Pastor Jim Stultz
Are you a label checker? Food products from canned goods to meats all have dates stamped on the label somewhere indicating the suggested date when they should be removed from the shelf. These dates are called expiration dates.
Jesus teaches us that everything around us is in the process of passing away. He said in Matt. 6:19, 20: “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”. Not only do the treasures of this world have an expiration date stamped on them we as individuals do as well. We never know how long our lives are going to continue. We may have a full life filled with many years or we could be cut down in what we consider our prime. Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer who had provided for his financial well-being well into the future. The man decided to sit back and eat drink and be merry. In other words to enjoy his well-deserved and hard earned retirement. God addresses the man in the parable with these words: “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:20,21). The rich man didn’t know, nor could he see it but his expiration date came up sooner than he had anticipated.
So what should we do? How should we live? First of all we should cling lightly to the things of this world knowing that they are in the process of fading away. We should lay up treasure in heaven. We can do that by serving God and helping others. Thieves can’t steal your treasure if you send it on to heaven ahead of you. The second thing we need to do is to make sure that when our expiration date comes up, we have a home waiting for us in heaven. By receiving Christ as our Savior we can say with Paul: “absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).