God calls each of us to a life of
significance. As new creatures we have been designed "for good
works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in
them" (Ephesians 2:10). No one else will be able to accomplish
the specific good works which God has prepared for you to do. No
one else will be in the right places at the right times.
The danger is that temporal concerns will crowd out the eternal
from our consciousness. Let's take a moment to consider how we
spent the last twenty-four hours. How much was invested in the
temporal? How much was invested in the eternal?
Esau is a scriptural example of one who had an acute case of
Once when Jacob was boiling pottage, Esau
came in from the field, and he was famished. And Esau said to
Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red pottage, for I am
famished!"...Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." Esau
said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?" So
he sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and
pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his
way. Thus Esau despised his birthright (Gen. 25:29-34).
The book of Hebrews warns us not to make his mistake:
See to it...that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau,
who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that
afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was
rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it
with tears (Heb. 12:15-17).
Esau "despised his birthright" in that he regarded it
lightly. When he realized the magnitude and permanence of his
decision, he regretted it with tears.
Would God forgive Esau for selling his birthright? Of course.
God is always willing to forgive. But God's forgiveness of Esau
does not change the fact that Esau sold his birthright. It does
not get his birthright back for him.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, God will reward Christians
who have pleased Him. Christians who adopt Esau's mindset,
placing a high value on temporal things and regarding eternal
things lightly, will weep at the Judgment Seat because of the
permanent consequences of their decisions. The past can be
forgiven, but it can't be changed.
Even though God forgives us, our sin affects God's evaluation
of our lives because sin prevents us from doing the very things
God rewards. For example, how can we serve others, perform acts
of kindness, or witness effectively when we are absorbed in our
sin and selfishness? 1 Corinthians 3:9 says, "You are God's
field." Sin keeps us from being a profitable field.
Anything which diminishes the field's fruitfulness also
diminishes our reward--whether we rebel willfully or just let
the ground become fallow by neglect. Jesus says, "By this my
Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit" (John 15:8).
Heavenly Father, please don't let us die and then regret the
way we lived. Work mightily in our hearts that we might live
fruitful lives and bring You much honor and glory. Amen.