ. Now is our window of opportunity. Now is our chance to follow Christ, speak the truth and reach out to the needy in love. Now is our chance to invest our lives in eternity. (You can read more about our ministry and how we’re making eternal investments.)

Think of it this way: suppose I offer you one thousand dollars today to spend however you want. Not a bad deal. But suppose I give you a choice—you can either have that one thousand dollars today or you can have ten million dollars one year from now, then ten million more every year after that. Only a fool would take the thousand dollars today. Yet that’s what we do whenever we grab onto something that will last for only a moment, forgoing something far more valuable that we could enjoy later for much longer. This present life is but a brief window of opportunity to invest in what will last for eternity.

So do something eternal today:

  • Dig into God’s Word and let it seep into your soul.
  • Spend some quality time with people, going deep, speaking truth.
  • Look for an opportunity to give away your time and treasure to help others.
  • Share the Good News of Jesus with someone you meet today.

By living in light of God’s eternal perspective, you really can outlive your life.

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries