***ASK BILL: Does forgiving someone mean that we must maintain a relationship with them or even like them for that matter?
ANSWER: NO! Forgiveness is a conscious act of the heart and actually is a real time of cleansing for the person granting the forgiveness. Just because you have forgiven someone, DOES NOT mean you have to maintain a relationship with them, and in many cases, it is unwise to do so!
We all get so bogged down in the day-to-day activities of life, that we can lose sight of the big picture. One of the goals I have each day is to help you stay focused on that “big picture.” The ultimate “American dream” for many is to win several million dollars, buy a huge home, new cars, quit your job. But what do you do after that? That becomes the big question. When you have all of those things that you ever dreamed of, when you have accomplished all of the things you strive for then what?
In today’s scripture, we read about a man who could have easily been living in the year 2006. Obviously very talented. Obviously very goal oriented. He had his plan, he followed it through, and he achieved everything he wanted. But soon after that, the Lord says, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”
“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ ” (Luke 12:16-21)
You see my friend, this Devotional in no way is meant to tell you that your goals are not important. It is in no way meant to tell you that you should not strive to have the best things that this life can offer. There is nothing wrong with that at all. What I am trying to get you to hear today is that you MUST keep your goals prioritized and in perspective. To simply let your goal be “get all I can now” is a bad goal.
The Bible says, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?” That of course is for an unsaved person who wants everything, but eventually must realize that there is an eternal life when this one is over, where all of those things you accomplish and gain in this life have no meaning. That is just as true for the Christian. While we work on our earthly goals, we MUST keep focused on, and never lose sight of, our eternal goals.
Those things that we gain in this life will be gone the instant our life is over and we pass into eternity. At that point, the ONLY thing that matters is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have said it often, and will continue to remind you of this fact. The ONLY thing we take from this life into eternity is our personal relationship with Christ.
That is why I harp constantly on our intimate, daily walk with Him. We do that through the Word and through prayer. At that instant when this life ends, that personal relationship with Christ is all that will matter. With that being the case, why do we spend so much time on striving to accomplish things in this world that will one day be meaningless, and so little time on our walk with Christ which one day will be all that we have?
I love you and care about you so very much. Each day I do my best to share my heart with you and allow God to pour through me meaningful things that will help you in your daily life. My challenge for you today is to not get so focused on the goals of this world, that you lose sight of your eternal goals. Work just as hard on your relationship with Christ as you do in your day to day work here on earth. Don’t let the things of this temporary world consume you to the point that you miss the eternal goals we all should be working on.
We need to be careful. The media, our culture, pushes us daily to “have it all.” We get so consumed with that message that we forget we can never have it all, unless we have Jesus. The greatest goals that we can have are not our earthly goals, but our Heavenly goals!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
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