[God] has caused us . . . to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.
—1 Peter 1:3–4
When we are threatened with persecution for our convictions, we need to be productive. Notice how Paul closes his three-point admonition in 1 Corinthians 15:58. He says, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” That word “abounding” refers to a river that overflows its banks. The knowledge that either Christ is coming or you are going ought to cause you to be exceeding, going over the boundaries of what is required, out of your excitement of what awaits you in the future.
My most productive work day in the whole year is the day before I leave on vacation. Are you like that? The day before I leave on vacation, I know I’m getting ready to leave and I have to get all of these things in order. The knowledge I’m getting ready to spend some days doing what I want to do gives me extra energy to plow through the list of things that I need to do. And that’s what Paul is saying here.
Suppose you were alive on the day Jesus was born. And you heard about this special baby, and you said to yourself, “You know, I think that Jesus is going places. And I want to invest in His ministry.” So you invested one dollar in a company called Jesus Christ, Incorporated. You never invested another dollar again. You invested one dollar in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and that one dollar investment paid six percent interest compounded. Do you know 2,000 years later what your one-dollar investment would be worth? It would be worth 720 quadrillion dollars. You know, the problem with most of our investments is we don’t have a long enough time horizon. We invest for the next 10, 20, or 30 years and we invest in things that can either be stolen or lost or forgotten or worn out or left behind. No wonder our investments don’t do any better. But the wise person is one who invests in those things that will never be lost, stolen, forgotten, worn out, or left behind. Think the kingdom of God. The truth is we will be alive for the next 20 years, 200 years, 2,000 years, 2 trillion years. And God invites you and me to invest in His kingdom right now. He invites us to invest in a reward, as Peter says, that is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:4).
As you find yourself in the twilight of earth’s existence, or perhaps your own existence, how are you responding to these last days? Are you allowing the cable news pundits to paralyze you with fear? Are you depending on some politician or some political movement to reverse the downward spiral of this country? Or are you simply just trying to ignore all the chaos and trying to take care of yourself and your family until the end comes? As we face persecution and the end times, we need to be productive.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Last Days Living” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.