Lives Matter

When we have our hopes set on the Kingdom that is coming, it is easy to believe that this life does not matter. Our lives here in this world are but a grain of sand on the shore of eternity. Nevertheless, our lives (and what we do with our lives) do matter. Sure, we are not truly home yet. Our real home is Heaven but that does not mean our work here does not matter. Think about it. In this life, we have earthly dwellings we call home. Yet much of the work we do in this life occurs outside the home. And this work outside the home impacts our life at home. As a college student, I consider it like this. A student might leave their earthly home to attend college. (I did not but this is just an illustration). He or she is technically just passing through college for four years (give or take) of their lives. It’s not a permanent situation. Still, what he or she does at college matters. I’m not just talking about grades either. While grades do serve their purpose, college is more than grades and GPAs. It’s a place to explore, grow, make friends, and pursue interests. Whether I like it or not, what I choose to do in my college years (academically, socially, activity wise, etc) will impact the rest of my life in various degrees.

This is a worldly example so just imagine how much more this is true in a spiritual manner. We are passing through this life. God has given us jobs to do as we pass through. God would not give us these lives without purpose. Ephesians 2: 10 states “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God made us how He made us for His purposes. We don’t always follow His will and way but we are here for a reason.

Imagine if the disciples had not done what they did. Imagine if they had not preached and served and recorded the gospel. They were all humans like us and what they did matters even now. Sure, much of what we do right now may not matter a whole lot sometime in the future. But when we do what God has called us to do, we can be sure that He wants us to do it for a reason. We may not even understand how our actions and words may influence someone or something. I doubt the writers of the New Testament thought that people in an area of the world they had never heard about (the Americas) would be reading it and living based on it some 2,000 years later.

Of course, the amount of pain and suffering in this world is overwhelming. Our actions appear so small in comparison. Sometimes we become numb to all of the evil and pain in the world. We’re bombarded with stories of violence, disasters, suffering and more each day through the media. If we feed a hungry person on the street, bring one person to Christ or encourage one brother or sister, it seems like just a drop in the ocean.

If we help one person though, isn’t it worth our efforts? God sent His son into the world to save us because of His great love for us. He knew that many people would still not love Him back even after the ultimate display of His love for us at Calvary. He also knew however, that the sacrifice would be worth it because of those of us who do believe and love Him back.

As I reflect on these ideas, my mind comes across this video. None of us can help everyone but we can all help someone.

So let us continue to walk with Christ and do what God has called us to do even though the hurt in this world is overwhelming. Let us remember that our actions, big and small, do matter. We have these lives for a reason.

Giving to God

Some men come to Jesus trying to trick him into saying something they can use against him. They ask about whether or not it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus knew their intent and replied in a way that shocked them all.

““Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”” (Matthew 22: 19-21)

I want to point out one particular sentence of Jesus’ response. “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” What is God’s? All of creation is His. That includes us. We are His. Further, Genesis 1:27 reads “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” So we also bear the image of our Father in Heaven. Jesus used this moment, this discussion about ordinary worldly matters of paying taxes, to illustrate a very important point. If we are to give back to God what is God’s, then we are to live every moment for Him. Since we bear the image of God, we should give back to Him and follow His will for our lives. This means that we should live for Him at all times, not only at church or when other followers of Christ are watching. We were made in God’s image and we are not our own. We should live our lives everyday for Him, so that in everything we do, we give back to our Creator.

What does this look like? Well it will be slightly different for each of us. Whether you’re working in an office, studying in school, doing laundry at home, doing missionary work, playing music…remember that it all matters. God’s got a plan for each of us and we just have to be willing to answer the call.