“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow . . .” Eternity! How often do you think about it? It’s not something that most of us dwell upon daily. The death of a family member or friend, an accident or a diagnosis of a serious illness can make us pause and consider the reality of our own mortality. Sometimes a tragic story or even a sermon can also cause us to contemplate the brevity of life. For those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, however, the anticipation of heaven can bring a sense of well-being and a desire to make every day count.
When Jesus was here on earth, He often taught His disciples and the crowds about things that would certainly take place in the future and He regularly reminded them of the wisdom of being prepared for the time when His Kingdom would be established. Remember the promises He made when He shared with the disciples about the blessings that would be theirs if they followed His guidelines for living? (Chapter 6) He also told them on several occasions what would happen when the Son of Man returns in His glory, always reminding them that this would not happen until He had “suffered and been rejected”. (Chapter 17: 25) There were also times when He carefully explained to them that those who were faithful to be humble and to serve and to share would be rewarded or “repaid at the resurrection of the righteous”. (Chapter 14) At times it must have been puzzling to those who listened and were eager to understand, but no one could miss the fact that Jesus wanted every one of them to take responsibility for the things that were clear to them so that they would be ready for His coming again.
Let’s rephrase the opening motto from the perspective of Jesus’ teaching. “Believe, behave, and be ready, for tomorrow Jesus may return”. Following some of Jesus’ instructions to His disciples and to us, perhaps you could rephrase it in a more meaningful way for yourself. The hymn writer, Alfred Smith, expressed it this way: “With eternities values in view, Lord. With eternities values in view. May I do each day’s work for Jesus with eternities values in view.” This is exactly what our Savior modeled for us as He came from heaven so that we could be forgiven and live with Him forever. “Someday He’s coming back. What glory that will be. Wonderful His love for me!” (A. Smith)