Every Memorial Day I remember my mother making crepe paper flowers for “Decoration Day” when I was a boy. You can well imagine what they looked like in a few days or after a rain. An old song speaks about a place “where the roses never fade”, and it does our heart good to think about that. Knowing we have “an inheritance incorruptible” keeps us going through the toughest times in life. Knowing the best is yet to come enables us to endure the worse things in the world.
In this world the praise of man is soon forgotten and the flowers given in appreciation for our deeds are soon cast aside. Even the trophies we win and the medals we receive eventually end up in the dump. And what we don’t lose we will one day leave. Missionary C. T. Studd was right when he wrote, “Only one life, ’twill’ soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last“. Indeed it will. When done for Christ, no work will be wasted, no labor will be in vain, no deed will be forgotten, and no service will go unrewarded. Jesus summed it all up when He said, “great is your reward in heaven“( Matt. 5:12). That’s why He said, ” Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”(Matt. 6:19-20).
This is what prompted Jim Elliot to say, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”. Another said, “Life is like a coin, you can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once“. As we reflect on the heroics of those who have gone before let us aspire to invest our lives in that which pays eternal dividends. We would be fools to do otherwise.
However, do not confuse your heavenly rewards with your heavenly inheritance. The former is based on what you do, the latter on what Christ does. Rewards are based on service rendered. Our inheritance is based on salvation received. Until you are born again you have no chance of either. It is only through the new birth that you can have hope of anything of eternal value. Trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you gain that which the world cannot give nor take away!
You need not live with a dark cloud of doubt hanging over your head– wondering and worrying about the future. Christ died and rose again to give you “a lively hope“, “an inheritance incorruptible”, “joy unspeakable and full of glory”, and much more than the mind can imagine or the tongue can describe. Trust Him today! It will be a day you never forget.–HDS