We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
—2 Corinthians 5:10
How are we to go about accomplishing Jesus’s purpose for us? First, Jesus calls us to delay the decay in our culture caused by the curse of sin. Jesus explained His purpose to His disciples using the analogy of salt: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). In the days before refrigerators, people used salt to keep meat from spoiling. Salt prevented premature decay. However, eventually the meat would decay and have to be discarded. Salt couldn’t prevent decay; it could only give meat a longer shelf life. So in New Testament times, the purpose of salt was not to prevent decay but to delay decay.
Similarly, one of our functions as Christians here on earth is to stop the premature decay of society. When Jesus encourages believers to be “salt” in the world, He is reminding us that while we will never be able to reverse the decay in our culture caused by the curse of sin, we can slow down the process. By how we live and what we do, we can delay the collapse of our nation and our world.
Second, we are to light the darkness. In the same passage, Jesus used another analogy to explain His purpose to His disciples: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
Another reason God has left us here on earth is so that we can spread the light of the gospel in this dark world. The apostle Paul said that Christians “appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16). Instead of having a negative, fatalistic attitude about the culture in which we live, Pauls urges us to see this life as an opportunity to spread the gospel. The darker the background, the brighter the light.
Third, we are called to make an eternal investment. As we fulfill our purpose in this life by partnering with God in expanding His kingdom, we are making an eternal investment in the next life as well. Second Corinthians 5:10 reminds us: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
What are you investing your life in? Are you making deposits in things that are temporal, or are you investing in things that are eternal? Is the focus of your efforts building your own kingdom, or are you building God’s kingdom? As the great missionary C. T. Studd once penned, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of a Positive Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.