As we draw near to Easter and consider all we are afforded because of that morning, we may have a better quality of life if we start our mornings focused on things of eternal value.
Each day, we have decisions to make and conclusions to draw. As Christians, do we consider eternal value when making these decisions? Is the cross a reference point for our choices, and how do we draw conclusions—positively or negatively, faith- or fear-based, seeking to please God or man?
Eternal value: God’s kingdom here on earth
Jesus taught us to pray to our Heavenly Father, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NKJV). He exhorts us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and needed things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
Eternal value is in those activities focused on Christ—things like prayer, fasting and meditation—and serving others in things like giving to the needy. When we center our lives around serving God and his people, we are doing our part to bring the kingdom of God to earth. When we focus on serving God and his people, we acknowledge the glory of Easter morning and Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
Eternal value: Living to please God
One way we show our desire to seek those things of eternal value is living a life pleasing to God.
Paul taught his readers that the kingdom of God is not the things of this world (Romans 14:17-18). Therefore, as believers we must be alert because our flesh is not bent toward God’s kingdom.
The kingdom of God is found in the ways of the Holy Spirit, who resides in our spiritual being. Because we are spiritual beings who desire peace and joy, we must do those things resulting in peace and joy rather than things that seem right to us or the things of this world. When we do the things of the Spirit, we build up our spirit and crucify the flesh.
We can ask ourselves, “Will what I’m about to do or say bring peace and joy?” If so, we are pleasing God and bringing his kingdom to earth. As Paul taught, when we seek the kingdom of God, we enlighten and improve others (Romans 14:19).
Eternal value: Living to serve others
The alignment of the cross and eternal value shows the extent to which Jesus went to serve us. Praise God, he died for our sins! If Jesus saw purpose and eternal value in helping and saving us, should not our lives be focused on helping and serving others?
Such a life is what God expects from us: a religion that looks after orphans and widows (James 1:27); a defense of the weak and the fatherless, upholding the cause of the poor and oppressed (Psalm 82:3);and helping the weak through hard work, because it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
In the words of Mariah Carey or Taylor Swift—depending on your generation—I encourage educators to shake off all those things, tasks, activities and conversations that don’t hold to eternal value.
In the words of God, if someone will not receive us in the spirit of peace and joy, “shake the dust off our feet as a testimony against them” (Mark 6:11).
God knows educators are busy, yet purposeful people. Therefore, there is no time for things lacking eternal value.
Prayer: Lord, help us align our days and moments with things of eternal value. All too often, we find ourselves consumed with the trappings of this world. Although we must work, go to school, take care of our families and so many other things, help us do all these things to your glory. When we fall short and when joy and peace are not the results of our actions, words and deeds, please forgive us, and help us make it right, quickly. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Lisa M. Rainey, Ph.D., is an experienced educator. She and her husband, Daniel, are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.