“I want to go to my grave empty, having given my all.”
~Pastor Farrell Lemings, Grace Covenant
I think this is essence of what it means to be a Christian in serving the Lord. Our Lord has given us so much grace, and so many blessings. And with those gifts, talents, and abilities, we have a great responsibility as His servants to try and do everything we can to faithfully use and give away the things God has freely given us. For God has not given us the things we have in our lives so we can simply keep them for ourselves. Rather, the Lord has given us the things we have so that we might have the opportunity the be like Him, and give our all.
But we can only dare to give, to spend ourselves and be spent by others, if we are living our lives in light of eternity. Instead of thinking we only have 70 or 80 years, and then we are no more, we must realize that we have eternity upon eternity to live. For if we think of time only in light of this present life, we will find ourselves handcuffed and imprisoned by time, and chained to our blessings. And thus, we will live only for this life, and the constraints put upon us in these fleeting years, finding little room for personal sacrifice. But when we step back and look at life in light of God’s big picture, we will experience liberation from the constraints of time, and find the ability to pour out everything we are and have in service to our King.
Only then can we go to our graves empty, having given our all. For we will realize we are not living for the moment, but for eternity. And thus we can “redeem the time” and make the best use of the things God has granted to us. We can give like no one else, live like no one else, and sacrifice like no one else. We can live our lives free from the fear of “missing out.” For in the ages to come, we will have more than enough time to “make up” for what we “missed out” on in the here and now. For we will have been liberated from the chains of this present order, so that we can embrace the life of the next. Indeed, that is exactly what our Lord did, who “for the joy set before Him” embraced the cross, despised the shame, and gave everything that He had to give. For He wasn’t thinking about living His life for the moment upon the cross, rather, He was living His life for what was still to come.