Things that Last
by Pastor Mel Blackaby, First Baptist Church Jonesboro
photo by Pastor Mel Blackaby
MANY PEOPLE LOVE TO TAKE TRIPS DURING THE SUMMER, HOPING TO RELAX, SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY, OR JUST SEE INTERESTING PLACES.
I have had the privilege to travel and see many sights in the world. A few years ago, I went on a tour of some ancient sites in Greece and Turkey. I took many pictures along the way, and you can see the incredible ancient ruins that are a legacy of a culture that once thrived in these areas. And even though I was somewhat overwhelmed by the impressive structures that ancient people were able to construct, it was obvious that the glory days were gone. The reality is this: they are ancient ruins!
Consider the greatest achievements of mankind … they will all end in ruins. As I stood in places like Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, and Ephesus, my imagination went wild as I thought about what happened there long ago. I was reminded that buildings, as great and majestic as they might be, would someday crumble. But the people that walked through those ancient buildings have a soul that is eternal.
When you think about things that will last, don’t just think of brick and mortar. Material things are temporary, but that which is spiritual is eternal. And according to the Bible, people are spiritual beings created to have an eternal relationship with God. In all of God’s creation, people are the most valuable. That means you and your family are on the heart of God.
So if you plan to get away to see the world this summer, let me challenge you with two thoughts. First, don’t just enjoy the places you visit; enjoy the family you are with. The most important part of your trip is not to imagine what was, but to enjoy what is. Appreciate your life today and the people God has put in your life. Second, as you invest your time and money into a summer vacation, also remember to invest in your family all year long. They are worth it, for they are more valuable than any earthly thing. Jesus made a significant statement when He said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Buildings of stone will crumble; but people have souls that will live forever.
In my life, summer has been the time to reconnect with the people I love. The children are out of school, family gatherings are planned, and time is available to invest in what is most important – family. May you not let time pass you by, or be distracted by that which is insignificant. Invest your life in things that will last. Love the people in your life.