This gospel we preach promises of an eternal home. Those of us who have made Jesus our Lord will either die and go to heaven, or He will come back and take us there Himself. If we believe what the Word says, all of "this" is temporary. All of the computers, homes, cars, fashion, politics, denominations, schools, clubs, social status, wars, disagreements, successes...etc...etc...etc. It is temporary. It is fleeting. Heaven, now.. heaven is forever. The Word tells us to keep our eyes on the unseen, for this is lasting, not on the seen, for this is temporary. (2 Cor 4:18) There is one thing that sums up our time here on earth.
"Help People Get to Jesus"
We are to take and be the message of hope and life to a lost and hurting world. Yet, its is so easy to view our day to day as the forever and view heaven as a place really far off, that will be really great... one day. This is why it is illegal for minors to get tattoos. (As should it also be illegal for 18 year olds to get a tattoo of a butterfly, which I can neither confirm nor deny that some girl preacher may or may not have gotten when she was 18.) When you are 18 permanency holds way less weight than when you are 36 and a cute butterfly with music note may seem cool in 1997, but not so much in 2014. My dear Ryder was a challenging 3 year old. His view on time was both entertaining and exhausting. There were daily conversations like the following in my house:
Ryder: May I have some candy? Me: After dinner you may have a piece of candy. Ryder: I'll never, ever have candy ever again.
Ryder: May we go play outside? Me: After you eat your lunch you may play outside. Ryder: I'll never, ever get to go outside ever again.
Ryder: Are we going camping today? Me: We get to go camping tomorrow! Ryder: Tomorrow?!?! I'll never, ever get to go camping ever again!
Ryder's concept of time was inadequate to determine his correct behavior. If he knew how close his desired end was, he wouldn't have responded in such a way. The same as Ryder, our human concept of time is inadequate. Temporal things seem loud, in our face, permanent, while eternityseems like a faint whisper we must pause and search for.
The Gays, The Purse, & Our Faith:
When we are more fixated on abolishing homosexual rights than on reaching the homosexuals themselves, we have on our temporal lenses. When we are praying, confessing and believing more for a new car/new house/designer purse, than for souls, some thoughts have not been renewed. When we are holding on to a legitimate hurt rather than letting love have its perfect work within us, we once again, thinking temporally. Listen, the point is not the purse, the house, the homosexual community or even the grudge. The point is, when this is our focus, when this is the main thrush of our prayers, conversations, thoughts and faith.... this is when what is "ok" becomes not "ok". I have the big house, nice cars, nice purses. However, they have rarely entered my prayers or conversations. Seek ye first the kingdom of God (His way of doing things)and His righteousness, and all of these things (temporary comforts) will be added unto you. When we are constantly reacting to temporal situations with the majority of our resources (time, energy, finances), I have to wonder where our compass of purpose originates. Is our purpose for the eternal, souls and Jesus? When our focus is to enrich this life more than investing in eternity, things get off kilter, skewed, and we can turn into modern day Pharisees, missing the whole point of this thing we call life: To know Him and to make Him known. When we focus on Jesus... things of the earth grow strangely dim. The burdens get light. The yoke (ties) get easy.
I am reminded of the time I was at the zoo with my super cute kiddos. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was trying to capture the moment in a picture. Being the typical American mom, I had my Instagram open and snapped the pic. The pose was darling and with the right filter would possibly make us look awesome, and maybe even erase a few wrinkles. However, the dumb pic was blurry, so I wiped the lens with my shirt. Ok, lets have at this again... which may I say is no small feat with kids who were 2 & 3 years old at this time. "Ready, 1, 2...3... CHEEESEEEEEE!" UGH... Still blurry! I wipe again... finally at the fourth pic, I realize the blurred picture had nothing to do with my phone camera but everything to do with the smudged sunglasses I was wearing. Filtering everything through an eternal perspective changes almost all of my personal opinions. It's amazing how big things become little and little things become big when I shift my thinking into what it will be like when we get to heaven. I think this is why Paul prayed in Ephesians... "I pray that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened so that we would know the hope of His calling." Naturally, we can't see eternity. But with His help we can. Some of us keep trying to wipe the wrong lens our whole lives. However, He can open our eyes to remind us of the importance of living for heaven, and not for today.
Prayer: I pray for each reading this, that theirunderstanding would be enlightened, that they would be able to grasp the Hope of Jesus, in His calling, in His reason for coming, in His pursuit of mankind... the true focus, people. To know Jesus and to make Him known.
Eph 1:18 I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling,
Mat 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
2 Cor 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Ps 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.