Jonathan Edwards is considered by many to be the greatest mind America has ever produced. Many only know him as the preacher of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and that is sad. Among many he has influenced, current bestselling author and preacher John Piper considers him to be one of just a few major influences in his life.
This quote from Edwards' journals has changed my perspective on life the past few weeks. I save it on my phone and read it regularly as a reminder.
Resolve to live with all my might while I do live and as I shall wish I had done 10,000 ages hence.
Not 10,000 days from now or even 10,000 years...but 10,000 ages...the short life we live--"all flesh is like grass..the grass withers, the flower falls off"--is truly nothing compared to the eternity that awaits us. To quote a Schaeffer title: How Shall We Then Live?
As Paul writes in Philippians, "our citizenship is in heaven". The question is, how does this affect our life here and now? It should revolutionize it. All we do should be in light of eternity, the certainty we shall always be with God, the knowledge that "weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning." "The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day" and it is that full day that we have to look forward to. And it comes quickly.
I close with a favorite story about two elderly missionaries coming home after 30 years of faithful service on the mission field. As their ship pulls into the New York harbor they see hundreds of people cheering and waving flags, and their hearts are warmed that their church and friends have remembered them. To their dismay and disappointment when they disembark they find the cheering crowd is for a celebrity and noone has shown up to welcome them. The husband remarks on this with discouragement to his wife. He talks about how they been faithful and now at last we come home to...nothing. The much wiser wife turns to her husband and says softly, "That is because we are not home yet."
How true. "Everyone who has this HOPE fixed on him purifies himself as he is pure."