Is FOREVER….. Forever? …His Love Endures Forever (Psalms 100:5)
I was recently super impressed with the word FOREVER during prayer and a quiet time with the Lord, and the song Forever (by Michael W. Smith). The Holy Spirit arrested my time and attention on this word for a few weeks now.
What does FOREVER MEAN? Webster - for all future time; for always. Similar words include: evermore, eternal, continually. Have you ever heard someone say when looking at their children who are now teens, or twenties say, “How did that happen?” We talk about family and friends who have graduated from this life and can’t believe how quickly time passes. It happened one day, one week, one year at a time.
It’s amazing how often the word Forever is used in SCRIPTURE. “For He is good, His love endures FOREVER, His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalms 100:5) Jesus said, “Whoever eats this bread will live FOREVER.” (John 6:51) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and FOREVER.” (Hebrew 13:8) “For All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures FOREVER.” (1 Peter 1: 24 -25)
KEY Thought - We’re going to live in the temporal for maybe 78 years (USA life expectancy in 2020) on “average”. In reality, we’re going to live FOREVER.
What we BELIEVE determines WHERE we live forever. What we DO (behavior) determines HOW we live forever – eternity (1 Corinth 3:10-15, Rev. 20:13). Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who BELIEVES in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25 -26)
He Who PROVIDES For This LIFE But Takes NO CARE for ETERNITY Is Wise For a MOMENT, but a Fool FOREVER – John Tillotson
What about our sins, mistakes and stupid decisions IN OUR PAST? The good news of the gospel is, our past is NOT FOREVER to those who receive Christ. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
WHY is FOREVER IMPORTANT? We’re too often caught up with our daily challenges of the natural that we forget the concept that forever is not just here in the now, but also in the future …forever. Perhaps, like me, you’re challenged with PERSPECTIVE. We all have some sort of “to do” list for the day, week or month. The challenge of the URGENT vs IMPORTANT impacts everyone. May I encourage you to recalibrate and keep forever on your priority list to help bring balance to your life here on earth. Your natural life is only A PART of your forever life.
The PERSPECTIVE of FOREVER helps me to PRIORITIZE how I invest my time, talents and resources. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” I understand the intent of such a statement but I don’t see that as an imminent danger in our contemporary culture today. What say you? C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history, you will find the Christians who did the most for the present world were those who thought most of the next.” Real faith motivates us to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see NOW; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the thing we cannot see will last FOREVER.”
I remember the story of a man who walked into a store experiencing a grand opening. He was told that all the money scattered around the store he could put in his shopping cart in five minutes would be his. There were one-dollar bills and 20-dollar bills. Which do you think he focused on? We all experience what it takes to “make a living” for the temporary. You’ve also heard it said, something like this - we make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give (the eternal).
We Make a LIVING by What We GET, but We Make a LIFE by What We GIVE.
May I encourage you to RECALIBRATE the word FOREVER into your spirit, thought process, attitude, and daily words. God is forever. He will be with you forever. Whatever the future holds, HE is there. One of his names in the Old Testament is Jehovah Shammah (Our Hope) which literally means HE is there. Wherever your there is, He’s already there.
A few lyrics from the worship song FOREVER by Michael W. Smith …. Forever God is faithful - Forever God is strong - Forever God is with us. It’s a great worship song that has been energizing my spirit during the first few weeks of this new year.
A great scripture to memorize and meditate on is Psalms 100:5 “For He is good, HIs love endures FOREVER, His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Faith is a word that is often used, but is much more challenging to actually apply to our daily life. I remember the story of a man walking on a tightrope (wire cable) crossing a deep canyon and asking the spectators if they thought he could walk across the wire and back. “Yes,” was their response. After navigating the wire, he then asked the same group if they thought he could push a wheelbarrow across and back. “Yes,” was their response. After completing that task, he then asked if the group thought he could push someone in the wheelbarrow across and back. Again, their response was “yes”. He then invited one to “get in.” No response. He invited another, and another and another with no response. Another word for FAITH is TRUST. May we accept the invitation to get into HIS wheelbarrow and put our trust in HIM, rather than ourselves. It can usher in a fresh joy, peace and purpose into our lives as we walk with HIM in our daily journey along the street called FOREVER.
“Measured Against Eternity, Our Time on Earth is Just a Blink of an Eye, but The Consequences of it Will Last FOREVER.“ Rick Warren.