The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord shall praise him. – Psalm 22:26
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35
The Urgency of Eternity is one of the values we have identified through a recently-completed planning process at St. John. We express it this way:
We believe that God desires all people to be saved and to live with him for eternity. Our life of worship, praise and service on Earth is to be a model for the life of the world to come. This is demonstrated by:
Focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus in our preaching, teaching, and sharing
Pointing people to the hope of being reunited with the multitude of saints before the throne of Jesus for all eternity
Urging one another to store up spiritual and not material wealth: True Riches In Jesus
Prioritizing our efforts to share the message of Jesus
Training our members to be “everyday missionaries”
I really appreciate the way this value is expressed and the examples by which it is demonstrated. The team that put this together did a remarkably good job.
I appreciate this because I need the reminder of a greater blessing than worldly happiness, success, and material possessions which God has provided me. This is not a call to eschew all worldly wealth or pleasures. This is a call to keep things in perspective. As a friend of mine once said, “Eternity lasts a long, long time.”
The poor and those who are hungry and thirsty may have a head-start on appreciating the future joys of paradise. They are more likely to recognize their need for God; for something more. But even they can be distracted by their lack of good things, and become mired in the agonizing morass of unmet needs. They can lose sight of God’s promises or despair of his goodness and love. As the proverb says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
These words summarize my thoughts in this regard:
Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
– Proverbs 30:7-9
The greater good is an eternity in which God’s riches are abundantly shared with all, and we enjoy an eternal feast of Jesus’ love, redemption, and victory over every evil. This is God’s gift and desire for us all. I need that reminder today and every day of my life.