Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. I Corinthians 15:50
You can’t take it with you, all the material goods in the world, matter nothing at death. Our bodies perish, but all that we have accumulated remain. This scripture reminds me of the importance of the eternal, the imperishable. I waste a lot of time on things that have no eternal value. I waste money on things that are perishable. It is not that God expects every moment and every dollar to be spent on Kingdom things. i believe that God gave people the creative ability for us to enjoy entertainment, arts and media, and hobbies. It is just that in my own life, I recognize that I often give these things more time and space than I should.
Building relationships, that is eternal. Death ends a life, but it doesn’t end a relationship. I say this because of a story found in Luke 16:19-30.
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
The rich man asked for Lazarus, a beggar to be sent to his brothers who were still living. He was concerned that his brothers be spared from experiencing the reality of hell that he was experiencing. HE was concerned about their eternal fate.
Building relationships with other believers is important. We were called to be in fellowship with other believers. We care called to sharpen each other. We are called to encourage each other. We are called to keep each other accountable to living for God. These things are done through relationship. We can take these relationships with us into eternity.
We are also called to be a light to the world. Lights may not be close and intimate, but they do stay in relationship to the space they are brightening. So there should be some relationship between us and the people that we are trying to reach for the Kingdom. We are called to show the world Christ’s love. My pastor recently reminded us that evangelism should not be a Christian screaming at passers by that they are going to hell. We need to build relationship to love others. When we can’t go, we can help finance the trips of others who are called to go to the rest of the world. We can take those we reach with us into eternity.
We should also be building a deeper relationship with God. We should be spending time in His Word. We should be spending time worshipping Him, both individually and as part of a corporate body. We should be spending time talking with Him in pray. This is eternal.
Even things that care for our flesh and blood are not eternal. What we eat is important. How we care for our bodies is important because it is the temple of Holy Spirit. Flesh and blood though is not eternal, it will perish. We can’t take it with us.
Our focus should be on the inheritance of the Kingdom and those things that are imperishable. Those things are relationships to the lost, relationships with other believers and most importantly, relationship with God. Those are the things we can take with us.
Prayer – Lord, I know I focus too much on perishable things that have no Kingdom benefit, no eternal value. Help me to manage the flesh and blood side of things as I need to honor You by taking care of my physical body too. Help me to be intentional with building my relationship with You. Help me to be intentional in developing relationships with other believers. Give me boldness to share You and have healthy relationships with nonbelievers too.