Pursuing Greatness and Eternal Rewards

Pursuing Greatness and Eternal Rewards

Sun 22 Apr 2012

Most people live just in the pressures and problems of their immediate day to day life and can't rise up above it. You need to be gripped by a vision of where your life is going and what you're called to be and to do. If we have no concepts about what God has prepared for us we just fritter away our days and meaningless activities consume our life. Your life is precious.You've only got one to live
Audio Transcript
Well I want you to just open your Bible in Ephesians, Chapter 2, we're going to start there. Over the last few weeks I've been sharing a series to help shift your perspective about life. Most people can't get past today. Most people don't live past today. Most people live just in the pressures and problems of their immediate day to day life, and can't rise up above it. One of the things that we need, to be able to help us to rise above things, is not just some simple things on how to cope with life; but you need to be gripped by a vision of where your life is going, and what you're called to be, and to do.

If we have no sense of eternity, and no sense that this life is so short, that it's just like an apprenticeship for something that goes on forever; if we have no concepts about what God has prepared for us, we will just fritter away our days, and actually end up with meaningless activities, and it consumes our life. If this is your preparation for eternity, you would not want to be consuming it with trivia. I'm astonished at our people having no sense of eternal purpose and perspective, fritter their life away on trivia. Your life is precious. You've only got one to live. Money you can get back again, possessions you can get back again. Your life - you've only got one to live.

We need to live it passionately in a focussed, intentional way, and have something that we're working, and walking, towards. It goes beyond just getting a house, or getting this or getting that, and actually has God's eternal viewpoint in mind. So when we come to think about eternity, people have all sorts of fuzzy ideas, and I want to today remove some of the fuzzy ideas, and help you understand something that Jesus had much to say about.

So I want to start first of all, just where we were last week in Ephesians Chapter 2. I need this to be very clear, before we go to where we're going to go. In Ephesians Chapter 2, it says: by grace have you been saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves, it's a gift of God, not works, lest anyone should boast. Let's stop there. You and I become a Christian, become a follower of Christ. We become born again, or changed, by a transaction of faith. No one can make you a Christian. No one can do anything to make you a Christian. It is an act of faith in your heart.

When I put my trust in what Jesus Christ did, Christ and His work alone on the cross, by faith the benefits come to me, my sins are forgiven, the spirit of God comes into my life and heart, and I am born again. I'm a new person, connected to God forever. This is a wonderful, wonderful truth. We can't emphasise it enough.

But the Bible has other truths as well, so the foundational truth to build your life on, is this: that you do not have to work, to gain acceptance with God. You are already approved when you trust in the work of Jesus Christ; so the Bible tells us very clearly, if I will put my trust in Christ, God will respond, and I will be born again, and become part of the family of God. So we need as a foundation, for day to day relating with God: we're in covenant, accepted unconditionally. If I have a good day or a bad day, that does not change God's opinion of me. He still loves me. He loves me passionately. He loves you passionately, and He will lift us up, and keep us going forward. He's a great father.

Now I want to move us beyond that. In Verse 10 it says: now you are created for something, you're created for a purpose. Now that purpose is not just drudging your way through life. Young people, you need to get this very thing inside you: that God has planned a destiny for you, and you've only got a limited time span to work it out in. If you're 80 in the church today, then you reckon you possibly got 10, maybe 20 years; but if you're a young person and you're about 15, you think you've got forever. Actually you don't have forever, and it soon goes, and what you realise is, you can't get it back. We can't get it back! Its running out - so if we live our life thinking: I've only got a short time in my life to prepare myself, and to lay up for eternity for myself, I should be busy.

Keywords: eternity, Ephesians, Revelations, faith, works, acceptance, heaven, garments, honor, reward, bride, linen, God, light, work, love, motive, fire, loss, passionate, intimate, poor, kindness, needy, oppressed