“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12 NIV.
Never exchange the permanence of eternity for the transience of a lifetime.
My thoughts and comments today are about “a sobering truth.”
There are times when life finds you unprepared. Sometimes you don’t know how or when to be prepared. Sometimes you know when you should, but just fail to prepare. The latter can result in lost opportunities, rude awakenings, or maybe costly oversights.
In college, I learned a valuable lesson about being prepared and personal accountability. After consecutive absences, I deigned to attend class only to discover that a major exam impacting my semester grade would occur that morning. My negligence and too frequent absences had left me unaware and unprepared. In spite of my surprising performance on the exam, my semester grade was reduced to “Incomplete” because of excessive absences. My professor held me accountable for my choices and decisions, in spite of my sincere pleading and abject apology.
There is accountability in life. Every choice has consequence – for benefit or loss. Reproof is a fact of life and faith. “There will be trouble and distress for every person who does evil . . but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good.” Read Romans 2:6-11 NIV. See Galatians 6:7-10. Jesus said, “Whatever is covered up will be uncovered . . whatever you have whispered in private will be shouted from the housetops.” Matthew 10:2-3 TEV.
There will be accountability in eternity. Daniel Webster, a respected Senator of the early 19th century, was asked, “What is the most sobering thought a man could have?” Mr. Webster answered, “His accountability to God.” Reflect on his answer for a moment. Paul cautioned the Christians in the Imperial capital of the Roman Empire, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ . . So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10 NKJV/12 NIV. On that day, no exception will be granted, no extension given, no excuse accepted.
My friend, Rick, wrote a significant book I recommend to you, The Judgment Seat of Christ, which has impacted my life. The Bible says, “If any man builds on this foundation [of Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NIV.
There is a day of ultimate accountability when your values, choices, and expenditures of time, talents, and treasures will be assessed by God. Your lifetime will be evaluated according to your eternal investment to the purposes of the Kingdom of God, in your life and the lives of others. What is noble and sacrificial will eternally endure; what is incidental and of self-interest will be consumed, with only ashes remaining, “. . the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”
My thoughts today were prompted by awakening Sunday with the poignant melody of an old hymn: “Remember; only what you do for Christ will last. Only what you do for Him, will be counted at the end. Remember; only what you do for Christ will last.” (Raymond Rasberry © 1963, Pronto Music and Simco Music Co.) Long after my life is spent, I want what I have said and done to be of enduring value. Read Hebrews 4:12-16 NIV. Never exchange the permanence of eternity for the transience of a lifetime.
Today, my prayer for you is to live each day aware of the unparalleled importance of eternity.
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