Where Leaders Come to Think

Considering Eternity

9

Advent drives forward and one tradition that I question comes from my wife. For whatever reason she likes to read the book of Revelation in December. I don’t always understand her perfectly. To me, it’s like living in the season of happy-joy-joy and then waking up in the morning with 100 pound hail stones falling on your head.

Obviously, she does not see things the way I do. She finds comfort in closure while I search the cabinets for more hot chocolate.

In between snicker-doodles, we had the most intriguing discussion. She asked the question: “What is it that we should be learning in this life that is essential for eternity?”

“Measured against eternity, our time on earth is just a blink of an eye, but the consequences of it will last forever.” ― Rick Warren

As home educators, we believe that what we do now unquestionably matters for our eternity. We understand that time is one of the most precious gifts we are given in this world. We also know how valuable this life is when we consider that, for believers in Jesus, our eternity starts today. Therefore, as educators, this is a tremendously pertinent question to answer.

We have spent some time talking about this and started a Top 10 list that covers the key things we should be learning and teaching our children, now for eternity. For us, this is extremely practical as we want to disciple our children in the things that matter most to God. The problem with our list is that it’s not complete; we could seriously use your input. It’s a lot to think about but here is our start to a Roadmap to Eternal Success.

Things we must learn sooner rather than later.

  • Jesus.

Obviously, our hearts desire is to teach our children who Jesus says he is. Lord, Savior and Friend. The Christian perspective often starts and stops with this revelation. Jesus being 100% man and 100% God. No matter your convictions Jesus was pretty blunt when addressing himself. In fact, the acclaimed writer and theologian C.S. Lewis put it best.

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

  • The Word of God.

The key to a healthy and vibrant spiritual life. The Bible is our source of all Truth. I am amazed at how many people have made deep spiritual convictions without even knowing what they are committing to. For this reason, it seems like studying God’s Word would be helpful. Like a bride, getting to know the groom before the wedding.

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” -AW. Tozer

  • Love.

Learning to love is what Jesus considered an intricate part of his greatest commandment. “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus of Nazareth

Love God first and other people second.

The entire sum of the first covenant was about love. Learning to love in this life is essential. Not just that but, learning to be loved.

  • Humility.

To be like Jesus was on earth. A servant leader who was always mindful of others. Strong, yet grounded in love, Christ’s example is impossible to emulate in this life yet necessary to consider. Humility was not even a virtue before Jesus took up his cross. A humble and contrite heart makes us teachable, and we both feel that we need to obtain a strong love of learning. To accomplish this, a person must learn how to accept help humbly, and be coachable. Humility is the key that unlocks our ability to be taught.

“God created the world out of nothing, and so long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” – Martin Luther

  • Perseverance.

Critical to this life and the one to come has to be the ability to persevere. From birth to the cross Jesus led the way in living an example of what it takes to persevere. As people of faith called to bring light to dark places believers must not be stopped by a road bump. We are to persevere so that the message of hope and love can penetrate deeply into whatever dark places you find yourself.

“It takes guts to get out of the ruts.” – Robert H. Schuller

  • Supernatural Living.

Seems crucial to remember that when our official run at forever begins, God’s Kingdom is and always will be a Supernatural kingdom. This means that, at some level, we need to understand the “spiritual” perspective to our existence.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” John 14:15-20 (ESV)

Yes indeed, figuring out how to live a supernatural life is crucial. The more we can learn to walk with God in collaboration the easier it will be to walk with Jesus for eternity. God is supernatural, therefore, every believer is invited into a story bigger than the confines of practical consideration.

There is more, we know. Advent is a time of reflection and preparation. Could there be a better time than Advent to consider this question, and then…post a response in the comment section? We would love your input!

What do you think would be something valuable to understand now for all eternity?

Enjoy the Moment!

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  1. Kyle
    Kyle12-16-2011

    Longtime reader, first time responder here. After giving this very topic considerable thought and study I believe you have really hit on many of the major themes that we as Christians must abide by and focus on. If I were to add anything it would be the ideas of patience and servant-hood. Both of these ideas go hand in hand with regards to living for eternity. I find myself often pleading for Jesus to return because things seem overwhelming at times, and I would much rather it all be over and done with. Maintaining a level of patience, and more importantly not overlooking the plethora of opportunities to serve in our present circumstances is essential. When our eyes are too overtly focused on the “beyond” sometimes the “here and now” becomes clouded, and we overlook things we shouldn’t. Opportunities to serve, bless, and pray for others to name a few. Using this time wisely will pay dividends not only for us but for those we impact.

    Another good read as always 🙂

  2. Roger
    Roger12-15-2011

    Would God say I loved him with all my heart, mind, soul & strength and loved my neighbor as myself? Would my family say they trusted me? I cared about them? I was kind to them? Their thoughts and feelings mattered to me? I made them laugh? I caused happy tears? They enjoyed my company? They felt safe with me? I was a good leader of my house? I was God honoring? I was a Man of God? I was a Dispenser of Hope? The Holy Spirit was with us? Angels were with us? I was a good listener? I was tolerant? I was a good father and husband? I set a good example? I was a strong person? I taught them the value of working hard? I taught them the value of playing hard? I created pleasant memories with them? Next to God family was the most important thing to me? They knew I loved them because I constantly hugged them and told them I loved them? I never stopped encouraging them? I treated them like the prodigal son when they expected the worst? I was protective of them? I was fair? I desired the best for them? I equipped them well with knowledge and ethics? I supported them completely? I didn’t baby them but valued them? I expected the very best from them? Creating happy memories with our family came easy for them? Our love for God was apparent? I never stopped encouraging them?

    For me…At the end of the day (life) If God answers the the first question with a Yes and the family answers the rest of the questions with a Yes, then I think I’ve done ok and learned alot from life for the essentials for eternity. I know I missed something but I’m equally sure Jesus will fill in the gaps. Oh did I mention he’ll do this because he knows I’m imperfect and gave his life for me and any misses & because of this God has already forgiven me!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-15-2011

      Awesome reflection Roger. So encouraging to watch you live this out. Thanks buddy!

  3. Jim Abraham
    Jim Abraham12-13-2011

    Mark,

    First I must agree with Shanna. The One Year Bible ends in Dec. reading Revelations. I want to know as much as possible about that time to better prepare me for my own transition into Heaven.

    I love our Advent readings but I have a cousin who is a pastor and he is putting his advent on line. I have been reading it and there is quite a lot about the Genealogy of Jesus. The last few days have been reading in Ruth. I think we need to be looking consciously for opportunities to bless others. When Boaz saw how diligently Ruth was working, he took notice and then intervened on her behalf. We are blessed to be a blessing.

    I finally finished Beautiful Outlaw. I bought two copies to give away and just gave on to a lady who is one of my wife’s five. Thank-you again for the book. Greet Briley, Marissa, and Evelyn for me. I wish them and you and Shanna a very Merry Christmas. I am honored to be under your leadership.

    Jim

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-15-2011

      Thank you Jim you are a mighty man of God. Humbled to be your friend. Message passed and Merry Christmas.

  4. Jim Jones
    Jim Jones12-13-2011

    Mark, I really feel like you are writing to me directly. Thank you brother.

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-13-2011

      Thank you JIm I appreciate your encouragement! Hope you are finding joy this Christmas season.

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