By Carol Round -“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven”—Hebrews 13:14 (TLB).
A Christmas gift I received from my youngest son has led me to ponder life—my life to be exact. Unwrapping the present, I discovered a book titled tell me your life story, Nana, which put a smile on my face. The subtitle reads A Grandmother’s Guided Journal and Memory Keepsake Book.
Since I will be celebrating my 70th birthday later this year, the timing is perfect. Who knows how many more years I’ll be in this world? Yes, God does, but while I’m not especially anxious about facing my death, I look forward to meeting Jesus when my time arrives.
In the meantime, I have almost 120 pages to fill for my loved ones to read after I leave this world. As of January 12, I’ve only answered part of the questions through page nine. I need to get busy.
We Live in a Busy World
Have you ever felt as if you’re on a merry-go-round that never stops long enough for you to climb off? As a young mother, I felt that way. Juggling a teaching career with my family responsibilities, I didn’t always make the right decisions when I had to make choices. I can see that now.
At the time, however, I wasn’t following Jesus. Yes, I believed in God, attended church, and made sure my sons had a spiritual foundation. But I was too much in this world, caught up with my career and keeping up with an image defined by my “need to please” others.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (ESV).
Transformed by Christ
I was in late my 40s when life’s trials led me to my knees. It was only then that I began a journey to know Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. In part of my testimony, I tell others how “Jesus got ahold of me.” Until then, I was lost, lost to the world, and my own identity.
Until we’re transformed by a relationship with Jesus Christ, we’ll never fully grasp our true identity. I was a Christian, but I wasn’t a Christ-follower.
Theologian and church leader, John Owen, once said, “We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really design it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above?”
Where Are Your Thoughts?
I’ve sought to grow in Christ since 2001, and I’ve come to understand what’s important in this life. It’s not material things, seeking power, or impressing others with our wealth, knowledge, titles, and degrees. In other words, “the trifles of this world.”
What’s important in this life is worshipping God, growing in His grace, serving others, and using our gifts and talents to bring Him glory. In addition, we’re to be witnesses to His amazing grace and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. While we’re all a work-in-progress, we can’t accomplish what God has called us to do if we’re focused on worldly concerns.
Evangelist Bill Graham puts it this way: “The Bible says that as long as we are here on earth, we are strangers in a foreign land. There are enemies to be conquered before we return home. This world is not our home; our citizenship is in heaven.”