By Billy Lambert
In January 1984, Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts retired from the Senate and declined reelection. Yet it wasn’t the thought of defeat that prompted this. It was because a few weeks earlier, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, which could not be cured but could be treated and probably would not have affected his physical abilities or his life expectancy.
According to Rabbi Harold Kushner, the illness didn’t force Mr. Tsongas out of the Senate. It did, however, force him to accept that he wouldn’t be around forever. He wouldn’t be able to do everything he wanted to. But what exactly did he want to do?
As Kushner writes, “[Tsongas] decided that what he wanted most in life, what he would not give up if he could have everything, was being with his family and watching his children grow up. He would rather do that than shape the country’s laws or get his name in the history books.”
After Mr. Tsongas decided to retire, a friend wrote to congratulate him on having his priorities straight, adding “Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’”
Isaiah 38:1 says, “In those days, Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” As you think about your life, ask yourself one important question: What am I living for? If you knew you had only six months to live, how would you spend it? Would you live differently than you do now?
Where am I going when this life is over?
God’s word is about life — that is, how to live life at it’s best and how to find your purpose in living. Some people are trying to get the best out of life in places where it can’t be found. Our Lord came into this world so that you may have the best life. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Are we going to resort to material things to get the “most out of life?” Jesus also said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
You can’t serve God and riches
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
Paul tells us that whether we live or die, we’ll magnify Christ in our life. In Phillippians 1:19-21, the author reminds us that our life has purpose: to serve God. “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For, to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
That’s the best life: to glorify God in our mind and body, as an example of the Lord Jesus Christ. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” We’re also to walk in the steps of Jesus, because “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6).
How to secure your place in the Kingdom of the Lord
God wants you to live a faithful life, and know that Jesus Christ is the way to salvation. For more information on how our free online Bible course can help show you God’s love, please contact us today at 1-877-711-5214. Let us help guide you to walk enlightened in the light of our Lord.