In the long run
Thought- In the end, only what we do in the name of Jesus will last.
Scripture- “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” -Revelations 22:13
Insight: We live in a world where everyone is desperate for their 15 minutes of fame. That mindset sometimes causes us to see things strictly through a selfish lens of what’s in it for me. It is a short term outlook, mostly based on what I can get out this life, from those who I interact with now! I call it a fear based mindset, whereby we put our needs before God’s desires. But here is a truth that I have grown into over the last 15 years of my faith journey: Only what we do in the name of Jesus will last. Because God’s kingdom and His purposes are eternal, when we take a stand for having an eternal mindset, He uses our faith to change circumstances, lives and sometimes even nations. We throw the stone of faith and He is in charge of the ripples. He alone determines the how, when and where He will use our courageous acts of faith, but our job is just to trust in what we cannot yet see. I will be honest, this mindset is hard to implement as I am as guilty as the next person of wanting to see the instant results of my faithful acts. But the truth is, I may not even see the results in my own lifetime on earth. This thought has helped me develop more of a long-term mindset vs. one of instant gratification. Learning to accept that God alone gets all the glory, and He accomplishes His purposes in His timeline, which operates outside of the time-space continuum I play in, is actually a very liberating mindset once it is freely and totally embraced.
There will come a day for all of us when all of our opinions won’t matter. We are all one breath away from eternity. In an instant, the only opinion that will matter is God’s. And His question will be what did we do with the resources He gave us? What did we do with the time, talents and treasures He entrusted to us while on earth? What did we do with Jesus? There will only be two possible answers: “Well done good and faithful servant,” Matthew 25:21 or “Depart from me, I never knew you” Matthew 7:23. I am pretty sure God will not care about how successful the world said we were, or what we were able to accumulate in our lifetime to impress people, which in that instant will all be worthless, but instead He will care about how faithful we were. Did we show faithfulness to Jesus by throwing pebbles of faith into the world that He can then use to cause ripples that extend into eternity? What are some acts of faith He has taught me that He can use, that I may formerly have viewed as small or meager in my own opinion, which He can use for mighty purposes? A random act of kindness done is His name, a simple word of encouragement, a sharing of financial resources to those in greater need than myself, or taking a stand for the name of Jesus in an ever increasingly hostile world to His Kingdom. We never know exactly who will be influenced or when or how by our acts of faithfulness, but God will surely use them. Seemingly small things done in the name of Jesus can produce great outcomes. We throw the pebbles, He takes care of the ripples. The promise is made to us in Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Changing our mindset from a short term, self-centered, instant gratification focus to an eternal, God-centered focus can make all the difference in the effect our lives can have on the earth and the legacy God can build through our simple and small actions of faith. Prayer: Dear God, help us to change our mindset from a short term, self-focus to an eternal, selfless approach to our life. Give us the courage to stand strong for the mighty name of Jesus, regardless of the backlash we may encounter from a fearful and fallen world. Remove all of our fears so that we can be used as mighty warriors for your Kingdom, in spite of our own feebleness. To you Lord goes all the glory, for yours is an eternal Kingdom. Amen!