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Last week an Ethiopian church planter was martyred, a wife and four children left without a husband and father.  A friend of mine miscarried her baby.  My grandfather passed away only a few days ago.  And we are all aware of the recent tragedy in Japan.  This has had me thinking about eternity.  Life after death.  What am I living for?

There is something profound that takes place when a loved one dies or tragedy strikes.  We are compelled to stop and think about what comes next.  As a Christian my thoughts linger upon eternity.  The reality that earth is not my forever home sinks in deep within my soul, and I find that these earthly worries – material distractions, how my hair looks and what I’m wearing – quickly fade into the background.  Suddenly my heart is drawn to the number one purpose of my existence, and that is God.  The hope that the cross gives us.  The grace that God has so lavishly poured out upon my life.  And the promise of heaven that awaits me.

I heard someone say that we can create “heaven here on earth.”  My inner response to this disillusioned statement is that earth is corrupt and sinful, messy and painful.  Earth is not eternal.  And I’m not living for earth.  I’m not looking forward to “heaven on earth”.  I’m looking heavenward to eternity with Jesus Christ.  Where there will be no more sorrow.  No more pain.  No more heartache.  No more prejudice.  No more fear.  No more sin.  This…THIS is what I am living for.  This is what that precious pastor in Ethiopia died for.  This is where my grandfather now walks and runs and sings.  This is where my friend’s tiny unborn child waits for her mother.

And eternity is closer than we think.  Beth Moore talks about our “ten minutes on earth”.  Our lives are a mere breath.  A snapshot in time.  Our moment is very brief here on planet earth.  Eternity is literally a heartbeat away.  Are we ready for it?

I want to be ready.  I want Jesus to say to me when I enter eternity, “Well done, Amy.  Well done.”  Until that time there is much to do.  Giving God my life.  Serving him and representing Jesus to a lost world.  Speaking TRUTH in LOVE.  Aware of and meeting the needs here in the present, but always looking upward to a better future.  And as my seven-year-old daughter would say, “We gotta love God like we mean it!”

Jesus.  How I so desperately need him, cling to him and know that this beautiful life beyond death was only made possible through his sacrifice on the cross.  I can’t repay that.  But I can give him my life.  I can do my best to point others to Him.  To point others toward eternity – to hope.  To Jesus.

Eternity is closer than we think.

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