Investing in Things That Last

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. I’m not so obtuse as to be unaware that opponents of the faith existed during that time, but their objections were more subtle, more veiled than those we see today. Typical television families in the 60s and early 70s were portrayed as going to church, or if they didn’t do so, they did not ridicule those who did. God was assumed rather than denied, even if he wasn’t revered.

However, the era of my youth also brought us the likes of Carl Sagan, the infamous astrophysicist, cosmologist, university instructor, and author who brought us the most widely-viewed television program in history, Cosmos, consumed by more than 500 million people in 60 countries. Those of you with silvering, thinning hair may recall the opening lines of each episode of Cosmos:

“The cosmos is all that is, or was, or ever will be.” Translation: “There is no God.”

Today’s rebuttalists of the Christian message are bold and brash, albeit ignorant, as they brazenly demonstrate their disdain for holy things. Phrases such as, “your sky fairy” and “that mythical book” are commonplace as these detractors attempt to paint the people of faith as simpletons and lackwits.

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
– Romans 16:17-18, NIV-1978

We, however, are not naive people and neither are we deceived. We know that the Word of God is the settled Word!

The Settled Word

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
– Psalm 119:89, NASB-1995

The verse just above is one of the two central verses of the longest chapter of the longest book of the Bible. If you split Psalm 119 in half, your cut will fall between verses 88 and 89. Verse 89 serves as a beautiful opening to the second half of the chapter.

The New International Version says it this way:

Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
– Psalm 119:89, NIV-1978

The Eternal Word

In this one succinct statement we have the proclamation that the word of Yahweh has existed from eternity past, it exists now, and it will continue to exist until there is no longer such a thing as time. Even then it will exist.

Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.

– Psalm 119:152, ESV

This word was eternally settled in the mind of God before creation happened, before there was even such a thing as language. The eternal word was revealed to humanity through God’s prophets. In our age, God speaks to us through his Son.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
– Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV

Regardless of the sneering and taunting of the unbelieving world, we plant our feet firmly on what is real, what is eternal, what is unfading.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

– Isaiah 40:8, ESV

Jesus’ Word

The word of Jesus is enduring, even beyond the life of the physical universe.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
– Matthew 24:35, ESV

The Life-Giving Word

The eternal words of God are words of life!

Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

– Psalm 119:144, ESV

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.
– 1 John 1:1-2, ESV

Those who wrestle with the devine words, who strive to understand them, in those words they find life.

The True Word

The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

– Psalm 119:160, ESV

The Settled Word, the Word that is True, Jesus’ Word, the Life-Giving Word, all of this is the Eternal Word.

Our mockers and detractors see a world that is evolving and improving, preparing itself for the next great leap forward. We know from scripture that the “great leap” is not going to happen. The physical universe is in a death-spiral. Jesus, himself, said this world is passing away while his words will never pass away.

This generation of believers, more than any other, is subjected to an endless onslaught of messages designed to discourage you, to shame you, to build doubt within you. It is difficult to think that one can live in this environment and completely mute those intransigent messages. But, in Christ, we can dismiss them as the lies and trash that they are. We have a solid foundation. We have a word from the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, a word that is true, immutable, solid, repeatedly proven.

    All flesh is like grass
        and all its glory like the flower of grass.
    The grass withers,
        and the flower falls,
    but the word of the Lord remains forever.

And this word is the good news that was preached to you

– Psalm 119:160, ESV

Editor's Picks


Damon J. Gray

Author, Speaker, Dir. of Comm. @ Inspire Christian Writers, Former pastor/Campus Minister, Long-View Living in a Short-View World, Rep'd by Bob Hostetler - @bobhoss - The Steve Laube Agency