In Chapter 21 of the Book of Revelation, God defines a Sanctuary.
The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone; the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The 12 gates are 12 pearls; each gate made of a single pearl. The broad street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I did not see a sanctuary in it because the Lord God the Almighty is its sanctuary.
What defines a sanctuary? Is it what people take pride in – their wealth in gold and precious stones? However, God declares such things will be nothing more than building materials where he resides? The most valuable thing will be who not what is revered. There the Lord’s light surrounds those who seek sanctuary in him (a clear metaphor for the revelation of wisdom and truth).
Where do you invest your hope in life? Where do you invest your time and energy? Your retirement portfolio might be the envy of your peers, but what good is your grand portfolio at the end of your days?
Unlike Disney and Universal Studios where fantasies are promised to come true, there is a cost to enter their gates. However, God’s sanctuary requires only an affirming, sincere smile to enter and discover God’s invaluable, immeasurable grace.
What is the focus of your life? What relationships are more important, financial or spiritual ones? Remember, Jesus declared, You cannot serve God and money equally? One will influence your interest in the other.
This message rests within the pages of Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories. Discover how the notion of Sanctuary galvanized the folks in lil’ ol’ Shiloh after Theo Phillips arrives in town and sheds light upon the dark secrets, scandal, and tragedy for all to confront. TMBrownAuthor.com
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
Does your heart have God as its anchor and the words and example of Christ Jesus inspiring you? If so, the hope of dwelling forever with God is real to you. This eternal hope removes all doubt that God cares for you and you discover his encouragement, empowerment, and equipment to face every inevitable challenge in this lifetime. And, all this is God’s gift for the asking because he wants you to experience life with him, and to witness to all who may ask for the reason of the hope you have within you.
So these questions remain: Are you prepared each day to explain the reason for the hope that resides within you? Do you know the heartfelt words that will testify of Christ’s influence on your life?
Our testimony before others is not about quoting scriptures or singing hymns of praise but sharing in your own words what it means to have God as the anchor in your heart! “Being prepared” is not intended to be a motto, but a new way of life for every born-again, child of God.
A man cannot help others unless he can learn to help himself, and having God as the anchor of one’s heart is the beginning of always being prepared to respond to others in need.
What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already has been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed. Eccl 3:9-15 (HCSB)
Our temporal life is preparing us for our eternal destiny. Yes, whether we want to admit it or not, we all will experience eternal life, but not all will eagerly accept eternity as God’s gift. A gift stored in our heart from conception into this temporal world. However, long before our first heart beat or gasp for breath, God existed, and long after our last heart beat and and final exhale of breath, God remains. You see, God existed before eternity and even its vastness pales to define God. Why? God created eternity for us to share.
Though temporal man can merely theorize the threshold and span of eternity, God gifts the expectation of eternity within each of us. While man futilely searches to define eternity, God awaits patiently to reveal it fully to each of us. And in the midst of this ultimate display of God’s incomprehensible greatness, we will experience the indescribable unveiling of the gift of eternity that has always resided within our hearts. God will then explain how that special gift signifies how we were created in his image.
Even so, some deny God’s gracious, unique gift. Some choose to believe death is final and life ceases with the final heartbeat or gasp of breath. They deny God and eternity exists merely because they rationalize their limited understanding offers a more palatable notion of reality. However, these same rational minds can conceive of the vastness of the universe and discuss the vastness of eternity and its infinite reach in time and space. So, doesn’t this beg the question: Can the created be its own creator?
Since, even nonbelievers understand that all motion requires a force outside of itself. That same motion is perpetual without an opposing force impairing the motion. Thus, who or what provides the force that determines our life? Most scientists recognize that beyond the farthest boundaries of the universe and its infinite, yet tangible vastness lies God, the eternal force, the self-existent cause behind all creation.
When I contemplate on eternity, I can only conclude that God awaits at the threshold of eternal life. I have little doubt that God birthed us into this temporal life for a purpose beyond the limits of our present lifetime. My sense of and curiosity about eternity testifies to God’s majesty and glory. As for those who reject man’s participation in eternity, consider the isolation, limitations and hopelessness of one’s lifetime when you denounce God’s gift of eternity. The way I look at it: No matter how anyone depicts “hell,” being adrift in eternity with only your “self” to navigate through the limitless, unyielding emptiness is far worse than any “hell” man could depict! But, then again we all have this one lifetime to ponder the gift of eternity that resides within us.
What about you? Is this life worth living because you have discovered seeking God’s will, ways and wisdom reveals God’s purpose for your lifetime. Has your search revealed that God has orchestrated your lifetime so you can ponder the joy of eternity with Him? Do you have that assurance within you that helps you through those trying and difficult days we all face? If not, begin today realizing God has an eternal gift for you. You may struggle with all the world shouting around you daily, but I’ve found God invites your skepticism and doubts as a beginning of understanding his gift of eternity. Begin by walking out on the next clear night and stare into the heavens and ponder the cause, the creator behind all of creation. God will do the rest…
Words of Wisdom #224-8EC
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There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. Eccl 3:1-8 (HCSB)
Man has devised the manner which we measure God’s gift of time and even how we keep track of it, but time is not a creation of man. Time is God’s creation for his purpose. Being created, time is also finite, not infinite. Eternity can neither be measured nor defined by time. Eternity is timeless.
Time is for man’s benefit, not God’s. It connects our present time with our past and our future. It measures our lifetime, the dash on our epitaph bridging our birth and death that defines our lifetime. In essence, because time defines our lifetime, it proffers our sense of urgency and anticipation that shapes our lifetime.
Time for each person begins with conception and ends with one’s final sigh and heart beat. Time also is an invaluable, irreplaceable commodity. Time once lost can never be replaced or reset anew. As a result, for many caught up with misery and pessimism casts time as some nagging, unrelenting pest affirming the futility of their lifetime. Each morning arrives later and later and they fear another sleepless nighttime. Only those embracing the value of time as an asset and gift of one’s lifetime discover the joy and contentment making the most of their time.
Fact: Time exists only in the present moment. Once time slips beyond the present, it is lost to yesterday’s grip. The further time slips into our past, the fuzzier our recollection of it becomes. Conversely, tomorrow’s time is but a hope filled concept of what could be, because God never promises us tomorrow, only today.
Time also is the perfect complement to love as God intended it to be expressed and cherished. When our lifetime is full of love, time marks the breadth and depth of our love for God and others during our lifetime. Love requires making the most of time, which is why we should invest as much time as possible with those we love, and less time distracted by money or things! Time wasted on temporal wealth and possessions should never detract us from investing time in loving God and others. Only time invested in love will have value beyond our present lifetime.
Final thought: God created TIME. He cannot be defined by it, nor limited by it. However, he expresses his ultimate gift of love by entering into our lifetime for our sake, so that when we exit time, we will enjoy eternity with him. How can we embrace and value time as God intended? Seek God’s will, ways, and wisdom and embrace the smile sure to come when we all discover God’s gift of time too!