Keeping the End in Mind

Today I’ll once again stand in the presence of Death and grief, something I have done almost weekly this year. Grim, you ask? It could be except for the promise and hope I know.

Reading in the mind-blowing, strange, and wonderful words of the Revelation, I came to this interlude this morning:  “And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:14-17, NIV)

We can anticipate standing in the Throne Room of the Almighty, welcomed into the Presence of God.

THIS, my dear friend, is our great HOPE!  

Life is a gift and there are many joys to be found along the way.  And, then, too, we know that seasons of hardship come, when we experience the frustrations, when all is hard and tears blur our vision. The reality with which we must deal is that fact – regardless of how hard we try to deny it, ignore it, suppress it –  that we are mortal and our flesh will fail.  We all come to the same end, some sooner, some later. The stark question is – what then?   John says that because of Christ Jesus, we are destined to know the Presence of the Father, that life continues there with Him without the trials of life: no hunger, no sun scorched earth, no more tears!

Covey, writer of 7 Habits, says that those who live bestbegin with the end in mind.’ 

Successful projects are those well-planned, those with a completed design that is guiding the work in progress. Think of your life as a grand project, which it is, really.  What are you building? What do you desire to the be result at ‘the end?’  Are you focused on superficial stuff – adding to your pile of possessions, working to add accolades to your resume? Or, are you focused on the eternal values of relationships, of God’s service, living a life of love that enriches others?

What rewards are you living for? As much as it might feel awful, take some time to ponder your mortality. If you need an image, think of yourself in a casket in front of a room of mourners. What are they thinking about you?  Are they remembering kindness, remembering a person who consistently loved, who was giving his best? Or, are they privately remembering a person who sucked life from the room, a person who made sure he was first in line?

Form another image of yourself standing before Jesus as He pages through the records of your life. Is He smiling His approval or does He see wasted years, a life spent on things of little value? If Heaven is at the horizon of time, your true Hope, you will live differently. Yes, we need to live with the end in mind; not grimly, not darkly, not with dread.  We can anticipate going HOME, leaving a legacy that honors the Lord.

Don’t put off the important because of the pressure of the urgent. Tend those relationships. Prioritize loving God and loving people. Practice spiritual disciplines – worship, prayer, meditation, service, generosity, simplicity, solitude, and submission – that allow the Spirit to make the inner person strong and rich!

The word from the Word should make us sober and glad. The wisdom in these words assure us that no matter how life appears to us in this moment, there will be a final moment of justice. What will that moment bring your way?“For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15, NLT)

By and by, I hope to meet YOU in the Throne Room of Heaven!


Mighty To Save

Ev’ryone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Ev’ryone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

Savior He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Ev’rything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King

Ben Fielding | Reuben Morgan

© 2006 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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