I wonder what David was gazing at when he spoke of the beauty of the Lord in Psalm 27:4. Indeed, our God is beautiful. The beauty and wonder of God can clearly be seen in the works of His hands (Psalm 19:1). Nature is one of the greatest expressions of God’s beauty. The amazing cloud formations and glittering stars in the skies, the breathtaking waterfalls like Victoria Waterfalls, Farin Ruwa Waterfall in our own dear Nigeria, the remarkable mountains like Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Obudu Mountain, the Sahara Desert, spectacular rock formations like Olumo Rock, the incredible Himalayas lakes, the wonders of the seas like the Chad Basin and the Dead Sea, and the numerous awe-inspiring natural parks all over the world, all declare and testify to the beauty of God.
Nothing in our world is infinite; without an end. Many natural wonders that were once a captivating sight to behold, no longer exist. Some of these interesting sights have been lost to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, war, bombs and fire. Today, global warming, climate change and human activity from throngs of tourist threaten the existence of many popular sights and tourists attractions.
In Matthew 24:1-3, Jesus spoke about how architectural masterpieces, impressive manmade structures and monuments would one day be nothing but a pile of rubble.
There’s nothing in our world that is lasting and enduring. This explains why Jesus gave this advice in John 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life which the Son of man will give you…” Simply put, don’t spend all your time, energy and resources on things that have no lasting value; things that do not abide forever. Jesus wasn’t encouraging us to abstain from work or be idle. He certainly didn’t mean that for if you don’t work you won’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Jesus’ counsel to us is: don’t get all worked up and carried away with pursuing and doing things that will put bread on your table, to the detriment of your soul. Focus on things that won’t make you panic or hide in shame when Jesus appears (1 John 2:28).
Just as many natural wonders and exquisite manmade structures which are a pleasure to see and experience aren’t enduring, the same is true for many things we pursue and hold in high esteem. Our degrees and qualifications are good and can create fresh job opportunities for us, but when the Righteous Judge undergoes His screening exercise into heaven, no recourse will be made to what we studied or how many degrees we have. Marriage is honourable and desirable, but regardless of how deep the love between you and your spouse is or the many fond memories you both share, all that lovey-dovey ends here (Matthew 22:30). The only marriage that exists in heaven is between Christ and His bride, the church. Money helps you achieve so many personal goals and solves countless problems, but notwithstanding of how much of it you have made or acquired, you can’t take any of it to heaven.
So when Jesus said in John 6:27 don’t waste all of your energy on things that don’t last, He was simply saying while you work at being the best you can be on earth, have a heavenly mindset. The more rooted we are in Christ, the more we develop a heavenly mindset and attitude to life which makes it easier for us to focus our attention on those things that have lasting value.
We see in natural life how important it is to have deep, healthy roots. A tree has many branches but not all the branches remain on the tree forever. Some branches fall off as a result of hot weather or exposure to strong winds. But the main reason why branches fall off is when there is a weak union between the branch and the trunk. Branches that are weakly attached to the trunk easily fall off. When we are not rooted in Jesus, the True Vine, we are like weak branches that are the first to go off once the wind blows. Some branches survive storms and droughts, others don’t. While some believers can go through intense adversity and come out still standing tall for Christ, others crash under the weight of trials and afflictions of life. A branch that is rooted and grounded in Christ stands to gain a lot. If you are rooted in Christ, then the holiness that is in Christ will flow from Jesus, the Root of Jesse, to your inner being giving you grace to live a life that pleases and delights God (Romans 11:16). When you are rooted in Jesus, the Word, you are firmly planted in the soil of God’s Word and by streams of Living Water that strengthen you and make it impossible for your branch to fall off or be blown away by the winds of trouble and persecution (Mark 4:17). When you are a branch engrafted in Christ, you become a fruit bearing branch that irrespective of the time and season whether it’s a day of suffering, time of trial, or hour of prosperity, you are full of good fruits that remain strong, healthy and acceptable to the Lord (Psalm 1:3, John 15:16).
Get rooted in Christ today so you don’t become like some natural wonder or astonishing architectural design that won’t endure for eternity. Get rooted in Christ so the peace, joy, love and wisdom that are embedded in Christ can dwell richly in your heart. Get rooted in Christ so both your feet are firmly planted in Christ and He can take you to the great heights God has destined for you. Get rooted in Christ to overcome any situation life brings your way, and to be filled with the unfading beauty and fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19).