The Great Wall of China. The Pyramids in Egypt. Man landing on the Moon. The invention of the computer. Certainly man has accomplished some amazing things. However, each of the things listed here, as Christ tarries, will someday crumble and be eclipsed by even bigger and more impressive accomplishments.
My challenge to students this summer has been not to attempt hard things or even great things for the sake of human achievement in-and-of-itself; but, to set our hearts on doing “big things” for God – things that will pass the test of time, and in fact, last for eternity.
The Apostle Paul has something like that in mind when he penned his last words to his student (Timothy) in 2 Timothy 4. Paul writes that he knew that his time on earth was limited and vanishing with each day (see verses 6 through 8.) In his final list of memories, he names several people – some of whom were friends and coworkers and others were enemies and deserters of the faith. Yet, his primary focus here was on the Lord. He remembers how the Lord “stood with” him in days past and the Lord would bless him in the days ahead for his faithfulness to Him.
I love Paul’s language in verse 17, “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear…” Even at the end of his life, the great Apostle, kept his dreams and goals. He was absolutely committed to fulfilling God’s grand purpose for his life. Notice the scope of his proclamation in that verse: ALL THE GENTILES.
Wow, that’s big!
I believe that God wants each of us to consider “big things” – things that will last for eternity. Even at the end of his life, Paul had big dreams and big goals. He was incredibly passionate about accomplishing things that would last for eternity. That must be our passion as well. We must be about the business of trusting God to use each of us to accomplish BIG things for His glory. The truth of it is that it is God Himself who is doing big things.
Here’s how I ended my challenge to students this summer: “What are those things that are so BIG that only God could accomplish them?”
Here’s the point. The Apostle Peter sums it up very well in 1 Peter 1:24 – "the glory of men is as the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off…” All human accomplishments will fade and fall, but what we do for God lasts forever.
Let’s do BIG things!