Are you as drawn to short meaningful sayings as I am? They are brief but loaded statements. Some are connected to nature, like Jesus said, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”, or Solomon’s observation, “The way of a lazy man is like a hedge of thorns.” Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. was known for his many pithy sayings. Some of them were on plaques situated over the chalk boards in the classrooms at Bob Jones University as reminders of his exhortations in his daily chapel talks. One of these sayings read, “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” A timely application of this right now might be: Don’t sacrifice six months of 2014’s budget on elaborate purchases for a few moments of excitement on December 25, 2013. Consider it carefully now, before the trip to the mall where the festive lures are waiting. (Perhaps it’s not too late to return some of those questionable ‘bargains’ you found on ‘Black Friday’.)
A more weighty application of this warning involves Jesus’ advice, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things, (temporal needs) will be added to you.” Our most permanent (eternal) need is the new birth through faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins so that we could become a child of the King. If you have not received Him, any other pursuit is just a temporary grasping for immediate gratification and can’t bring permanent peace and fulfillment. John tells us in John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.”
If we have His gift, all the others will assume their secondary importance. His is permanent; they are immediate, but temporary.