Life At Its Best: Living with an eternal perspective

Jim Graff

What happens when we die? This is a question we often ask after losing someone we love. It's what I asked myself as a 9-year-old kid, after losing my favorite uncle.

I'll never forget standing there, looking in his casket, hardly able to believe that the same man who was playing ball and cracking jokes only days ago now laid there still and lifeless. My mind was flooded with questions like, "How could this happen?" "Will I ever see him again?" and "Where is he now?"

These are all natural questions to ask when dealing with the reality of death. That's because God created us with a need for relationships, and it's painful when those we love are taken from us.

But in those times of pain and loss, it's vital to remember that death on this Earth isn't the end. In fact, it's just the beginning of the eternal life we were created to enjoy.

2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us that to be absent from our physical body is to be present with the Lord. God created Heaven as a place where we could live in eternity with Him.

Living with an understanding of that truth frees us from the fear of death and motivates us to focus our efforts on eternal significance.

The Bible says in Matthew 6:19, "Don't store up treasures here on Earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."

Material things, such as the cars we drive, clothes we wear and money we make, only hold earthly value. While that stuff is certainly fun now, once we take our last breath, none of it will matter. That's why God reminds us in His Word not to set our mind on physical things, but on the things above.

We must evaluate our priorities to use the time we've been given wisely. And while some of our individual priorities may differ, our main one should be the same: reaching people for Christ.

Did you know that each year, 94 million people cross over into eternity? That means that, if we live as old as the average American, 7.332 billion people will die in our lifetime. That's a lot of people to reach for Christ.

So, I encourage you to make a shift. Shift from an earthly perspective to a heavenly one. Once you change your perspective, then you can focus on your priorities.

How can you use your time most effectively to live the life God has called you to live? What decisions can you make today that will produce eternal benefits?

Death and life after death aren't topics we should be afraid to discuss. Instead, we should use these realities as a motivation to live with purpose. Together, we can fulfill God's call to reach hearts with the undying love of Christ.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.