In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, NIV)
Many believe that life in the world is all, and they cling to what belongs to the earth but do not prepare for eternal life, which is incomparably longer than this life. They do not know that all of us will stand before Jesus, regardless of our faith and will. Life in the world is like a report card to prepare for eternal life. God makes us harvest in heaven what we have planted in the world. If we plant good things, we will get better things in heaven, and if we plant bad things, we will be judged accordingly. Therefore, we must try to plant the best things while we are alive. There is no more precious and valuable investment than planting what the Lord considers important. In Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus gave us the highest command on earth, to preach Jesus’s name to people of all nations and teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. Therefore, the purpose of our lives is to let people glorify Jesus’s name and the highness of God by doing good to our neighbors around us, regardless of their nationality, occupation, knowledge, gender, and age.
In Matthew 5:13–16, Jesus teaches us specifically how Christians should live. We are the salt of the world, said Jesus. Salt is used for the flavor of food by spreading slowly, but its more important role is to prevent food from rotting. We must exert influence like salt in the world. We, who first came to know Jesus’s gospel, must have a good influence on our neighbors by practicing Jesus’s commands. By preaching the gospel to those who do not know Jesus, we must help them to accept Jesus, to get salvation, and to live according to the words of Jesus. If we live for our own interests and do nothing for others, although we know the gospel of Jesus, we would be like salt that has lost its saltiness. Jesus said that salt that has lost its flavor is useless and thrown out.
Jesus also calls us the light of the world. Light plays a valuable role in guiding people in the right direction by shining in the darkness. Also, a lighthouse helps a ship sail in the right way at night or in mist by illuminating its light. Christians must be the light in the world. We must guide others to seek the way to heaven by delivering the gospel to those who do not know where to head without knowing Jesus. Light is more noticeable in darkness. Likewise, we must be cautious about our reputation by recognizing that people are watching us in the world. It does not mean that we need to improve our reputation intentionally or pretentiously. It means that we do that by doing good according to the words of Jesus. Then, the people will see our good deeds and learn them, and many will believe in Jesus and praise God. Even if they were slanderous to Jesus because of no faith or lack of knowledge, we must let them have awe of God by shining our good behaviors. On the contrary, if they see our bad deeds, they will be disappointed at them and criticize Christianity or denigrate God. Moreover, it will push them further from salvation. Then, its role is not light but darkness in the world. If we interfere with the glorification of God by evil deeds, God will surely judge us.
A wise investment is to gain a big thing with a small thing.
The wisest investment in the world is to prepare for eternal life with this short life. Many of the ancestors of faith fixed their eyes on eternal life and made a wise choice about how to live on earth. One of the representative figures of them is the apostle Paul. Whatever he did, Paul did it only for the glory of the Lord, because he looked forward to the everlasting reward of God. He was qualified enough to say that all of us should follow his example. Indeed, he had shown a great model life, which is still challenging for many Christians. In Philippians 3:20–21, he gave us the correct view that our citizenship is in heaven. The country, the area, and the house in which we live will last one hundred years at most. However, heaven is the place to live forever; that is why we need to focus on it. Verse 21 says that Jesus will transform our lowly bodies so that we will be like His glorious body. Therefore, our values will change if we keep our gaze on heaven, not on the earth, which is like the mist that appears for a while and then vanishes. We will also seek the word of Jesus, the ruler of eternal life, to find out how to prepare for the kingdom of heaven.
Hebrews 11:24–26 proves that Moses lived such a life. Moses was an Israelite, but he was chosen and grew up as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter through the historic event. At that time, Egypt was the world’s greatest power through the blooming period of the advanced civilization and dazzling development. In the heart of Moses, however, there was always a mission given by God. He thought he would do his mission someday, and he expected God would reward him for it in heaven. That is why Moses was not satisfied with the treasures of Egypt and the throne of the prince. He was longing for a heavenly throne. The pleasure of a moment was not comparable to the eternal heaven and treasure. Thus, he abandoned his high place and chose to suffer along with the people of the Lord. Moses obeyed Him for his lifetime, helped the Israelites escape out of Egypt, and spent the rest of his life in the wilderness.