Just out of college, I traveled west for the first time. I felt immense awe, standing under the vast western skies. I grew up in a place of hills and trees, and my childhood pieces of sky seemed cropped and framed; the western skies stretch without limits.
The sky, clouds, colors of sunrise and sunset fascinate me. Is it that every time I glance up, the picture has changed? Is it that the sky is always constant, always curved there overhead? Is it the vastness, the mystery of the unknown? Or does something about the sky resonate deeply because of Biblical talk of the heavens and Jesus’ coming on clouds to take us home?
I came across this image in the Scriptures last week:
For the skies will disappear like smoke,
and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing.
The people of the earth will die like flies,
but my salvation lasts forever.
My righteous rule will never end!
(Isaiah 51:6 NLT)
Both heaven and earth will someday be gone. Other Scriptures say the sky will “melt”, and the stars will fall like withered leaves of a grapevine. Hard to imagine. We can see the earth fading, though. And we know that we will lose those we love and our own lives here will have an ending.
Living on this earth, we look around and see nothing that lasts forever. Especially after you’ve had your 40th birthday, and then your 50th, and your 60th … you really don’t need reminders that everything on this earth is but a breath, a wisp of smoke.
What we do need are reminders of the things that last forever. Yes! Not everything is destined to end someday. Some things will never fade, melt, wither, disappear, or die.
Today’s verse gives us just such a reminder. The LORD of the skies and all of creation reminds us of one “forever” thing: His salvation. He repeats it twice. He will always rescue those who call to Him. Forever, without end, He offers deliverance from their fallen state.
This verse led me to search for other things that last forever. And, although this list is still not complete, reading these words changes how I look at today.
How far can you see today? We get caught up in details of what we want to accomplish today; we’re ruled by irritations and frustrations of today and stymied by challenges of dealing with people today; and even, yes, great joys or victories of today sometimes blur our vision of forever.
What you do (or don’t do) today is important, but even more important is living today in the light of everything that never passes into yesterday.
I want to bold and underline everywhere and use exclamation marks and Amens after all of the following Scriptures. But I know the Holy Spirit will emphasize where necessary — without so much help from me. J
Remember these “forever” things:
God’s love for His children, His strength, His protection, His help. We belong to Him forever.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
For the LORD is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
His faithful love endures forever
God’s words, His commandments, His promises:
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
He keeps his promise forever.
God’s authority over all (what more can be said?):
The LORD will reign forever.
But look! We too have been given a life that will never end!
With his own blood–not the blood of goats and calves–he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
Christ said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.”
For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
1 Peter 1:23
Our battles here have results that will last forever.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
2 Corinthians 4:17
We will have bodies that do not grow old, fade, and fail:
Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:42, 53
Two things I seek: to love better, and to know Jesus better. Because these are part of forever.
But love will last forever!
1 Corinthians 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Then we will be with the LORD forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:17
Have a today flooded with forever.
All Scripture from NLT