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The Divine Kindergarten

“What have I done today which is a credit to Christ and a serious threat to the Devil?”

After living in this world for a few years, I have an impression which may be similar to yours. It concerns the life that we live on this planet. My impression is this, that people generally make too much of this life. They consider this world to be solid and permanent, the place where ultimate reality resides. About all of society, one can certainly notice a universal attitude of love for the world. People, therefore, are acutely sad who have not had the chance to do everything, go everywhere, and experience it all. To miss anything makes some people very depressed because of their view that “this world is everything.”

The fact is that this world is not everything. In fact, it is not even very much. The Bible calls it “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). With the same object in view, the Apostle Paul says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19). As against being permanent, the Bible says, “The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).

We have not long to live in this world and, really the world itself has not long to live. It is a passing scene at best and quickly do we pass from it. Therefore, we are not enjoined in the Scripture to think deeply about this world, but rather, the Bible says, “Set your affection on things above” (Col. 3:2).

To me, it has always seemed rather strange that people spend so much time in this world becoming educated, making a living,setting up a home and becoming well established within society. If, as the Bible indicates, it is finally all for nothing, why do we do it? Why is so much time and substance invested in that which must so quickly pass away? It doesn’t seem to be worth it, but still, the major thinking of man seems to be concentrated on this moment. By contrast, any thought of eternity seems to be an embarrassing interruption in the thought processes. We can find no justification for such reverse thinking, neither in the Bible nor in any common sense interpretation of life in this world. Living in this world, if this world is all there is, is too much for too little. So it is that Cowper said,

“Tis a sight to engage me
      if anything can,
To muse on the perishing
      pleasures of man,
Though his life be a dream,
      his enjoyments I see,
Have it being less durable
      even than he.”

What could possibly make the sacrifice, the discipline, the pain, the trouble, the sorrow of this life worthwhile? What would it take to have it all make sense?

The answer can only be in the reality of eternity. All of the troubles and traumas of life are immensely worthwhile if they are a significant beginning part of an eternal plan. They are important only if they are a preparation for something bigger, something better, something wonderful beyond description.

Happily, that is exactly what this earthly life is. It is not a “standalone” proposition. Rather, it is the starting level in a grade school that prepares us to live in the awesome proportions of the universe to come. Yes, this life is something like a kindergarten that prepares us for the imperative studies ahead. Yes, indeed, that’s what it is! This being the case, every event of our quickly passing existence in this world is a lesson for eternity. Every right decision in this world becomes a moral resource which lasts forever. Every fact that we learn and every falsity which we avoid has solid meaning when we think of it as training for eternity. To think of life as a “divine kindergarten” is far more proper than to make of it a place of meaningless disappointment and hopeless tears. What then do we learn in this kindergarten called “life”?

First of all, we learn to know God. In this life, God veils Himself in a mantle called “nature” so we wisely call this, “the natural world.” We learn that nature is not an autonomous thing. Nature makes it possible for God at the same time to reveal Himself and hide Himself. Among other things, this divine activity forces man to think deeply about God. Thinking about God is life’s most productive activity.

In the world we also learn of salvation. We learn that God has revealed Himself in nature and He has sent His Son to die for our sins. Believing in Christ then, we learn, is the key to everlasting life. We do this by a great principle, it is called “faith.” Faith makes this life livable—exciting even!

In the world we also learn spiritual responsibility. Man, by becoming a custodian of nature (not nature’s first cousin), participates in a small illustration of his coming rulership in eternity. Nature is to be mastered, not worshipped.

By participating in human life, man, by procreation, shares in the creation of life. By so doing, he is “something like God.”

There is a score of other lessons which life teaches us that will be of immense value in eternity. Therefore, God publishes what amounts to a curriculum which we should follow in our studies in this world. It is the Bible! This remarkable text on life says, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge self-control; and to self-control patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:5-8).

In this kindergarten called life, therefore, no one should drag himself through a pitiful existence, which apparently ends nowhere. No, indeed, we should be like ecstatic children, laughing with delight over every new lesson learned and brightly anticipating the next day of classes.

Remember also that death should never be thought of as the end of everything. No, indeed, it is a minor graduation which moves us from the divine kindergarten into the bright and beautiful occasions which are to come. So, lift up the hands that hang down. Strengthen the feeble knees. Soon comes the end of our “light affliction” and soon comes that “exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The loved one, the friend who has gone before—that person is not “gone.” No, he has simply moved to the classroom next door—except, of course, that that classroom may turn out to be a palace.

Let us remind ourselves, therefore, that the great initial experience of heaven will be standing before Christ. Each one of us, I trust, shall hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your lord.” Yes, there are eternal implications to the lives that we live for Christ in this world. The result of a godly life is not finally known in this world, but it will be public knowledge and the object of great rewards in heaven. We must, therefore, constantly aspire to live a life in this world that will be well-pleasing to God and the object of divine congratulation when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. May I, therefore, suggest that each one of us every day does well to ask the question, “What have I done today which is a credit to Christ and a serious threat to the Devil?”

A further note needs to be sounded. Many Christians, especially those who may be elderly, do not have the assurance of salvation. The assurance of salvation is, tragically, the great missing component in the Church of our time.

Why do some lack assurance? It is because they have not properly understood the basis of salvation in the first place. We must never forget that we are saved by grace, not by works. The Scripture clearly says, “He that believes on Him is not condemned” (John 3:18). We are, therefore, not saved because we have worked hard, labored long, lived perfect lives or never made a mistake. We are saved by the grace of God by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ. God saves us, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace. Again, it is grace which is the sole basis of our salvation.

Therefore, look to Christ, be strong in the Lord, trust Him for His grace. Don’t let the Devil steal the assurance of salvation. Soon we shall stand with Him in glory and rejoice in the glad fulfillment of full and free salvation.

From the writings of Dave Breese

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