For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 5:5 NIV)
How do you feel about the fact that you are mortal, at least a part of you is? I am not my body. God created me as an eternal being designed and fashioned to dwell with him forever. This body that I live in is temporary. I became preoccupied with this after my third stent procedure. It took some time to restore my perspective and get my eyes back on eternity.
It would be easy to misinterpret what Paul is saying and give up on taking care of this temporary structure I dwell in, especially since I don’t enjoy exercise. God’s challenge to me is to remember that my body belongs to him. I’m just a steward and he is very interested in how I will take care of what he has given me to care for. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear these words someday.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21 NIV)
So, I’ll do my best to follow the doctor’s orders and take my medication, eat as healthily as I can, and exercise. At the same time remembering that the body is temporary. My goal is not to live in it forever. My goal is to be as ready as I can be to move into my new eternal home when God determines that I’ve spent enough time in this one.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV)
Paul says that my priorities should be determined by the realization that there will come a time when my choices and actions are evaluated. I have no idea what we are going to receive from Jesus at the time of judgment. I’ve already received the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence who guarantees that there is a new home being built for me to dwell in forever. What Paul implies is that this new home will be impacted by choices and actions here. Like many other aspects of our spiritual lives it is like we are partnering with God in decorating and furnishing our eternal home.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
Jesus makes it clear. You cannot take it with you, but you can send it ahead. I don’t know if our eternal houses will be different based on what we do here, but it seems certain that we can impact the furnishings.
To my grandchildren:
What would you have done differently today if you were convinced that your decisions had forever possibilities?