We live to the Lord.
If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should linger here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven and to be found fit to partake in the inheritance of the saints in light, even though he has only just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not be perfected until we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but nevertheless, if the Lord had wanted to, He could have changed us from imperfection to perfection and have taken us to heaven at once.
Why then are we here? Would God keep His children out of paradise a single moment longer than was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battlefield when one charge might give them the victory? Why are His children still wandering here and there through a maze when a single word from His lips would bring them into the center of their hopes in heaven?
The answer is--they are here that they may "live to the Lord" and may bring others to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed, as plowmen to break up the fallow ground, as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as "the salt of the earth,"1to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as workers together with Him. Let us see that our life fulfills this purpose. Let us live zealous, useful, holy lives, to "the praise of his glorious grace."2
Meanwhile we long to be with Him and daily sing--
My heart is with Him on His throne,
And ill can brook delay;
Each moment listening for the voice,
"Rise up, and come away."
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.