“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – (John 11:35 NIV)
Death is a part of life. It’s truly an unfortunate part of life… but it’s part of life nonetheless. Some people are waiting to die. Every morning is another admission that their journey on this side of the grass is not finished yet. They wait, and wait, and wait some more. They wait, because they don’t see a purpose to their existence on this side of eternity.
But there are others who understand that ‘this’ side of the fence is simply just the first round of an eternity ahead of them. And these people choose to make the most of ‘this’ time instead of waiting for death to ultimately, and without exception, make its invitation to eternity.
I like that Jesus told us that through Him we find life… not ‘after they die’, but ‘even though they die’. That means that He is life now… in the present… at this very moment.
I like that we can choose to experience His Life in all that we do today, and tomorrow, and the next day… and each and every day that He gives us until His timing says that it is the appropriate time for us to experience the next wave of His life… eternity.
So today I choose to live my day in the Life that He alone can give. And I’ll choose to live life as long as my heart is beating. For death is only a ‘part’ of life; not the finality of it… so I choose not to live today like I’m dying… but rather die someday in the midst of fully living.
At least that’s how I see it,
I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing. (Malachi 3:10 CEV)
You know the childhood saying as you intertwine your fingers… “Here is the church, here is the steeple… Open it up and see all the stains from the PBJ sandwich your mom made you for lunch.” Well… it goes something like that anyway.
Well you guessed it… you’re right. It’s about the people (not the stains… though some are quick to point out the coffee stains on the carpet). Church… is about the people. Not the decor (because that changes). Not the style of service (for that will change too). But church is about… the people. The people inside of the church… AND the people outside of the church that have yet to hear about the love and grace of a Saviour who died and rose again to give us life (ok… now I’m moving into “next week’s” thoughts).
So when we give to the ‘church’, we’re really giving to God in order to reach the ‘people’; the resources, the ministries, and all of the things that are necessary to make sure that the ‘people’ (whether here… or not here yet) are being ministered to.
So conversely when we “don’t” give, we therefore are really “not” giving to God in order to “not” reach the people. When we choose not to give it’s kind of like we’re saying to God, “Thanks for taking care of me and all that people sacrificed in order for You to reach me. But I’m good with being the end of the road. You don’t have to keep reaching people now.”
Maybe that seems a little harsh. Maybe it seems a little extreme. But maybe the fact that God calls us to support the work of the Kingdom IS extreme. Maybe, just maybe, the same God who created everything in the universe from simply His limitless wonder gave us the opportunity to partner with Him in doing something new again… that because of what ‘we’ give Him, He then can change ‘other’ people’s lives… just like He changed ours.
At least that’s how I see it,