5 Seconds Notice

movie.gifAs is their custom, the Academy of Motion Pictures took time during their Academy Awards Program this year to recognize those recently deceased who had contributed to the success of the industry.  As I watched the list of names and photos flash by, I began to think of the brevity of life and the minimal impact that these people actually had on their fellow thespians.

Jane Wyman, Don Knotts, Red Buttons, Joe Barbera, June Allyson, Peter Boyle, Sidney Sheldon, Jack Palance…and my personal favorite, James Doohan (Scottie from Star Trek)–these actors and directors represent thousands of hours of finished film and television programs and tens of thousands of hours getting those programs made. 

Yet, at the end of their life, they may get 5 seconds notice on a screen in a theater.

Most of us get even less notice.

Wouldn’t it be depressing to live our lives, with the sobering realization that all our combined efforts are only worth 5 seconds notice?

Of course, many of these whom Hollywood remembers each year do leave their mark in ways that live beyond their own mortality.  Television programs can go into rerun status.  Films can be “re-released” in the video/DVD market.  Stars can be installed on a sidewalk.  Eventually, however, these personal marks all fade in light of the newer, more popular models of themselves and their industry.

Not so, my Christian family, with those who follow and serve Jesus Christ.

While we seek no greatness for ourselves during this life, our work for the cause of our Savior has eternal impact.  Do these words sound familiar?

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

We often talk about making an eternal impact through the winning of souls and rightly so.  The Bible calls it “fruit.”  We do not, however, talk very often about the spiritual investment of giving to the poor.  We think that responsibility lies with the federal government or charitable organizations.  I assert that it is the responsibility of the Christian and the Church to provide for the poor.  By doing so, we exhibit the love and example of Jesus Christ.  Remember that He, for our sake, was made poor so that we might be made rich.  He took because unrighteousness for us that we might have His righteousness.

While we need to invest our resources and energies into the evangelism of the lost, are we ignoring another Kingdom-mandate that our King not only calls us to, but also modeled for us?

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