1 Peter 1:17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”
The way you see your life is what shapes your life.
It will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents and value your relationships. And if the way you see your life is based on incorrect assumptions, you will end up living purely for yourself rather than for your Creator God.
We must see our life the way God sees it. And He says in the verse above that we are to live on earth as “temporary residents”.
In other words, this life on earth is not the real life - it is a test, a preparation and training ground for the life to come. We see this theme throughout the Bible starting with Adam and Eve.
God gave Adam and Eve free will, but He also tested their character, faith, obedience, love and loyalty in the Garden. They ultimately failed that test creating an eternal separation between God and man until Christ redeemed and restored mankind’s relationship back to God.
But we see all the great men of God being tested from Abraham to Moses all the way to Christ Himself. Jesus said in this life we will endure trials and tribulations and ultimately these are all tests of our faith, character, loyalty, and love.
However, not all tests come through great trials – God watches everything we do including all the little things in life like holding open a door for someone, picking up some rubbish and how we speak to our own family members.
Other tests can be when God seems to be distant from you. King Hezekiah experienced this test. It says in 2 Chronicles 32:31 …God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.
Regardless of the test, the good news is that there is a purpose to everything and every test in life. But remember, God will not allow you to be tested or tempted beyond what you can take (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Living as a “temporary resident” means we don’t really have ownership rights down here, we are stewards. And one of the major tests of this life is whether we see ourselves as “owners” where everything I have is for my use and benefit, or as “stewards” – using what we have for God’s Kingdom purposes.
Jesus says we are to view everything we have as God’s and use it to fulfill His Kingdom purposes in this life. Love His church and do whatever you can to build His church through your offerings, your service and bringing salvation to others.
Jesus said to the faithful steward in the Parable of the Gold Bags (Matthew 25:21):
‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
See yourself as a steward in this life preparing yourself for the great celebration to come!