Live for what lasts

Nearly every day I pray God would give me recognition of my own sin, that I might confess it to Him, turn from that destructive way, and find His healthy course for my life.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.”                           Psalm 139:23-24

nature red forest leaves

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What is the everlasting way?  David’s prayer is the prayer of a child of God who has a most intimate relationship with Him, one thoroughly convinced that he lives continually in the loving presence of His Creator.  He does not seem to doubt the security of his solid relationship with his Maker, but wishes to honor Him in his living.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”                 John 3:16

John’s eternal life is not dependent on our behavior, but on our understanding and trust in  the necessity of Jesus’ payment of our sin-penalty in our place (the substitutionary atonement).  Paul stresses this three times in one verse:  “. . . a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Christ Jesus . . .”  (Galatians 2:16)!  It seems, however, that there is another category of eternal life referenced in Psalm 139 that is based on our following God’s leading, His enabling, and empowering.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”             Galatians 6:7-9

This eternal life seems to be the fruit of a life lived in dependence upon the empowerment of God’s Spirit to do through us what we cannot do in our own strength.  It is therefore a life of obedience, motivated by our reverent awe and gratitude to our Maker.   This results in meaningfulness of life that extends in impact beyond our physical death.  It is the fruit of our living choices that remains evident in the world we leave and in people’s lives we’ve influenced.  This results in heavenly reward.  Thoughtless, selfish living results not in loss of our eternal relationship with our Creator, but in loss of intended rewards that might have been ours had we lived dependently and obediently.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”                 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

This is similar to Psalm 1:4-5 “The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment. . .”      Psalm 1:4-5a

O Lord, let me be about Your kingdom purposes today.  Lead me in Your everlasting way.  Let my life have lasting impact according to Your heavenly economy.

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