Seven Habits of Eternal Value
Sometimes I'm like a tornado. I often lose my keys, forget the date, and leave little messy piles of papers here and there. I need a secretary!
But since I don’t plan on hiring one any time soon, I make lots of lists to keep my life in a semblance of order. So, when one of my dear friends recently asked me to do her a favor, I knew I needed to make a special note of her request. Otherwise I’d forget, and I don’t want her to think that she isn’t important. I know that remembering her requests is a good way to make sure she feels valued. But forgetting—or blowing off—the things she cares about is a guaranteed way to make her feel like I couldn’t care less.
A Few Things That Are Important to Christ
Jesus has asked us to do some things, too. When we remember these things and act on them with the right heart-motive, it’s proof of our love for Him. But could it be that not caring about—or blowing off—what He cares about is a sign that our love is lacking?
So what’s important to Christ? Here's list of seven things He wants you to do:
- Seek Him through spiritual acts, such as prayer and fasting. (Matthew 6:6; Hebrews 11:6)
- Submit to your employer as a faithful steward. (Matthew 24:45-47; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:22-24)
- Deny yourself to serve Him. (Matthew 16:24-27)
- Serve those in need in His name. (Mark 9:41)
- When called upon, suffer for His name and His reputation. (Luke 6:22-23)
- Sacrifice for Him. (Luke 6:35; Matthew 19:29)
- Share your time, talent, and treasure to further His kingdom. (Matthew 6:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:18-19)
Maybe looking at this list is discouraging; maybe it’s overwhelming. Maybe you're thinking that only “super-spiritual” people can accomplish the above. But let me challenge you as I challenge myself: all of us can serve God by doing even little things that fit into the above categories. All of us can seek God through prayer and fasting; all of us can submit to our employers, and all of us can deny ourselves to serve Christ. In fact, each of us can do all of the above things to some degree.
But what if I just blow off the list? It’s not that important, right? Wrong. Not only are the above things important, because obedience is a good measure of our depth of love for Christ, but they are also important for another reason:
One Big Reason They Are Important
In Scripture, doing each of the above is connected to receiving rewards in heaven. This means that after you die, God will pay you back for how well you demonstrated your love to Him in these ways. Therefore, these are seven habits of eternal value.
Pretty sobering, huh?
So how’s your prayer life? What about being a faithful employee? Do you treat your boss fairly? Are you willing to serve others, deny yourself, suffer for Jesus if necessary, sacrifice for Him and share your time, talent, and treasure to further His kingdom? If you say "no," ask the Lord to give you a greater love for Him. Ask him to help you demonstrate your love for Him.
When you get to heaven, you’ll be glad you did.
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