"God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (New Living Translation)
What an amazing gift, Salvation. Freedom from the everlasting death of sin. What could possibly be better?!...Well, I actually have an idea of one thing that just might be the icing on that particular cake.
"...I came so they can have eternal and real life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." John 10:10 (The Message)
You see, not only does God intend to grace us with an indescribably amazing forever-life in heaven...He very much wants us to experience the fullest, richest, most satisfying and thrilling life here on Earth, as well!
I know too many Christians who literally rob themselves of God's best. (I find it interesting to note the first half of John 10:10 says, "A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy...") They do this by meandering through life with a "whatever" mindset. They figure their salvation is "good enough." They suppose following Jesus "most of the time" will suffice. Basically, they are content with mediocre. Well, I challenge that.
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the classic "Footprints" poem, having either read it each time you were in your grandparent's bathroom, received a Hallmark card fashioned around it, or had it forwarded to you through email...213 times. It is a great piece, and very touching. Below, however, I have included a re-working of the poem that speaks to me even more profoundly. Read it. And, let's agree never to settle for "OK."
by Beth Moore
Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as he lovingly shows you His plan for your life. It begins with the day you are born. Once you received Christ as Savior, everyday that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire, "Father, are those my footprints everyday, and is the second set of footprints when You joined me?"
He answers, "No, my precious child. The consistent footprints are mine. The second set are when YOU joined ME."
"Where were You going, Father?"
"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."
"But, Father, where are my footprints all those times?"
"Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits. Sometimes you chose your own path. Other times, your footprints appear on another person's journey because you liked their plan better. Sometimes you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take with you."
You are silent for a moment, contemplating, and then ask, "But, Father, we ended up Ok, even if I didnt walk with you every day, didn't we?"
He holds you close, "Yes, child, we ended up Ok...but, you see, 'Ok' was never what I had in mind for you."