We live to leave a legacy! We can't help it, we just yearn to find and nail down that 'purpose' of life, before life ends. Salman Rushdie said it so poignantly through his character in 'Midnight's Children' (1981): 'What I fear most is absurdity.'
What can I 'do' here, that will last beyond the grave? I'm not just talking about what others might remember, or might be carved on a gravestone - because people's memories will eventually fade, and gravestones will eventually disintegrate... What work is there for me here, that builds an 'eternal kingdom', invests in an 'eternal portfolio'?
Jesus came - God in the flesh (Jn 1:14) - and offers us 2 incredible things. First, Jesus offers us his very self, which is the presence and person of God in our hearts, minds and souls. Jesus was given the name, 'Emanuel', which means, 'God with us.' (Mt 1:23) When we lift our eyes to Jesus and believe in him, and turn away from our sin (repentance), he comes into our hearts by his Holy Spirit. In this precious moment of faith in Jesus, you are saved by him, and his Spirit pours in over your soul, now and forevermore. And this 'work' of faith (Jn 6:40), is the very first of your many works that will last...
Secondly, Jesus opens to us the Kingdom of Heaven, and allows us to start building that Kingdom - a 'work' that will last. Jesus even taught us to pray for this, '... your kingdom come... here on earth as it is in heaven.' (Mt 6:9-13) In Jesus you can do 'works' now that last forever. What are these works?
The 'works' of Jesus that last forever, are works we do through 'faith'. (Heb 11:6) The works of Christ that honor God and have eternal value, are works that come from a heart full of faith in Jesus Christ. God's works are not simply a list of 'Do's and Don'ts' - even good 'Do's and 'Don'ts'! If our works in Jesus are not works of faith, and works done in the Spirit of God's grace, they are not works that have eternal value. This might surprise you, but if you look through the 'Gospel' writings of the bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), you will see time and time again that Jesus often confronted people - people who did lots of good works - and told them that their works were not good enough. Jesus called people to step off their 'grid' of 'good works', and first and foremost come through the door of faith in him. (Jn 10:9) After coming through the door of faith in Jesus, the 'works' we do thereafter must be in and through his Spirit of grace, truth, love and leading.
'Everyone's work will be shown for what it is...' (1 Cor 13:3)
For more on taking that first step of faith in Jesus, in order to start building his Kingdom in your life, visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
Peter Walker. I hope you enjoy these reflections. Please feel free to comment!:)