Eternal Life Starts Now
“There are only two things in this life that are eternal: the Word of God and the souls of men.” A passionate camp evangelist repeated this phrase over and over again urging the audience to consider an investment. “Do you want your life to be significant? Invest in those two things.” As I sat there listening in the crowded gymnasium, I was convinced that a life lived for anything else would be a complete waste.
My name is Kris Wilder, and I have been a full-time youth ministry assistant at Friendship since the end of August 2017. In that time, I have had the opportunity to live out my camp commitment of making eternal investments by studying God’s Word and ministering to the souls of men. However, with such an opportunity comes great responsibility! And if I am honest, some days have been fruitful and satisfying, but others have been completely wasted.
Fully Accepted, Fully Loved
You see, the opportunity to invest time into God’s Word and the people around me is not and has never been exclusively available because of my job description. Whether it’s been as a pastor’s kid, a Christian college student, a camp counselor, or a church staff member, the opportunity has remained the same, because in reality, those investment opportunities are made available to me daily because of my personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Even now, I am learning to rest in the joys of that truth, even though my heart is prone to abandon it often.
While it is easy for us to find our identity in what we do, I am so thankful that earning God’s acceptance is not based on my performance, but based on the perfect performance of Jesus Christ. His love for me is not based on a job title, but based on my being His child. And as His child, I often choose temporal over eternal investments, yet God’s love for me remains the same. And I have found that the motivating desire to invest in the eternal is birthed out of the knowledge that God will accept and love me even if I fail.
Faithful Wherever You Are
The truth is that each follower of Jesus Christ wakes up every morning with the same opportunity. Whether you work full-time at a church, crunch numbers in a cubicle, raise children at home, or bag groceries at the grocery store, we all have the same opportunity to invest our time into God’s Word and the souls around us. Some days we do well, many days we selfishly fail, but every morning brings new opportunity.
These past few months of youth ministry have reminded me of this: Being in full-time vocational ministry does not merit special access to God. No, that access is afforded to every person who puts their trust in Jesus, no matter their occupation. Your eternal investment in the workplace or at home is one that I could never make, and we are all called to be faithful to where God has placed us. So wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I encourage you to be faithful to the Bible and faithful to reach out to those around you, because as a believer, eternal life starts now, and you do not want to miss out.
Written by Kris Wilder, Youth Ministry Assistant