Charles Swindoll tells a true story that comes from the sinking of the Titanic.
A frightened woman found her place in a lifeboat that was about to be lowered into the raging North Atlantic. She suddenly thought of something she needed, so she asked permission to return to her stateroom before they cast off. She was granted three minutes and told that if she was gone any longer, they would have to leave without her.
The woman ran across the deck that was already slanted at a dangerous angle. She raced through the gambling room, past all the money that had rolled to one side, ankle deep. She came to her stateroom and quickly pushed aside her diamond rings and expensive bracelets and necklaces as she reached to the shelf above her bed. She grabbed three small oranges. She quickly found her way back to the lifeboat and got in.
That seems incredible, because thirty minutes earlier she would not have chosen a whole crate of oranges over even the smallest diamond. But death had boarded the Titanic. One blast of its awful breath had transformed all values. Instantaneously, priceless things had become worthless. Worthless things had become priceless. And in that moment she preferred three small oranges to a crate of diamonds.
Oh, dear friends, when we look at things in the light of eternity, our perspective and values totally change. Most humans have their head in the sand of this old earth and cannot see the starry heaven above in all its splendor.
That is why the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to write: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature... (Colossians 3:1-5, NIV).
The Living Bible translates verse 3 as, "You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does."
In a sense, the Titanic symbolizes the world, which is passing away. During our brief sojourn as passengers on spaceship Earth, let us only concentrate on those things that truly matter for eternity.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,
Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into more than 730 languages and viewed or listened to by some 5 billion people in 236 countries. Dr. Bright is also the author of more than fifty books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365 at
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