By Clifton Angel
A couple decades before Christ was born, Horace penned "Carpe Diem," which in English means, "Seize the Day." More recently, some have said, "Life is short. Live it up." Even more recently, we've developed the acronym Y.O.L.O.—"You Only Live Once". There is a true principle in each of these. Unfortunately, they are often used with reference to worldly endeavors and sinful practices. Rather, we need to use the fact that we only live once to motivate us to live for God.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth,
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we
look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but
the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17–
If only everyone would think this way. Even Christians are tempted to focus on things seen, and not the eternal things invisible (not seen).
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were
dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly
desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from
heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found
naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being
burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed
upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life" (2
Remember, Paul is writing to Christians, not just anyone. Not everyone has reserved their home in heaven. Unfortunately, many will be found spiritually naked when the Lord returns.
"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God,
who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are
at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we
walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing
rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the
Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:5–8).
What a mindset! What an encouragement for Christians! What a challenge for us to think on things eternal, and not things temporary!
Finally, we will consider these words of Paul,
"Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we
may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things
done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it
be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:9–10).
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/