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Everything matters

October 1, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

At the end of a lengthy chapter on the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul concludes by exhorting his listeners to live their lives completely for God, because it all matters. In a world where it is so easy to question the significance of our daily struggle and toil, I find this passage to be cold water in a parched land. Because Jesus rose from the dead, Paul argues, we know that the things that we do this side of heaven have eternal significance. 

In Matthew 10:42, Jesus tells the crowd, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” I refer to this verse as the Taylor Hood passage, as every Sunday, Taylor make sure that I have a cup of cold water at the pulpit before I get up to preach. With this simple illustration, Jesus echoes the sentiment of 1 Corinthians 15:58: it all matters. Every diaper that is changed in the name of Christ, every hug given to a downcast friend, every gift given out of love, every time you choose to do your job to the glory of God, and yes, every cup of water you give – it all matters eternally, in some mysterious way that we do not fully comprehend this side of heaven.

This truth should not only encourage you towards actions of love, it should also cause you to reflect upon how you are living. Two chapters later, in Matthew 12:36, Jesus told the crowd, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” If it all matters, that also means that every word spoken in anger, every action done to harm, and every time you live to please yourself instead of the Lord will have eternal consequences, once again in some mysterious way that we do not fully comprehend this side of heaven.

The prosperity gospel preachers are partly right: God does want you to be rich. But His desire is not that you would store up wealth on earth, but that you would store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Once again, having never been to heaven, there is a mystery to all of this. But the implication of this passage, along with the others I have mentioned, is clear: use your time, your money, your energy, and your resources in service to God, and it will matter eternally. 

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