|Vol. 13 No. 1 January 2011||
Life, from time to time, brings all sorts of aggravations, difficulties, sicknesses, etc. We run hither and to simply trying to keep up with what makes up our life. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the little things of right now that we are enveloped in them, and we lose sight of what really matters.
This morning, a young man is in emergency surgery as I write. He was in an automobile accident Saturday night. His right knee is so damaged that he will have to have a thorough reconstruction of it done. The required surgery is so extensive that even world-renowned surgeons in Birmingham cannot perform it. Today, they have found a ruptured artery in his foot, and are having to repair that. Knee surgery will have to wait a while. As I stood Sunday afternoon talking with him, his mother and father, I could not help but think about that son laying in that bed, injured but surviving. It helps you realize what really matters.
I know another young woman. She is a wonderful person and a faithful Christian. I will not go into all the details of what she is facing. I cannot help but feel the deepest of pain for her predicament. None of it is her fault, yet she suffers. Her situation is as close to that of Job that I can remember seeing. You would think I was making it up if I went into all the details; they are so bizarre and unbelievable. Life can be thrown upside down and turned inside out in just a moment of time. Hers just seems to keep being tossed upside down. She does an amazing job amid losing almost everything that matters to her, of focusing on what really matters.
We too often major in the minors. We allow ourselves to make our lives miserable over things that make no real difference. I told my son and his fiancé the other day that often the biggest problem makers in a marriage are the little things that are allowed to be magnified instead of ignored and overcome. Sadly, toothpaste containers and cookie crumbs in bed may have destroyed more marriages than true major problems (that is an observation, not a scientifically studied fact!). The point is that in our relationships, we need to focus on what really matters. I have a wife who is the love of my life, two sons that mean the world to me, one daughter who has always been a light to my life, a wonderful son-in-law that I think the world of, and a sweet future daughter-in-law that I adore. Each of them are part of what really matters for me.
Ultimately, above all else, there is one thing that matters above all else. When all the rampaging winds of life are roaring about us, and the raging waves are battering our lives, we need to stop and think and look – for there is that thing that really matters above all – where we stand with God. Everything else fades to insignificance in light of this one thing. The promise of heaven when it is all said and done, that is what (ultimately) really matters.
Let’s concentrate on, and never forget, what really matters. In the end the whole journey will be worth it all.
Mark N. Posey
“The Gospel in 5 Seconds” does not address time, but things that are “second” in sequence, or in line, connected with the Gospel. The Gospel is the “good news” that Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification. The Gospel is the complete story of God’s power, love and desire that all who hear it, believe and obey it will have everlasting life.
Five Things That Are Second: The Gospel is contained in a “Second Law” (cf. Hebrews 8:6-13; 10:9). John 1:17 says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” This second law is that which saves us eternally (cf. Matthew 5:17; Colossians 2:14; Galatians 3:19; 6:2).
The Gospel commands a “Second Birth.” Jesus told Nicodemus: “…except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Question: How are we born again? Answer: “…born of water and the spirit…” (John 3:5). The second birth involves baptism for the remission of sins (cf. Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 1:22-23; 3:20-21).
The Gospel promises a “Second Coming” of Christ. Hebrews 9:28 says, “…He will appear a second time…” There is much speculation on when Christ will return and what will happen when He does (cf. Mark 13:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Christ’s return is true (Acts 17:31). Our responsibility is to prepare for His return (Matthew 24:44).
The Gospel warns of a “Second Death.” To be born once is to die twice. To be born twice is to die once. Physical death is separation of body and soul (James 2:26). Second death involves separation of a person’s soul from God forever (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:14). However, the second death has no power over those that have experienced the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6; Romans 6:3-4).
The Gospel contains a “Second Law of Pardon.” To the rebellious Jonah, the word of the Lord came “…the second time…” (Jonah 3:1). The Lord gave weak and denying Peter a second chance. The Prodigal Son received the Father’s mercy and forgiveness, even though he had willfully disobeyed. Peter told Simon, “your heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21). Simon was further told to repent and pray to God for forgiveness.
In conclusion, we live under a second law and can experience the second birth. We can live in hopeful expectation of the second coming of Christ, while avoiding the second death, and always knowing there is a second chance as long as we live.