First Christian Church | Pittsfield

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Eternal Planning

08.29.18 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    Approximately every three months I receive a statement in the mail that summarizes my retirement investment account.  It reflects additions to the account as well as growth or decline from those investments. I must admit that I try not to pay too much attention to it from quarter to quarter, but rather understand that it is a long term investment. It is quite helpful to make sure that the appropriate amount is being set aside for retirement, however.  


    I can imagine the panic someone would feel if they were to come to the age of retirement and have the startling realization that none of their retirement funds had been deposited in their account.  


    As I filed my last statement away, a chapter in Matthew crossed my mind.


    Matt 6:1-4, 19-21

    "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  -NIV


    In considering the planning that we do for our natural lives, are we giving ample consideration for our eternal planning?  Our heavenly home is not one that is earned by our good deeds, but rather by our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Although our deeds do not earn our heavenly home, perhaps we may think of them as providing furnishing for it.  We will be discussing this in a few weeks.


    We do not get a mailed statement that breaks down our deeds, but we do have a mind and a memory that help us review opportunities seized, as well as those passed over.  I would like to encourage us all to be mindful of the real reason that we are all here. Not to gain possessions, but to have relationships. Hopefully relationships that will be eternal in nature.


    I believe it would be time well spent to take a moment and consider heeding the teaching in Matthew 6.  I know I need to.


    Loving you all,

    Michael