GNB 2.45

February 22, 2023


Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold; be the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. This gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations- and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24.12-14)


The Church was never intended to be the strong silent type. The Church was intended to act, move, speak and practice the living out of faith in the midst of the world. Yes, there are times and the need for times of silent contemplation. However, those times, I think, are meant to be more aligned with the “quiet before the storm” than being a sponge thrown into a sink filled with water. Even then the sponge serves little purpose if it is not applied to the dirty dishes that are also found in that sink water. We are, as mighty ones of God, created with not only a sense of purpose (the longing for meaning and application) but with a purpose (that which is our gift and our calling.) We spend much time, sometimes too much time, pursuing what is that purpose which brings meaning and fulfillment to our days. We long for it. We dabble in many things trying to find our niche. Is it because we not only want to know purpose and place but receive a great reward that we press into that “search for meaning”? As the Church, and individually members of it, have we limited our view and understanding of that sense of purpose to things of this world? What of Jesus? As He sat among the trees on the hillside of the Mount of Olives looking at the Temple across the way, how do we think He measured the value of a “life well spent”? Did He think of it in terms of riches and treasures as the Pharisees and Sadducees in their pursuit of “righteousness makes financial prosperity”? For Jesus, godliness was next to humility. He laid up His treasures in Heaven where neither rust nor moth could consume nor thief could break in and steal. Have we considered that placing our treasures in Heaven also meant they could never be lost because they are there? Further, have we considered that you can’t literally put financial investment into the First Bank of Heaven or invest in the Holy God stock market? The only market that made sense in the world was the very marketplace where sustenance in this life was available: fruits, vegetables, linens, herbs, spices, oils, etc. But, even now, as those business hours had drawn to a close in the Temple across the way the hollowness of the marketplace was in evidence. It was hollowness and not holiness. As the buyers and the sellers counted their gain they did not truly consider the cost of building bigger barns or more luxurious lives. At what cost life?

How do we invest in the eternal? Is it with nameplates and signs on buildings named after us? Is it with trophies and awards for our philanthropic endeavors? Is it with endowments and trusts committed to those who would come after us both literally and figuratively? Even then, all those things will pass away but the Word of God shall never pass away. I nearly said, “We have to consider…” but thought better of it. Instead, we ought to consider that Jesus was not making a way for Himself. Rather, He was following the way which was set before Him. The worldly future of His life was determined by the choices we had made. We can’t even blame it on others as if their sins is what Jesus died for. Jesus died for all of us as past, present and future realities. Sin doesn’t know a particular time and place. Sin is everywhere a human being exists. Sin is as timeless as grace in that respect. Even when “that Day” comes and the end of that Age is reached, sin and its practitioners who hold to its value will have their eternal resting place. Do not be fooled- there is no peace or calm or tranquility or satisfaction in the “place of fire and tribulation.” Jesus speaks of it in terms of “the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” So, if we are to answer the question of “How do we invest in the future?” our answer will most certainly come in the question of “What do we believe in most?”

What did Jesus believe in most? I would say Jesus believed in the inevitability of God and God’s will. It was, as He taught the disciples to pray “that which is to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Without a doubt, the Temple that blazed gloriously night and day was not Heaven. It was intended, however, to be a constant reminder of God’s presence on earth as it would be in Heaven. What did that reminder say?

  1. God is with us.
  2. God is an everpresent source of help in times of trouble.
  3. God cannot be done away with.
  4. God is singularly, powerfully, magnificently and wonderfully God.

But, if that is the case of the identity of the Temple then why was there so much trouble and angst in the land? Was it because the Temple had lost its sense of purpose and therefore did not act purposefully for that which it was intended? The truth of the matter may well be that which is eternal is that which is internal. How often Jesus spoke of faith as a matter of the heart. He knew the scripture as well as anyone: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. There it was. That very wisdom statement espoused by Solomon was the true rubric and measure of one’s worth and value. How much do we truly trust in the Lord? Do we trust Him with our whole heart? Do we trust Him only as much as we dare to understand? Do we trust more in ourselves and the tangible world than in God and His Kingdom of righteousness? If the internal mechanism of faith, hope and love is what is eternal, then how can we invest in it? And if we invest in it are we thus laying up our treasures in Heaven where they can never pass away nor be taken away? Dare we consider that investing in the internal of others is making an eternal difference in their lives? Do we measure value and worth more or less by today’s standards or by that eternal resting place? We know the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Jesus commented, “Broad is the road and wide is the gate which leads to destruction and many will find it. But, seek rather the narrow gate which leads to God’s Kingdom.” (Matthew 7.13) So I ask you “How do we eat an elephant?” Even vegetarians know this answer: “one bite at a time.” How do we win the world to God? Well, it must be by “one person at a time.” Sadly, the world will not be won to God; at least not the whole world. The world that we know will pass away. It will be replaced by a new world. Sadly, not everyone will be saved. Jesus declared, “Many will call out Lord, Lord, but I will not recognize them.” Harsh? Insensitive? Rude? Judgmental? Not really. It will be easy to discern those whose lives are filled with “empty” words. They will have invested much in the externals of life. Those externals do not fulfill but merely cover up the emptiness of a life lived without a sense of purpose and thus expressing no real purpose at all beyond themselves and their self-satisfaction. How can nothing be saved? God did not save the nothingness at the first, did He? He redeemed it. He reconstructed it. He realigned it with meaning and purpose and brought life out of nothing, ex nihilo. If that was the case, then it remains so to this day: Through Him all things were made. NOTHING was made that has been made without Him. (John 1.3) If “nothing” exists apart from Him, then “nothing” cannot be saved. God does not save “nothing,” but transforms it into something. He makes something of us through Jesus Christ.

Mighty ones of God, we invest in the future by investing in proclaiming the gospel of the One who turns nothing into something. Having faith in Him and Him alone recreates and makes all things new. In Him we have life and have it abundantly, eternally from the inside out. And our very lives, like that of the Temple, are intended to proclaim that sense of purpose with a purpose which is to glorify and edify God, the Father of us all. We are not meant to be white-washed tombs. We are not created to be empty repositories filled with things that can never satisfy. But, we are created by choice to make the choice. It is freely given to us because God so loved us. We invest in our future by believing in Him and His love which was so great that He surrendered His Only begotten Son for us knowing that by believing in Him we shall have eternal life and dwell with Him forever. Not only does our belief in Him show our sense of purpose in investing ourselves in Him but it becomes our very purpose. Jesus said it this way, “No greater love is there than this that one would lay down their life for the sake of another.” As Jesus gazed across the Kidron Valley at the Temple “across the way,” He knew that He was about to make the greatest investment of His life for us. Let’s not waste it by remaining silent and still when there is so much yet to be done for the sake of others and the glory of God.


Father, we will not sit quietly and stoically in this world and believe all is well. Instead, we pray You will move in us and through us with purpose and make know the truth of life which is in Jesus Christ; He who is in us that is greater than any who are “in the world.” Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: