Our One Chance
By Mary Baird
There’s something about being on the down side of time (and close to the bottom) that makes you contemplate life and your Christianity. I became a believer in Jesus Christ at a young age, but it wasn’t until I was thirty that the Bible came alive to me and I began to grow spiritually.
Many times, I’ve wished to be out of this world and into the arms of my Savior. When you read in Scripture how wonderful that will be it’s natural to think that. I’m thankful that God in His infinite grace did not grant my wish. When you realize that we only get one chance to honor and glorify the Triune God, time takes on a whole new meaning. We live in a sinful world surrounded by sinful people. That alone is a challenge. We also know that even after we believe and are filled with the Holy Spirit, our old sin nature lurks around every corner and waits to pounce at any provocation. That’s precisely what makes the here and now so important for a Christian.
In Matthew 5:11&12 Jesus talked about rewards in Heaven and in 1 Corinthians 3:12-14 we are told more details about our rewards. Both of these promises are for after this life. In Heaven, we will have perfect bodies with absolutely no sin nature and absolutely no sinful world in which we must live. Pleasing and honoring God in Heaven will be easy for everyone there. It’s in this life that we must please God in the midst of disappointments, loses, illness, rejections, fights with our sin nature, and every kind of problem you can imagine. Some believers have more and some less, but be assured we will have difficulties in one way or another.
Time means nothing to God so no matter how long you live after your salvation, that’s the period of time in which you have to collect lasting rewards. And in case you’re tempted to think expecting and wanting rewards doesn’t sound very Christian, just remember that at some point in Heaven those rewards will be offered back to our Sovereign God as gifts to Him. How sad it will be to stand there with nothing in your hands.
As the Apostle Paul was in prison awaiting his execution, he wrote a letter to his young friend, Timothy. In the letter Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.” That’s what I want to be able to say. May God help me to finish the race well.