Life on Earth vs. Eternity

And Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
Jesus speaks to us in Mark 8:27 and 9:1 about discipleship. Clearly outlined as priority guidelines for the Christian, the above scripture clarifies a lifestyle for the disciple of Christ. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me … whosoever will save his life shall lose it but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it.”

What place does the Lord Jesus hold in your life?  Is it first place?  I wonder if the Lord is requesting a daily renewal of our initial pledge to follow His will and not be self-absorbed.  Does He not want us each day to accept His will anew for our lives …with joy and earnest, no matter what cross he has set before us that day?  Some days seem more difficult than others.  Some crosses seem heavier to bear.   Oh, that we lift our hands and hearts and voices and say:  “But this cross is my joy…this daily cross, a step toward heaven, toward home.”What if the Lord wants us yielded and resting anew every morning, every moment in His great love?  What if He wants His cross in our lives to be His message of healing and of hope?    “For now we see in a mirror darkly, but then face to face”   (1 Cor. 13:12).

Let us think about this life on earth for a moment. As pleasant as it can be, it is also a stumbling ground, a curious and fertile area for Christians to falter and fall.  We are all born and we must all die.  Our time on earth is comparatively short…and seems especially short as we approach old age.   Self ~without the love of God?   What can we gain?  Loneliness?  Emptiness? A life that comes to an ultimate end? Jesus said; “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”   Mark 8:36:   The words written by Helen H. Lemmel are:  “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”   Those composed by Beverly Shea are:   “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords,  today.”   How sweet and assuring are Fanny Crosby’s  words in “Near the Cross” that inspire trust  to be led by “His nail-pierced hand” to life abundant “beyond the river.” ( to heaven’s shores.)  The composers encourage us to live in fullness of life, now.  They tell us that eternity is ours because God‘s promise is true.   We have been redeemed and made new by the blood of the Savior. As we purpose to be His disciples, we bring honor to his Name.

Carol  A. Castagna

© October, 2012


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