Focusing on God Over the Temporary


           Have you ever wondered if today was your last day on Earth and let it guide your decisions that day? With some reflection, we might discover that more selfish desires are on the list of decisions than God-glorifying ones. When thinking of our last days, the world loves phrases and acronyms like Y.O.L.O (You Only Live Once). However, phrases like this do not come from God because He focuses on eternal matters instead of the fleeting aspects of our created world (Ps. 33:11). 

One man who embraced the physical over the spiritual was Jesus’ betrayer, Judas Iscariot. John 12:3-6 reads, “Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” Even though Judas was one of the men closest to Jesus, his heart loved money more. When he conferred with priests he consented after the chief priests and officers agreed to pay him (Luke 22:1-6).

Jesus was a man who placed the spiritual above the physical. When talking to Simon Peter Jesus said, “‘Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.’ He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him” (John 6:70-71). Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him. Yet, He still taught Judas the ways of God and gave him opportunities to abide. He also washed Judas’ feet, humbling himself to the role of a servant. So why did Jesus choose him to be a part of the apostles if He knew he was bad? Why didn't he stop him? Because obeying God was His highest purpose. John 17:12 reads, “I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

Humanity is full of sin. Due to this, we had no way to redeem ourselves with God. Jesus knew this, so He chose to fight the vilest in mankind with the power of God’s loving and compassionate example. After witnessing the fate the Jews had in store for Jesus, Judas felt an intense guilt for his choice to betray Jesus (Matt. 27:1-6). If Jesus’ compassion hadn't truly touched Judas in any way he would have felt nothing over Jesus’ demise. The intent of the acronym Y.O.L.O and phrases like it are nothing new. Instead of thinking about living temporarily, we must consider where we desire to live eternally. Only Jesus can change our hearts and light our way (John 14:6).