Using the Temporal To Affect the Eternal. [Temporal To Eternal – Part 1/3] (OYPO Vol. 54)

Our camp Ironwood uses a nice little saying: “Using the temporal to affect the eternal.” Why do they build water slides, and zip lines, and WipeOut courses, and escape rooms? Because of the eternal impact that happens when campers come for the fun, but leave with the Word. Since all of camp—especially summer camp—is centered on the preaching of the Bible, then everything that happens in between the “spiritual” chapel services is just “temporal.” The conversations, counseling sessions, invitation times, singing, and preaching might be considered “spiritual;” and the meals, group games, shotguns, swim time, and hayrides might be “temporal;” but all of it works together. All of it has eternal impact.

I think if we live our lives like that, we’re on the right track. I’m just a pilgrim passing through this life. This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. I am not my own; I am bought with a price. I should take no thought for my raiment. I should see all my goods as none of my own.

We bought our house a few years ago with the intention of using it for the glory of God. It’s a temporal tool to affect eternal things. It’s an incredibly expensive tool, too! Yet we’ve seen so much good come from our house—the building my family lives in. Our favorite times are hosting guests, or parties, or youth activities, or new friends.

Jamie and I got married with the Scriptural intention of allowing our relationship to be a picture of Christ’s love to his bride—the church. Our marriage is not our own. It’s a temporal tool that affects the eternal—and, boy, what a great blessing it is to me! I’m sure glad God lets us enjoy the ”tools” he gives us, and that the blessings aren’t all waiting until after we die!

We had kids with the intention of using our family unit as a tool to glorify God. My kids are not merely tools, as if being a tool is a derogatory term, but I’m thinking of it more in line with how the Bible calls us: vessels. I want to raise my kids to be vessels unto honor—to have hearts that are truly in tune with God in that precious, child-like way. But I want teenagers with child-like hearts, too. I want my son to be a dad with a child-like trust in God, and my daughters to become moms who keep that sweet faith that they are learning right now.

My kids are temporal—meaning, they are the stuff that makes up this life. But they are so much more to me than mere tools in this life. They are eternal beings affecting other eternal beings.

When you put this life into perspective, it adds a whole new level of responsibility to my budget, my house, my kids, my spouse, my camp, my mouse (oops, got carried away with my rhyming there), and everything we can bump into here on earth.

Using the temporal to affect the eternal is itself an eternal privilege. For the next two weeks, we will talk about my Sunday school sermon to the teens about their temporal use of money to affect the eternal. Thank God that He uses us as vessels for His glory!

–Bro. Ryan

The OYPO Series (One Youth Pastor’s Opinion) is a serious note sent to our church parents each week. It accompanies the weekly posts of entertaining pictures and videos, found here: [FUNNIES]