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.Isaiah 40:7b-8 (ESV)
“Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
Ever since the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden, the human heart has been longing for eternity, whether we are aware of it or not. The Lord has set this desire within us (Ecc. 3:11).
As Christians, we know that the only remedy of this longing is to ‘eat the living bread’ that Jesus offers (John 6:51) – namely by receiving His grace, forgiveness and Holy Spirit. When we have received the life that Jesus offers, then our longing for eternity is satisfied. Our eyes become opened to the Kingdom of God and we eagerly proclaim that the reign of Jesus in the hearts of His people will have no end.
However, for those who do not know Jesus, this desire for eternity can easily morph into self-exalting living or grasps at worldly influence or control.
In a broader sense, humans may also begin to think of themselves as being central to all of history, believing a lie which says, “Now is the greatest moment and we must be the greatest for we are bringing such a moment to pass.”
Quite recently, both the coronavirus pandemic and the horrific acts of violence have been referred to as ‘unprecedented’ - which means “beyond historical comparison.” Yet, there is a great danger in seeing these trying times that way.
Over the past centuries, there have been other pandemics and other violent uprisings which were also devastating.
Now, we shouldn’t minimize the present difficulties within our country. Acts of violence should be condemned and this pandemic has brought a great deal of hardship for many people. But we also shouldn’t convince ourselves that we are living during a period of history which will be remembered ‘forever’ or that we will be remembered because of our response during such historic times.
Instead, we should be sober-minded about our lives. Scripture teaches that worldly leaders, earthy parents, Godly prophets and even entire generations come and go (Ecc. 1:4, Zech. 1:5). Humans and civilizations are like grass which wither and fade away according to the sovereign will of God. Nearly all earthly matters, even riches and crowns, are temporary (Prov. 27:24).
Jesus’ death and resurrection was the only historical event which has true eternal significance. This doesn’t make our lives meaningless. Not at all! It just prevents us from seeking to dethrone God’s eternal reign.
This week, many eyes will be focused on our nation’s capital as the next transition in leadership occurs. Although we may pray for Godly wisdom to be poured out during this season of life, let us, as disciples of Jesus, remain focused on His kingdom which is ‘not of this world.’
Personally, let’s strive for blameless and truthful living as the Holy Spirit sanctifies us to look more like Jesus.
Socially, let’s seek to turn others away from sin and towards the righteousness which is found through faith.
Corporately, as a church, let’s remember that this world and its desires are passing away, but God’s Word and His Kingdom will abide forever.
Lord, give us Your eternal perspective as we care for needs of others today and seek to further your everlasting kingdom. Through Jesus, Amen!