“I was at the Big Box Wholesale Club yesterday,” Stan commented. “I picked up a few items that one of the workers put in a box for me to carry out. As you know, Big Box uses the boxes they have emptied to help people get the stuff out to their cars.”
“Yeah,” I replied, “a way to recycle those empty boxes that keeps Big Box from having to deal with them some other way.”
“That’s right,” Stan said, “and the particular box I was given brought to mind something I had read earlier in Mark’s gospel about my faith walk.”
“An empty box had something to do with your faith walk?” I replied. “How so?”
“On the side of the box it said, ‘Perishable. Handle with care.’ I’m not sure what had been in the box in the first place, but that’s what it said.”
“So?” I replied.
“What that reminded me of was when Jesus and the disciples were in a boat, I think they were on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat when a storm came up and began to swamp the boat with water. The disciples became afraid. They woke up Jesus and asked Him a question that I had to ask at one point.”
“What question?” I asked.
“Don’t you care that we’re perishing?” Stan replied. “While the disciples were asking Jesus that question from the standpoint of their physical safety, there was a more significant aspect to the question they were not asking.”
“Which was what?”
“What about perishing for eternity?”
“Did Jesus answer their question?” I asked.
“He did about their physical safety,” Stan replied, “and what He said and did is another story for another day. Right now I want to focus on what I imagine Jesus could have been thinking about the disciples’ question.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I can imagine that Jesus was thinking, ‘These guys don’t even know that’s why I’m here. Of course I care, that’s why my Father sent me. He sent me into the world to keep them from perishing for eternity by being separated from Him.”
“And,” Stan continued, “as it applies to me and to each one of us, there comes a point when we have to realize the same thing for our personal salvation.”
“What same thing?”
“That’s why Jesus came into the world, to keep us from perishing for all of eternity. Not only does He care about that, but He cares that we come to the point of realizing that He cares, and that we care about telling others so they, too, will not perish.”
“A whole bunch of caring,” I commented.
“You’ve got it, my friend,” Stan concluded. “That’s why Jesus came, and that’s why we’re here.”
Bible verses to consider:
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:37-38.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus into the world to provide the way for all who believe to not perish by being separated from you for eternity. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could accept by faith your free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption for all of eternity, along with the opportunity to pursue knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship while you keep me here. Please help me in following every step of your lead into the personal relationship you have for me, along with helping me to tell others how much you care about them not perishing. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of not perishing in the sense of being separated from God for all of eternity? If no, why? Do you know how to have that assurance by accepting by faith God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If you do have that assurance, how are you doing with pursuing the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need to pursue an ever-deepening personal relationship with God, do you know how to do that? Do you want to do so? Why or why not? How are you doing in telling others about how much God cares that they not perish?