"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Matthew 16: 26
What a year it has been in our family!
At the beginning of the year we moved at last from our temporary accommodation to a brand new house. We knew amazing comparisons when we moved back then. Our new home was warm and cosy with plenty of space to move around. We enjoyed all-sorts of mod cons which were somewhat of a novelty back then :-) A beautiful large bathroom and kitchen, a downstairs cloakroom, and plenty of electrical sockets everywhere!
We felt thoroughly spoiled. It was as if we were on a long self catering holiday! I used to roam from room to room admiring the decor and view but always had that feeling that we would not be there permanently. I felt that we had been posted there for a while to take care of it for the next occupants. We had a nice size garden and worked hard in it to make it tidy and inviting and I was rather looking forward to encouraging the little birds in the neighbourhood to come and feed from our bird table.
However this was not to be; for our family circumstances were about to change once again as our Son was to be married later on in the year which would mean that the two of us would end up occupying a house designed for a family. (Living in rented accommodation leaves us a little vulnerable at times!) A flat had become available just before our Son's marriage and we were tentatively approached about moving once again! We were able to keep the keys to the flat until after the date of the big day and then move in afterwards. This for us was ideal because we were able to use our large home to accommodate all things to do with weddings and all the family and friends coming and going while being able to decorate our flat and move a few of our things over at the same time.
Because our flat was only a couple of minutes walk away I was able walk many things over in boxes. The second phase of reconstruction work on our estate was well established during the interim period. Old houses were demolished and others were gutted to be refurbished. One morning we watched with interest our old temporary house being demolished which seemed to be strange as we witnessed the walls coming down as if they were made of cardboard. Those structures in which we once felt safe and protected were so flimsy and now reduced to large piles of rubble and dust.
One of the lovely things about walking backwards and forwards between house and future home in our flat was that we stopped and talked with many of our neighbours and those living on the road to the flats. One lady said something which was of great interest to me. While we were talking together the subject about being thankful for what we have came up. She is living in an extremely substandard house and will be moving into a brand new house very soon now. But she looked at her three beautiful children and said to me: "As long as we have our family and good health we have all that we need. Look," she said gesturing to the large pile of rubble that was once our temporary home, "even the homes we live in are nothing more than bricks and mortar! They can be so easily reduced to something like that!"
She had a point! It is a good thing to be thankful; for so many of us take what we have for granted. But there's more! Perhaps we all are guilty of heaping up for ourselves treasures we feel we cannot do without. Someone's treasure may be their car, another's may be their home, and another's is probably money! These are only tangible things that can easily be taken from us or reduced to rubble. We cannot take any of these things with us when it is our time to leave this life and go into the eternal realm.
I would have to add to my friend's statement that: "As long as all is well with our soul. As long as the question of our personal sin has been addressed and freely forgiven, we have all that we need. We may or may not be blessed with all these added extras but if we do not have a right relationship with God we have nothing at all of any value.
Yet another year has passed and we stand on the shore line of the great ocean of 2014. What does the year hold for us? What will we gain and what will we lose? Wouldn't it just be a wonderful thing if sometime very soon somebody reading this would come into the great blessing of being at peace with God? There is no greater treasure than to know for sure that your sin has been cleansed and you have a home in heaven to look forward to. There is no greater friend to have than the living Lord Jesus who took your place on the cross and paid your sin debt in full, and no greater assurance than knowing His promised presence with you daily.
Perhaps we may have been careless with our lives up till today but we don't have to continue that way anymore. Be wise therefore and take stock. Remember your soul is priceless and because God values it highly you ought to as well. Like our old home was reduced to a pile of rubble, the same can happen to those things we treasure! Even our very lives are somewhat like houses that grow old and must give way to passing. But the question is where do we go afterwards? What an opportunity everyone has to avail themselves of the full and free Salvation that God offers freely; for there is so much to look forward to for the one who has fully trusted in God's lovely Son.
Wouldn't this be a wonderful year, never to be forgotten if you were to understand what God's beloved Son has done just for you? Repent of the sin that has separated you from the One who wants to bless you beyond compare and trust in the living Lord Jesus who once died on a cross in your place. Make 2014 the beginning of a life God has planned for you; for that indeed is what true life is all about!
You might want to know about what happened to our flat! Well we finally moved in a week after our Son was married in September. Although it is not as modern as the house we lived in for eight months it is none the less very homely, warm and cosy and has a fantastic view! I think we landed on our feet as they say but I would have to say we have been truly blessed and we have a lot to be thankful for.
Wishing you all every blessing and love in our Lord's precious Name.