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Free Indeed

'Crack The Heavens' photo (c) 2011, William Ismael - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Today I’m just sharing what’s on my heart right now.

Our neighbor’s mother died yesterday. She had a horrible disease that claimed her life within a year of diagnosis. She wasn’t even 50.

A quick look at Facebook in the morning reminds us of our mortality. A friend’s baby dies; another friend suffers from cancer.

Yet social media also reveals how we are consumed by the here-and-now. The immediate. The thought of laundry, lunch or sports leagues. The customer service representative who makes us so mad we just have to share it with the world.

(This is not an anti-social media post, by the way.)

Last Friday I went to the Secret Church live event in Birmingham with some of my extended family. As David Platt preached for 6 hours on “Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World,” I rejoiced in the truths of Scripture regarding the believer’s eternal destiny.

But the thing about meditating on eternity is that there are two sides to that coin. When we read to understand the joys of Heaven and the New Earth, we also see the horrors of  Hell. We start to care about people. We start to see everyone as an eternal being.

It’s actually really uncomfortable. And I think it’s supposed to be.

Sitting in the church building in Birmingham, I was surrounded on both sides by couples who are exchanging earthly comfort to live in light of eternity. One couple was in the process of literally selling all their possessions to move to the Middle East to share the gospel. Another couple lives in the ‘hood, serving their neighbors at all hours, spreading the gospel truth to shoe-less children and uneducated grandmothers; drug dealers and welfare recipients.

So I’m meditating on all these things. The following quotes and Scripture are going through my mind and implanting in my heart. My life is His. May He use it.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

“If people really knew what God in His mercy and grace was teaching us, how He is providing for us, and what we gain by trusting Him, they’d laugh at the thought of our ‘sacrifice’ and ask to join in.” – My ‘hood-dwelling sis-in-law

“When you know the truth about what happens to you after you die, and you believe it, and you are satisfied with all that God will be for you in the ages to come, that truth makes you free indeed. Free from the short, shallow, suicidal pleasures of sin, and free for the sacrifices of mission and ministry that cause people to give glory to our Father in heaven.” – John Piper

2 responses »

  1. Thank you for this Catherine, you echo some of the thoughts on my own heart. This might sound silly, but I re-watched the movie “Big Fish” last night with my husband on Netflix (with Ewan McGregor & Albert Finney – it’s 10 years old now)! I didn’t really think it through because the movie is all about the father dying & leaving behind a legacy. So I was weeping by the end–all the memories of my fathers passing flooding back. But I always have to turn my thoughts to where he is now & where we both will be in the end. I know there’s an eternal hope that we set our hearts on. Thanks again :)

    Reply
    • Catherine Parks

      The mystery of it all can be both a comfort and an insecurity. But the beauty is that we have to run to Christ for both. I hurt for you at the ugliness of death, but rejoice at the hope of what’s ahead. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tricia.

      Reply

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