Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eyes on Heaven

As I have been looking at verses on Heaven, I see that it is our orientation toward Heaven that enables us to live well now. When our eyes are fixed on earthly things, we become consumed by what we have, what we need, what we think will bring us pleasure.

Paul contrasts living with our eyes set upon earthly things with living with our eyes set upon Heaven:

Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us [living for the Kingdom].

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

[But] our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. [Phil. 3:17-20]

The writer of Hebrews lists for us the deeds of believing men and women that do not make sense if those deeds are measured against earthly wisdom.

But these men and women chose to live by faith – by the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [Heb. 11:1] They confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth and that they desired a better country, that is a heavenly one. [Heb 11:13, 16]

Living with Heaven in view, they were able to live fearlessly upon earth. They could set aside the distractions of the world. They no longer lived for themselves or sought after their own personal interests. They could empty themselves and be poured out for the faith and welfare of others.

When we live with Heaven in view, the problems we have today are brought into focus.
- We can endure hardships - for with Heaven in view, we see they only last a short while.
- We can take courage in difficult situations - for with Heaven in view, we know they will eventually be resolved.
- We can set aside our own desires - for with Heaven in view, we find the grace needed to live for others rather than for ourselves.

May I keep my eyes on Heaven so that I may live well while on earth.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Made for Eternity

"To be made for eternity and forced to dwell in time is for mankind a tragedy of huge proportions. All within us cries for life and permanence, and everything around us reminds us of mortality and change. Yet that God has made us of the stuff of eternity is both a glory and a prophecy, a glory yet to be realized and a prophecy yet to be fulfilled." - A. W. Tozer

I was glad to find this quote. It reassured me that maybe I am not crazy. Sometimes I feel at odds with this world and all the busy activity going on around me. There are times I get this deep, unexplained, unbidden longing coming from some hidden place within me that cries for real life, true life. I grow weary of carrying the shackles of sin, of time, of place. I want to roam free. My spirit seems to know that I was created for something more. As Tozer says, we are created for eternity. And in that eternity dwells our God and Savior. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that we might finally be all we were created to be and that we might see Him Who has always been and always will be. Maranatha.