The new year: the importance of living in the light of eternity

“Only what you did for Jesus will stay!”

Time is our life and it is important to use it for furtherance of the gospel. The example of living for eternity is our Lord Jesus Christ.

1.Jesus had time for people

Jesus stopped at the well and talked to the Samaritan woman, answered the begging blind man, healed many people, and so on. Let us follow His example to live in the perspective of eternity, in submission and obedience to God. Statements like: “It is not my hour yet” (John 7:6 NASB) and “The hour has come” (John 12:23 NASB) show how important it is to live, to use our time with a real and continuous connection with God. In John 5:24-25, after he had healed the lame man who was 38 years old, the Lord Jesus said: ”Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, a time is coming and even now has arrived, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Jesus also said that He could do nothing of Himself, but only in obedience to the Father.

The coming of the Lord Jesus into the world meant the coming of the hour when the dead in sin hear His voice and those who hear Him rise to a new life. Jesus works in the present from the perspective of eternity. He went on to say: “for a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come out: those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the bad deeds to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29 NASB).

Living in obedience to God, it is important to understand that now is the time to proclaim the gospel. Our life is in His hands and nothing can happen to us without His will or if the time decided by Him has not come. The Jews were trying to catch Him, but „no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come” (John 7:30 NASB). What encouragement to overcome the fear of people we have in these words! We just need to understand that our time, our days, are in the hands of the Lord! When he was threatened by a military officer in a Muslim country, “I can take your life!” Alexei replied, “My life is in God’s hands and you can’t do anything to me without His permission.” The officer got angry, but left without doing anything to him! These words of faith had power! God encourages us to submit to Him, to obey Him, and to fearlessly proclaim the gospel in His hour.

2.Jesus used his time in doing God’s will 

After Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed the feet of the Lord Jesus with pure myrrh (John 12) and a great crowd learned of Lazarus’ resurrection, the priests decided to kill Lazarus, for many departed from them and followed Jesus. The next day, a large crowd took palm branches and went out to meet him: “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (v. 12-13). The disciples did not understand that this was God’s time! It was only after Jesus rose from the dead that they realized that the things written about Him were fulfilled and that they had been fulfilled in Him.

So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. (v. 17). Then some Greek said to Philip “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” When they told these things to Jesus, He answered them by saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23 NASB ). Here is the principle the Lord Jesus reveals in this moment to his disciples: “The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (v. 25-26).

During His ministry, the Lord Jesus identified with God’s plan, fulfilling the purpose for which He came into our world, namely, to bring the redemption of our souls. Although he acknowledged that His soul was troubled, He was determined not to ask the Father to deliver Him from that hour because: “but for this purpose I came to this hour!” (v. 27) After Jesus had said these words, a voice came from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” After his death, the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus would follow. That is why Jesus prays to fulfill in this hour all that God has prepared.

3.Jesus served with love all the time, considering eternity

“Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He would depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1 NASB). What did Jesus do in His last hour in the world? I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 NASB).

When we spend time in God’s Word with the desire to listen to Him, we understand that we have a responsibility to love one another. This love must begin in our homes, through words of appreciation, through sacrificial service, seeking the benefits of others. The practice of family love must extend to relationships with siblings, then to those with neighbors, co-workers, etc. Thus we become a witness and the world will know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ and that we live for Him. What did Jesus want when the crowd followed Him? To believe in Him, the Savior sent by the Father. What did He want for the disciples, Mary, Martha, Lazarus? He wanted them to believe in Him and, in turn, to use their time — life — loving people, serving, and making disciples who glorified God. How did Jesus encourage his disciples before the hour when He was to be glorified? “These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NASB). Because He lives in us, we can have peace even in trouble and we can take courage, because through Him we can be victorious! 

This year, may we think about the time we spend with family and in everything we do, in ministry and work, to live with the perspective of eternity before our eyes. Let us follow the example of the Lord Jesus, who understood the value of time and lived accordingly, in submission and obedience to God. Because He lives in us and we can live like Him, for eternity. 

Translated by Liza Bîrlădeanu