“Spend it now ’cause you can’t take it with you.” That’s an old but accurate colloquialism. Many cultures in the past didn’t understand such a simple idea.
We’ve read about the terra-cotta army buried with China’s First Emperor as an afterlife guard. And we’ve learned, countless times, about the gold artifacts buried with Egyptian pharaohs. Of course, we can’t leave out the Celtic burial sites, such as the one in France holding a gold cauldron. The fascinating thing is that when we look in these tombs that are thousands of years old, we discover a skeleton and all of the items buried with them. None of them were able to retrieve a single thing after their deaths.
Destined for Greatness
Like emperors, pharaohs, and Celtic warriors, we each face a day when we will die. The Bible says it this way: And just as it is appointed for people to die once–and after this, judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. – Hebrews 9:27-28.
For all of us, any wealth we’ve accumulated has no eternal value. Why? Because “many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21
We each feel like we are unique and that we are destined for greatness. In Christ Jesus, that is true. When we live for Him, then the words of Ephesians 2:10 are at work within us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has prepared a purpose for each of us. He sees who we should be, and, for Christians, He builds us up to become those people; that’s true greatness.
The Chasm Between “Should” and “Might”
It’s a different story for people that reject Jesus. For them, God sees who they should be, but they can only see who they might be. There’s a chasm between “should” and “might.” “Should” means that His prepared works for you are not just possible but, by God’s power, they are achievable. “Might” means that perhaps, if you catch a few breaks and work hard, you might become who you envision, but all of that will end when you die. You can be buried with your guitar, but it will stay in the casket while you go on to judgment.
Jesus told us to do the things that have eternal value. He said it this way: “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19–20
My good news for you is that, as you obey the commands of Jesus (John 14:15), God will transform you into the person you should be. Now that’s exciting!
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