Life is Not Short

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Our life in this world is just the beginning of our existence. It is like a grain of sand on the shores of eternity or a drop of water in the ocean of time. It is simply the first page of a very long story. When we are born, the story begins; when we die, the story continues in another realm.
Since eternity will last forever and our time here acts as the foundation of where we will go to spend it, we cannot afford to live recklessly. We must do some maths and get our priorities right so that our time and efforts on earth do not eventually boil down to nothing. There is nothing as sad as coming to the realization that you have wasted valuable time, energy and resources in something that has produced only wind.
When we are young, our parents do not let us just grow up aimlessly without thinking about our future. They take us to school and give us advice so that when we become adults we can live a prosperous and respectable life. When we get employed or start a business, if we are wise, we do not just squander the money haphazardly and leave nothing for the days ahead. We invest what we have so that when a rainy day comes, we will have something to keep us going.
In the same way, our time here on earth is a time to invest in our future. It is the time to use what we have for our eternal good. It is not the time to senselessly dive into all manner of crude, short-lived and unproductive activities that will eventually amount to nothing more than a chasing after the wind. It is the time to plough into everlasting soils that will give us an eternal harvest.
Jesus Christ told His disciples to “Store up for [themselves] treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). He was telling them to be wise with their time and resources on earth and use them to secure an eternal inheritance for themselves.
Just as there are bank accounts here on earth, so are there spiritual accounts. These accounts are not stocked with physical currency such as bank notes and coins. They are stocked with such characteristics as righteousness, holiness, goodness, humility, self-control, love, joy, peace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, repentance, and so on (see Galatians 5:22-24 and Matthew 5:3-12 for more).
When all is said and done and our time on earth expires, it is the spiritual aspects of our being and of our actions that will matter. The amount of food we ate will not count. The shape and size of our bodies will not matter. The zeal with which we partied will not help us. What our friends thought of us will not be a concern. The titles that men bestowed upon us will be of no consequence. 

God will judge us based on whether or not we did what He expected of us, if at all we bothered to find out what it was. He will look at what our values, motives and interests were, and whether or not we honored Him in all that we did. He will not consult our friends, family or foes about us, but will bring out the deep secrets of our hearts and minds and reward us accordingly (see Jeremiah 17:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Most importantly, He will look at the divine condition of our souls. Did we repent of our sins and accept the forgiveness that is only obtained through Jesus’ blood? (see Hebrews 9:22). Did we receive the Holy Spirit to make us God’s sons? (see Romans 8:14-17). Did we walk in holiness after receiving His forgiveness and mercy? (see Hebrews 10:26-31).
Jesus told His disciples that “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
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Our souls are the most precious aspect of our being. They are our real selves, the part of us that will remain when our bodies have perished. They will last forever, whether or not we make it to heaven or to hell. They will bear the full impact of our actions here on earth. If we neglect them, we are essentially neglecting ourselves. They should therefore be our first priority when it comes to the choices that we make and the things that we do. Focusing on other things at the expense of our souls is loving those other things more than ourselves and therefore hating ourselves.
We therefore need to be wise and see beyond the momentary passions and lures of this world, because spending one hundred and something years on earth will be of no value if we end up spending the rest of the billions of years of our existence languishing in eternal pain and torment (see Matthew 25:46 and Mark 9:43-44). 

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” – Matthew 13:40-43


The Forbidden Fruit

It is said that we are what we eat. When we eat what is healthy, we become healthy; when we eat what is unhealthy, we become unhealthy. This principle applies to everything that we consume. When we see, hear, touch, read or do anything, it affects us in some way. Some of it affects us positively, and some of it affects us negatively. For example, if we touch a live wire, we are bound to get an electric shock. On the other hand, if we touch a friendly dog, we are bound to get an affectionate lick or tail wag.

There are also things that have two sides to them. They can either be harmful or helpful, depending on how we use them. One example of this is a knife. It can be used to prepare vegetables for a meal, and it can also be used to stab someone to death. It all depends on what the person having it chooses to do with it. If he chooses to use it for the wrong purpose, that is his own responsibility. He should not blame those who manufactured the knife for his wrongdoing. Knives were designed to be used for cutting food, and that is what they are made for to this day. Many people have used them to stab, maim and wound others, but that has not stopped knives from being manufactured. They will continue to be made and sold to people everywhere, not so that they can be used as weapons of destruction, but so that they can be used for what they were rightly designed for: to cut and prepare food.
On that same note, when God created the heavens and the earth, He did so for a good reason. He made everything so that it would be used for the right purpose. When He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He told them that they were free to eat fruit from all the other trees in the garden, but they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, there was a good reason why that tree was there in the first place, but all the same, it was not meant for food. Furthermore, God told them why they were not supposed to eat from it. The fruit of that tree was lethal, and it would bring death to them and their descendants. However, Adam and Eve did not keep God’s command, and they reaped the fruits of their rebellion.
Similarly, this world is full of many things that have a unique purpose. Since God is the one who made them, He is the one who knows how they should be used. When a manufacturer manufactures something, he is the one who can tell people how best it works. He usually gives instructions that those who buy the product are supposed to follow. If they follow the instructions, the device works well and they get the best out of it; on the other hand, if they defy the instructions, they end up bringing disaster upon themselves. 
As the manufacturer of the universe, God has given us instructions in the form of commands about what we should and should not do. All these commands are there for our own good. If we follow them, we prosper and experience the abundant life that God planned for us; however, if we rebel, our lives become full of misery, heartache and woe.
One of the commands that God gave us is the command to observe sexual purity. We should not commit adultery, fornication (i.e. sex before marriage), or any other form of sexual immorality. God designed sex to be for married people, and it should not be used for any other purpose. However, in our rebellion, we have misused it and sleep around with whomever we see fit. The result of this has been “unwanted” pregnancies, abortions, heartbreaks, sexually transmitted diseases, single parenthood, broken marriages, sexual obsessions, and so on. If we would keep God’s command, none of this would happen. However, due to our rebellion, sex has become a greatly demeaned and tarnished act.
It so happens that when we sin and break God’s commands, we think that we are helping ourselves and are being wise. Eve was misled into believing that the forbidden fruit was good for her. When she looked at it, she liked its appearance and was fascinated by the thought of how wise it would make her and her husband become. As a result, she turned a blind eye to God’s warning and sank her teeth into its venomous pulp.
In the same way, we tend to judge sins by their neatly packaged and seemingly attractive cover. We allow the seductive look, feel, sound and smell of something sinful to lead us into believing that it is not as bad as God says it is. We then proceed to hungrily gobble it down, only to face the bitter aftertaste of its true ingredients.
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin causes not only physical death, but also spiritual, social, emotional and psychological death. It affects us, other people, and our relationship with God. When God tells us not to do something, it is because He knows that no matter how appropriate it seems to us, it will always have some negative effect. He therefore warns us about it and points us in the right direction so that we can avoid its pitfalls and have a truly fulfilled life. As the Bible says, "Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner" (Proverbs 13:6). Therefore, when we obey God we do ourselves a favor, but when we disobey Him we do ourselves a disservice and invite ruin upon ourselves here on earth and in the life to come.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23