The Bible chronicles the rise and fall of dynasties and civilizations. Heaven and earth will pass away, this generation, like all generations before it, will pass away. But the word of the Lord will endure forever. Jesus said, “My words will never pass away.” They are to be relied upon. We fail to heed their message at our peril. They are meant to prepare us for the future. What do those words convey? In every age, whatever our circumstances, we are challenged to trust in the Lord, to follow his Word, to be filled by his Spirit, and to worship him. We are created to be God-centered, not human-centered. St. Paul put it like this:

“So here’s what I want you to do. God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1,2. The Message)

Director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Ben Carson, suffered from an anger problem when he was a teenager. It got so bad that one day, in a sudden rage, he pulled a knife on a friend. If it had not been for the belt-buckle, which snapped off the blade, he could have severely injured, if not, killed his friend. He could have spent the rest of his life in prison. Instead, he ran home in shame, and locked himself in the bathroom where he cried and prayed to God for help. He slipped out of the bathroom and got a Bible and began to read it. The words of God started to permeate his mind. The seed of the Spirit of Christ was planted in his heart. He gave his life to Christ, and vowed to read that Bible every day and be guided by its teaching. “I had locked myself in that bathroom alone with God for four hours. But when I walked out, I knew he had done something very significant in my heart. He had changed me in an undeniable and palpable way.”

This year will pass away. Your life will eventually pass away. But the words of Christ will not pass away. They are eternal. They are worth hanging onto. They are our lifeline. We are preparing for eternity. We are getting ready for the coming of Christ and the end of history. We are being prepared for the future.