Remember the last verse of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace? The one where we sing about how 10,000 years is just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity?
How awesome, right? I get to spend eternity in the presence of God, and I will be unbelievably happy. No more sorrow. No more tears. Eternity with my loved ones who have gone before me. How fantastic! For me.When we've been there 10,000 yearsBright shining as the sun,We’ve no less days to sing God’s praiseThan when we first begun.
And that's what hit me. Like a ton of bricks.
It hit me as we were singing this verse of the hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns:
Yes, even when it comes to heaven, even when it comes to eternity, I want to make it all about me and my happiness. But it isn't. It's about the One who came to glorify the Father and whose Kingdom knows no end. It's all about Jesus. He came to die so that he could receive "endless praise", and so that he can be "adored and magnified" forever. I just have the amazing privilege of being a small part of making that happen. not for me. For his glory.
This thought did not really come to me all at once; this morning just brought it crashing down on my head. It has been growing since I read a blog post a couple of weeks ago. A young person from our church made the point first in her blog about her current mission. She is in Africa for a month, and because I am going back at the end of this month I am following her blog with extreme interest. Well, in her post Mzunga Down, she said this:
Last night one thing we talked about was the answer we give when answering the question Why did Jesus come to earth? When answering this we tend to make the answer all about us. We say "Jesus came to die on the cross to save us from our sin" which is true but Jesus actually came to glorify his Father. He came to do the will of his father. It is not really about us. Absolutely EVERYTHING is about glorifying God and making his name known, that is it.And there you go. From a young lady less than half my age but full of wisdom. I don't think I have to add anything to that!
And so I look forward to my trip to Ethiopia. Not so that I can get something out of serving, but so that God can be glorified throughout the earth. And so I look forward to eternity. The day when I will have the tremendous privilege of joining with saints from all over the world in proclaiming:
You are worthy to take the scrollForever. Amen!
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)