Earlier on the family blog, I shared the “marble illustration” and how that metaphor has been a tool of encouragement in our family.
You might want to click over and read that post before continuing: http://thesupergreatadventure.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-babies-marbles-and-seizing-day.html
I’ve been mulling over this marbles metaphor for months, and I’d like to expand it for a minute and apply it to the Christian’s life instead of parents’ time with their children:
We have no idea when we will take our last breath.
Our weeks on this earth from our new birth in Christ until our physical death are numbered.
We have a responsibility of obedience to our Savior during those weeks.
Each week that passes, another marble is removed from our proverbial marble jar.
Are we making the most of our marbles?
Our weeks on this earth from new birth to physical death are spent – day-by-day, moment-by-moment – sowing to the furtherance of one of two kingdoms: The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Self/World/Devil.
Which Kingdom do we sow to? Which Kingdom holds our hearts? To which Kingdom do we offer our allegiance?
As children of God, believers can choose to do right. By God’s grace and in His strength we can say no to self. We can take up our cross. We can strive to live holy lives. We can crucify our flesh and its desires. We can stop loving the world and the things therein. Jesus would not have commanded those things if they were impossible for us through Him.
In fact, He expects them. Not only that, if you are perpetually serving the Kingdom of Self, doting over and chasing after the world and its pleasures, and seeking the desires of your flesh – you have reason to question the reality of your salvation. The Scriptures tell us so.
So what will you pursue?
Prestige and career? Comforts and entertainment? Wealth? Fame? Intellect and reputable education? The praise of men? The satisfaction of a full belly? Attention? Pity?
Is that what you’ll spend your marbles on, dear child of God? Will things like this take the best of your attention, time, and energy?
It ought not be. God help us to have His priorities.
To seek Him above all and before all.
To actually think about and strive to glorify God in all we eat, drink, and whatsoever we do and to abstain from any activity or thought or word that does not glorify Him.
To provide for our families, yet not allow our occupation to consume us nor deter us from what’s really important.
To teach and train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
To love our spouses, not as a feeling but as a commitment.
To walk in light.
To love the things of God, and stop loving the things of this world.
To share Christ with a lost and dying world.
To faithfully sow into our local church.
To love, encourage, and exhort our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If this idea pricks your heart, as it does mine so often, please don’t ignore it. Get alone with your Savior, immerse yourself in His Word, and seek His wisdom – for He gives it freely when we ask believing. We may have adjustments yet to be made.
And we only have so many marbles left.
A couple books which you would likely find useful in working through this (or battling it yet again) are:
Holiness by JC Ryle (this ought to be read by every believer!)
Stop Loving the World by William Greenhill (just a small booklet, but very good)